Social Media - American Society for Engineering Education

Report
Using Social Media to
Create a Global Community of
Sustainability-Engaged Students
Matthew E. Verbyla
Marilyn E. Brandt
Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
Marine Science, University of the Virgin Islands
Colleen C. Naughton
Maya A. Trotz
Civil Engineering, University of South Florida
Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
Allan Feldman
E. Christian Wells
Science Education, University of South Florida
Anthropology, University of South Florida
Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez
James R. Mihelcic
Science Education, University of South Florida
Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
2014 ASEE International Forum
Indianapolis, Indiana
June 14, 2014
International experiences and the
global engineering/science skill set
“A Global Community of Scholars”
1.
Core competencies in science & engineering
2.
Higher cognitive levels in attitudes & identity outcomes
– Language & cultural skills
– Teamwork & group dynamic skills
– Knowledge of business and education cultures of other countries
and international variations in practice
– Exposure to global concepts of sustainability
Sources: Bielefeldt et al. (2010); Hokanson et al. (2007); NRC (1999); Trotz et al. (2009)
But…
Not everyone
can travel
abroad!
Social Media: It’s not just for teens anymore…
There is a broad audience for young professionals
• YouTube reaches more U.S. adults between 18-34 years than any cable network.
• More than half of U.S. adults between 45-54 years use a social networking site.
• The fastest-growing demographic on Twitter is 55-64 year-olds.
4
NSF PIRE Grant:
Context-Sensitive Implementation of
Synergistic Water-Energy Systems
5
Common research objectives
• NSF PIRE Grant
• USAID-NSF PEER Science Grant
• EPA Nutrient Management Center
Global network of professionals dedicated to understanding context-specific
engineered systems that recover water, nutrients, & energy resources from “waste”.
Spring 2014 Graduate Course:
Context Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy-Nutrient Systems
• One-credit course run entirely with a blog, Twitter, & YouTube
• 25 students in Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, Czech Republic
• Course Objectives:
– Develop the global engineering/science skill set (slide 2)
– Learn about strategies that integrate social, engineered, and
environmental systems for sustainable resource management
– Learn to use social media to discuss scientific research
Spring 2014 Graduate Course:
Context Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy-Nutrient Systems
Video, reading materials
reviewed, posted to blog
Students prepare video,
select reading materials,
and discussion questions
Hour-long Twitter
discussion takes place
Participants watch video,
read articles, prepare
answers to questions
Day 1
Next student group
prepares video, etc.
Day 6
Research Question and
Objectives of Study
• Research Question: Can Twitter, YouTube, and a blog be
used to create a “global community of scholars” that are
engaged in learning about the meaning of sustainability
across multiple disciplines?
• Specific Objectives:
1. Document how Reclaim’s YouTube channel is being used.
2. Measure the class participation in weekly Twitter discussions.
3. Describe the nature of participant diversity in the conversation
strings that emerged during class discussions
4. Analyze the content of individual tweets during class discussions
Methods
(approved by University of South Florida IRB)
• YouTube Analytics
• TAGS software v5.1 with Microsoft Excel
– Sample of tweets analyzed for content
– Sample of conversation strings categorized by ‘type of talk’ using
a dialogical framework (Wegerif & Mercer, 1997)
– Inter-coder agreement strategy (Creswell 2013)
• Pre- and post-course surveys
Twitter Discussion
Content Analysis
Question
Question &
Answer
(Bloom’s
taxonomy)
Disputation
-al Talk
Convers.
string
codes
Cumulative
Talk
Claim
(no
premise)
Agreeing /
Disagreeing
Individual
tweet
codes
Exploratory
talk
Argument
(claim with
premise)
Unintelligible
Informative
statement
Sources: Bloom (1994); Feldman (2006);
Wegerif & Mercer (1997)
RESULTS
YouTube video viewers
Average View Duration
YouTube Videos:
Average percentage viewed (30 day avg.)
Florida
U.S. Virgin Islands
Possible explanations
• Sharing with non-participant friends, etc.
• Familiarity with content
• Multiple views per viewer
• Novelty of material
• Repeated viewing of portions of video
• Length of video
(Pearson’s c = -0.32)
Pace of Twitter Discussions
• Avg. tweets per discussion: 340
• Avg. tweets per minute:
5.7
• Avg. seconds per tweet:
10.6
16
Participation in Twitter Discussions
Participation in Conversation Groups
(dialogue exchanges initiated by a single comment or question)
Anthropologists were conversationalists
Content Analysis of
Individual Tweets
(n = 318 tweets)
The majority of participants’
tweets were structured as
claims with no premise**
Participants agreed with
each other more frequently
than they disagreed*
* p < 0.01
** p < 0.001
‘Types of Talk’ in Twitter
Conversation Strings
(n = 54 conversation strings)
EXAMPLE: Exploratory talk in conversation string (5 turns):
P1: What are the challenges related to current water
management strategies?
