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Web 2.0, learning and teaching policies

Educational institutions and information services recognise that learning and teaching take place in physical and virtual environments (e.g. Bruns, 2007; Calvi & Cassella, 2013; Conole, 2013). The rapid growth and dynamic nature of Web 2.0 tools and technologies for teaching and learning located both internal and external to an institution’s managed environment necessitates the creation, adoption and dissemination of social media guidelines for teaching and learning to ensure ethical and professional standards guiding the use of institutional resources and teaching and learning practice.

The adoption of social media tools and technologies in teaching and learning at Queensland University of Technology are seen as enablers for communication and collaboration (QUT, 2014, p.1). Blended teaching and learning approaches are promoted and are seen as drivers of student-focused learning environments which maximise engagement and meet the University’s real-world learning agenda. However, while public domain social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and wikis are recognised as important platforms in the educational landscape, supporting collaboration and online communities of practice, they also create different ways of behaving in these environments.

To support staff and students QUT has published a range of policy documents and guides such as the Social Media Guidelines for Learning and Teaching to communicate ethical use and behaviours expected of QUT staff and students in their use of social networking tools and technologies as part of learning and teaching.

Policies and guidelines

This guideline is available to staff and student on the QUT website and address practices such as:

  • Appropriate standards of behaviour
  • Appropriate use of social media
  • Privacy
  • Terms of service
  • Copyright and intellectual property
  • Branding
  • Assessment
  • Conformance to QUT’s Blended learning policy.

Other policy and guidelines which also guide the use of technologies in the delivery and assessment of learning include:

  • Mobile apps in learning and teaching: Guidelines for use at QUT
  • Class recording guidelines for learning and teaching
  • Acceptable use of information technology resources
  • Supporting policy and practice.

Support

While the video Department of Human Services Media Policy is an example of a valuable resource to inform best practice, QUT ensures that educators are supported and guided on the adoption and implication of social media policies and guidelines for their teaching and learning practices through the dedication of Learning Designers to each Faculty. These designers not only provide a range of services to support academics to embed social media technologies into learning and teaching practices, they also deliver training around University policy regarding the use of social networking for teaching and assessment. The advantage of this approach is that educators are personally supported on and off campus to navigate a dynamic, changing environment with just-in-time training and one on one appointments.

References

Bruns, A. (2007). Produsage: Towards a broader framework for user-led content creation. In Proceedings Creativity and Cognition6. Washington DC. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf

Calvi., L. & Cassella, M. (2013). Scholarship 2.0: Analyzing scholars’ use of Web 2.0 tools in research and teaching activity. Liber Quarterly, 23(2), 110-133. doi: 10.18352/lq.8108

Conole, G. (2013). Open, social and participatory media. In G. Conole, Designing for leaning in an open world (pp.48-63). New York Springer.

Queensland University of Technology. (2014). Social Media Guidelines for Learning and Teaching.Retrieved from https://qutvirtual4.qut.edu.au/group/staff/teaching/teaching-with-technology/policy-and-guidelines/about

Queensland University of Technology. (2016). Reports, Policies and Plans. Retrieved from https://qutvirtual4.qut.edu.au/group/staff/teaching/teaching-with-technology/policy-and-guidelines/about/reports-policies-plans

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