Researching online social behaviour

Designed into these learning stories:


Teachers are becoming more aware of the opportunity to use social media to support learning because of its impact outside the classroom. There is concern as well as excitement about these online opportunities, creating a need for teachers to reflect on these social media experiences with their students.


My students and I are reflecting on our online social media experience.  We recently viewed a blog as part of our learning and have been drawn to user comments and their appropriateness. I want to use these sorts of online forums in my teaching so I feel it important to address this. We decide that together we will research online social behaviour.

I undertake an activity that supports my students to identify online behaviours they encounter by using anonymous response devices or other anonymous means so that all students can share their experiences,

including those which may not have been positive. We then explore whether there are categories of online behaviours (eg acceptable, helpful, appropriate, un-acceptable, unhelpful etc).

I want students to explore other people’s opinions about and experiences of certain online behaviours that interest them (eg making new friends, creating an online identity, online bullying, online pranks) through developing a research project that uses digital media as a tool.

I support students to devise a research question and present students with a range of tools that they can use to gather data for their research.  Students suggest ways they can use these tools and identify others they know of.  They undertake their research in collaborative groups or individually.

The students are supported to make sense of their data and present their findings in a format of their choice (eg video, podcast, poster, presentation) in the context of a class research conference to which an audience of our choice is invited, such as parents, other classes, teachers and members of the local community.

We use their findings to create guidance for our own online interactions. We then share these online and invite constructive comments.

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