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Social software: Participants' experience using social networking for learning

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


Social networking tools used in learning provides instructional design with tools for transformative change in education. This study focused on defining the meanings and essences of social networking through the lived common experiences of 7 college students. The problem of the study was a lack of learner voice in understanding the value of social networking tools for learning. The primary research question was: What meaning do students who actively participate in social networking ascribe to their experience? The qualitative phenomenological study was based on Moustakas's (1994) approach to define the meanings and essences of the lived experiences of social networking. Data collection included a main interview, an observation of each participant engaged in a social networking, logs detailing social networking activities, and access to participants' public content created through social networking activities. Data analysis involved Moustakas' (1994) modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method.

The findings of the essences of social networking as described by the participants included: developing confidence in abilities to find whatever information was needed; self-actualization and personal growth; a commitment to lifelong learning; finding solutions through collaboration with others; keeping in touch with a support group; and self-directed learning – taking control of learning goals. Participants were trained in the use of social networking tools including weblogs, aggregators, wikis, social bookmarking, and related tools. Participants became deeply involved in their studies, gained confidence in their research skills, and were self-directed and in control of their own learning.


Batchelder, C.W. Social software: Participants' experience using social networking for learning. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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