P2: They are energy intensive and wasteful since they focus
more on meeting regulations than sustainability
P3: Metrics of sustainability can be differentially conceived in
particular contexts though
P2: Agreed though according to … video, water management is
very linear and throws away nutrients and energy
P3: Current centralized water management, yes
Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
What social networks do you use?
Pre-Course Survey
Rank the reasons you use social
networks (in order of importance):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Learning/Professional Development
News/information
Recreation and entertainment
Research
Connecting with friends
Teaching
Post-Course Survey
Rank the reasons you use social
networks (in order of importance):
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Learning/Professional Development
News/information
▲ Research (p = 0.145)
▲ Teaching (p = 0.082)
Connecting with friends
▼ Recreation and entertainment (p = 0.321)
* p-values calculated using Kendall’s rank correlation coefficient
Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
Define sustainability in your own words…
42%* of students appeared to have
changed their definitions of sustainability
17%* of those students (10%* of total)
appeared to have broadened their definitions.
* alpha = 0.05
Conclusions
• Students and faculty learned together
• Student-driven conversations had a diverse group of participants
• Students’ definitions of sustainability changed and/or broadened
• Social media use patterns changed (more career-focused?)
• Twitter and YouTube allowed for global participation
(but what about internet inequity? who pays for these costs?)
Perhaps still not enough evidence to confirm that the types of exchanges
between course participants actually do signify the development of a
“global community of scholars” (but still more data to analyze)
Future Work
• Code more tweets and conversation strings
• Analyze qualitative data from surveys
• Monitor post-course social network use patterns
• When course is offered again, make changes:
– Platform for discussions (character limit, public/private sphere)
– Video length <5 min.
26
Thank you!
Acknowledgements
• This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under
Grant 1243510, as well as a Graduate Research Fellowship awarded to the lead author. Any
opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of
the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.
• Slides 2, 10 and 11:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
References
National Research Council. Engineering Education Tasks for the New Century: Japanese and
U.S. Perspectives. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 1999.
Bielefeldt, A.R., Paterson, K., Swan, C. 2010. Measuring the Value Added from Service Learning in
Project-Based Engineering Education. International Journal of Engineering Education, 26(3), 535-546.
Hokanson, D.R., Phillips, L.D., Mihelcic, J.R. 2007. Educating Engineers in the Sustainable Futures Model
with a Global Perspective: Education, Research and Diversity Initiatives. International Journal of
Engineering Education, 23(2), 254-265.
Trotz, M.A., Muga, H.E., Philips, L.D., Yeh, D., Stuart, A., Mihelcic, J.R. 2009. Non-Traditional University
Research Partners that Facilitate Service Learning and Graduate Research for Sustainable Development.
Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, S. Starrett, ed., American
Society of Civil Engineers, Kansas City, MO, 2038–2048.
Wegerif, R. and Mercer, N. (1997) A Dialogical Framework for Investigating Talk. In Wegerif, R. and
Scrimshaw, P. (Eds) Computers and Talk in the Primary Classroom, pp 49-65. Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters. ISBN: 1853593915
Bloom, B.S. (1994). Reflections on the development and use of the taxonomy. In Rehage, K.J., Anderson,
L.W., Sosniak, L.A. "Bloom's taxonomy: A forty-year retrospective". Yearbook of the National Society for
the Study of Education, Chicago: National Society for the Study of Education.
Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (3rd
ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Feldman, A. (1999) The role of conversation in collaborative action research, Educational Action Research,
7:1, 125-147
• Social Media Use slide:
– http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/443384/Internet_speeds_and_prices_in_.html
• Images on slides 4 and 5:
–
–
–
http://www.kaleidoscopeadventures.com/zcant-decide-where-to-go/
http://www.ministeriodesarrollosocial.gob.cl/noticias-lista-historico.php?page=205&texto2=&id_region=
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/when-should-you-buy-your-child-a-smartphone-80304155120.html
28
“GRAVEYARD” SLIDES
Pre- and Post-Course Surveys
Define sustainability in your own words…
NOT CHANGED
CHANGED
BROADENED
Content Analysis of Discussion
Questions from Twitter Chats
(n = 65 questions)
Bloom’s Taxonomy

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