Online Social Networks as Formal Learning Environments: Learner Experiences and Activities

George Veletsianos, Cesar C. Navarrete, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Feb 01, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article presents "a case study of learners’ perspectives and experiences in an online course taught using the Elgg online social network." We haven't heard a lot about Elgg recently but it remains an important model for online learning. One weakness of the case study is that it takes place in a traditional institution. "Results also indicate that students limited their participation to course-related and graded activities, exhibiting little use of social networking and sharing." Then again, this might just be a feature of the (very) small group studied. I think the discussion of Elgg is valuable, but would place the case study as just one out of (we would hope) many data points.
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