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Making students' work visible on the social web: A blessing or a curse?

, Department of Computing and Information Systems, Australia ; , Faculty of Information Technology, Australia ; , School of Languages and Linguistics, Australia ; , Faculty of Medicine, Australia

Computers & Education Volume 68, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In this paper, we identify the implications for learning and teaching that emerge when students' assessable work is made visible to others through social media. We conducted a thematic analysis of transcripts from interviews with 20 Australian lecturers who described assessment tasks that required students to create and publish work using social technologies. The assignments varied, with different technologies used across a range of disciplines. Common to all examples, though, was the fact that students' work was made visible in some way, either shared with other students, or published on the web for an external audience. We examined lecturers' reflections on this visibility and found evidence that suggests making students' work visible to others creates opportunities for learning and teaching but also introduces conflict. On the one hand, lecturers enthused about the social learning, community building, and motivational benefits that occurred when students were able to share their work with each other or with an external audience. On the other hand, there were concerns about students' fear of copying, poor online conduct, and the risk that students may feel exposed when publishing their work online. These findings provide empirical evidence that highlights the tension between the collaborative and participatory nature of the social web, and the competitive and individual nature of university assessment in formal education.


Waycott, J., Sheard, J., Thompson, C. & Clerehan, R. (2013). Making students' work visible on the social web: A blessing or a curse?. Computers & Education, 68(1), 86-95. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 24, 2021 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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