Daytona State College English Professor Jessica Kester has received national recognition for co-authoring a report on the use of social media in the classroom. The article is featured in the spring edition of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed electronic academic journal published by Worcester State University that focuses on classroom practices and explores issues and challenges facing teachers today.
Kester teamed with Stephanie Vie, Associate Dean at the University of Hawai’i, for an empirical research article titled “Social Media in Practice: Assignments, Perceptions and Possibilities.” It analyzes instructor-created writing assignments and student responses to social-media-infused writing assignments to better glimpse the social media landscape in writing-focused classes.
“The take-away is that our students are writers, and social media is often their writing space of choice,” said Kester. “Many college instructors incorporate social media into their classrooms already. However, decisions about which technologies to incorporate, how, and why remain, given the frequency with which new technologies and social media spaces come in and out of fashion.”
The study included a national survey of undergraduates in writing-related courses, ranging from first-year composition courses to senior seminars for English majors, to media-focused courses, and beyond. The survey questions explored student attitudes toward social media, and their experiences, including what was assigned in their writing classes and what they used outside of class.
“We, as a scholarly community, don’t have a lot of data on how students feel about instructors incorporating social media assignments and activities into their courses. Our article helps fill in these gaps with data-driven research.”
Kester and Vie originally collaborated at the University of Central Florida in 2018 where Kester is completing her Ph.D. and Vie was Chair of Writing and Rhetoric. The two worked together to analyze and write about data collected through a survey connected to a CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication) Research Initiative grant awarded to Dr. Vie.
Their 19-page article illustrates the need for faculty to use social media as another technological tool while promoting its thoughtful incorporation in the classroom. It also noted that students have complicated, accumulated, and multimodal literacy practices defined by their own use of social media, but use it to write in many ways beyond paper and pencil.
“Social media is firmly embedded in our lives and in the lives of our students.”
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