Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Facilitate Student Learning: A Collaboration between Universities

By Mitzi Lewis and LaRae Donnellan.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The rise of Web 2.0 has redefined distance education and opened up possibilities for mass collaboration. Professionals and amateurs can now work together to create new knowledge and teach one another. Students have grown up using Web 2.0 technologies, which might lead one to believe that they would gravitate toward shared learning via the interactive Web. The present study, based in action research methodology, examines students’ adoption of blogs and wikis for a collaboration between the instructor of and students enrolled in Computer-Assisted Research at a Texas University and the instructor of and students enrolled in Public Relations Research & Strategies at a Florida University. Web 2.0 technologies were used to facilitate group efforts in the development, implementation, and evaluation of an Internet survey. Results are presented in context of findings by other researchers and of the diffusion of innovations theory.

Keywords: Web 2.0, Internet, Technology, Wikis, Blogs, Collaboration, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Sharing Information, Net Generation, Digital Natives, Diffusion of Innovations, Facebook

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.17-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 759.317KB).

Dr. Mitzi Lewis

Assistant Professor, Mass Communication, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, TX, USA

Dr. Mitzi Lewis (Ph.D., University of North Texas) is a faculty member in the Department of Mass Communication at Midwestern State University. In addition to more than a dozen journal and conference publications, her work has been recognized through a Dean’s Award for outstanding paper at the 2007 Southwest Educational Research Association Conference, a three-year fellowship in graduate study from the Association for Institutional Research/U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences-National Center for Education Statistics, and a 2008 National Summer Data Policy Institute on the National Center for Education Statistics and National Science Foundation Databases fellowship. Her current service includes webmaster and teaching co-chair for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Small Programs Interest Group and website and social media consultant to several nonprofit and small businesses. Previous service includes chairing institutional assessment and data standards/security committees and reviewing manuscripts for Educational and Psychological Measurement and various conference papers.

Dr. LaRae Donnellan

Professor, School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Dr. LaRae Donnellan, APR, CPRC (Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is a professor and coordinator of the public relations sequence in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Dr. Donnellan has worked for 30 years in communication departments for two government bodies and at five universities in the U.S. and Wales. She has published a book, four book chapters, and numerous refereed journal articles, in addition to giving dozens of refereed conference presentations. Her research interests include the impacts of the global climate crisis, especially on people of color; use of social media in the public relations curriculum; framing; white privilege; and gender and science. She was president of the Association for Communication Excellence in 1997-98.

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