Since the conception of the era of Web 2.0 there has been evidence of a steady adoption of social media tools used within higher education. Furthermore, advances in technology continue to permeate higher education. For example, the increased use of mobile devices to aid learning, the delivery of courses through MOOCs (Massively open online courses) to accommodate learners who are geographically dispersed and the use of social networking sites to establish learning communities continues to transcend the boundaries of where and how learning occurs initiating a pedagogical shift towards a learner-centred approach to education.
This special issue seeks the submission of manuscripts to tackle the subject of implementing social media tools in educational contexts in addition to investigating their effectiveness in longitudinal studies or when compared to more traditional methods of teaching. Contributions are invited that are empirical either by being experimental correlational, observational or conceptual and qualitative in nature. Preference will be shown to papers which perform analysis and discuss the results or interpretations of an intervention or case study. For example, papers adopting single or multiple case study approaches can include a wide array of analysis such as pre and post-test design if their research is experimental and quantitative in nature or they can employ the use of thematic or constant comparative analysis if they fall within the qualitative paradigm. This call for papers has been designed to be as broad as possible to encompass a wide range of social media tools in addition to concentrating on how they can be best implemented in educational settings.
The salient themes and primary foci that will be explored include some of (but are not limited to) the following:
• What factors affect the implementation of social media tools in educational settings?
• How much of an impact does course curriculum have on the adoption and uptake of social media tools in educational institutions?
• How effective are social media tools in enhancing the learning experience of learners?
• How generalisable are empirical studies associated with social media use in education?
• What role should educators adopt in aiding the transition towards the use of social media tools in their course curriculum?
• To what extent, if any, do different educational subject areas have an impact on the use of social media tools in the classroom?
• Is an ‘educator-driven’ or ‘learner-driven’ approach more pragmatic towards promoting and supporting the process of engagement with social media tools in the classroom?
• How do traditional approaches towards teaching compare in their pedagogical effectiveness against curriculum being taught with social media tools?
• Is there such a thing as a ‘best practice’ approach towards using social media tools in education?
• How relevant is a ‘blended learning’ approach towards accommodating the use of social media tools in the class room?
• How effective is mobile learning through social media use in terms of course delivery?
• How far has pedagogy evolved post the introduction of social media tools in education?
• How effective is games-based learning as a pedagogical approach towards curriculum delivery?
The deadline for the receipt of manuscripts is 1 June 2015. Please contact the special issue Guest Editor via e-mail by 1 February 2015, to increase the chances that your manuscript fits the editorial intentions. Please submit your manuscript in MS Word using the ScholarOne system on the journal’s Manuscript Central web site (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jarhe).
Submissions to Guest Editor: Dr Gavin Baxter, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org)