Social media tools can complement effective teaching strategies that encourage students to practice reflexive, communicative, critical thinking and problem solving skills in collaborative environments. Other drivers for the uptake of social media tools in teaching and learning include:
Student engagement and experience: Student engagement is linked with high-quality learning outcomes while interactions—with teachers, peers and content— is identified as an important aspect of engagement and the overall student experience.
Active learning: There is a wide body of research on the effectiveness of active learning to increase learner engagement through a range of learning activities designed to promote higher order thinking such as peer instruction, case-based learning and problem solving activities.
Access to information & technology: Several UQ surveys indicate that the majority of students own some sort of smart device with access to a vast array of useful information to research, curate, assimilate and share.
Student-centred and social learning: Contemporary theories of learning suggest that learning is more meaningful when designed from the point of view of the learner who is able to construct, contribute and resynthesise knowledge with a cohort of learners.
Digital literacy and citizenship: Embedding social media tools in teaching and learning also provides opportunities to promote good practices in using technology to support research skills, information and digital literacy as well as protocols and cultural mores for digital citizenship.