Social Media and the Learning Experience

Home > Blog > Social Media and the Learning Experience
Social Media and the Learning Experience

Nov 19, 2021

I believe that social media is a unique way to engage students in the learning process. Social media is relevant, comprehensive and second-nature to many students. As a result, it is an effective way to interweave course material with concepts and practices students are already interested in. Professors could use social media to improve the learning experience by utilizing social media platforms to discuss topics and tying in social media concepts to reinforce the course content.

Social media is an excellent tool for facilitating discussion in the classroom. In my Communication Theory class, we would learn about a theory, watch a video clip that exhibited the communication practice and complete a series of live tweets using the hashtag, #Com200. With this, we could interact with our professor and read about what our classmates posted. It was a fun alternative to writing discussion posts in the “Forums” tab of Courses. Moreover, the limited character count on Twitter ensured that students’ posts were concise and constructive. Allowing the discussion to occur on Twitter enabled a more organic culture for conversation and an innovative way to freely express our thoughts (use of emojis, other hashtags, gifs, etc.). Usually, students dread having to write and respond to discussion posts, but doing it on Twitter was a creative way to interact with the material.

For communication-related classes in general, social media is a practical method for integrating class concepts. In my Digital Media and Public Relations class, we sought out companies’ social media profiles to see how they branded themselves. We used social media to identify how personal and professional branding has evolved in the digital landscape. We learned about social media scandals involving organizations, their employees or CEOs, to learn the “do’s and don’ts” of running a social media account. We also operated social media accounts as part of a project to get a firsthand account of the necessary elements to make one’s account successful on a particular platform. Though I am relatively active on social media, analyzing it from this perspective was fresh and exciting. With interactive features on social media like polls, question boxes and videos, social media is a great tool to prompt participation. Social media is an integral part of our everyday lives and some of our prospective careers. Applying the material to social media and its practices enables students to conceptualize the material better and prepare for upcoming circumstances.

Another helpful way to use social media to enhance the learning experience is to create assignments that allow students to connect with social media to complete. Professors can reference social media accounts that display quick, informative videos or comprehensive infographics surrounding the topic at hand or create their own content to disseminate the information. Students can take advantage of learning this new information by easily saving the post or following the account. Since students are already heavily active on social media, it is beneficial to integrate social media into the classroom. It provides a means for students to demonstrate their creativity, expand their digital fluency, and innovatively explore class material.

Kyla Moore, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: "How could your professors use social media to improve the learning experience?" The class covers copyright and social media. Kyla is a Public Relations and Hispanic Studies major.

Sign Up for Pfeiffer Law's Monthly Newsletter

Contact Jon and his team today.