Mobilizing Faculty into the Future: Using Online Technology as Teaching Tools

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Facebook & Google+ in Computer Production & Imaging (Adobe Photoshop)

Paul Kopco

Research Environment & Social Media Used:

Mass Communication

Computer Production

& Imaging 315


Google +


10 Students


The purpose of this study was to provide online students a richer educational experience by using common social media

outlets, providing them a way to interact with each other as they would in a classroom setting, without having to

resort to hard-to-set-up and hard-to-understand methods and technologies. Since group conferencing had recently

been built into Google+, and since many people have Google accounts via Gmail or YouTube, I thought this would be a

reasonable solution to face-to-face communication. Also, creating a Facebook page for the course would allow sharing

and critiquing of class projects.

Assignment as Given to Students:

To participate in the Facebook page and to acquire a Google account if they didn't have one.


Methodology 1 - Purpose:

While many students view YouTube constantly for entertainment, many did not feel YouTube was okay for research.

Another problematic view is the assumption that if it is on YouTube, it must be accurate. By requiring they learn the

process of posting a YouTube video, they could see how simple it is for anyone to post. By requiring a YouTube source

in their research, they had to view many opinions. All writing is an argument because writing reflects the author’s

view of the subject. The same thought goes for uploaded videos. Validity and reliability are key in research.

Methodology 2 - Process:

There are many proprietary solutions for online group participation and interaction, such as the Elluminate web conferencing

tool in use at BHSU with web, audio, video, and social networking solutions that allow students, faculty,

and staff to communicate using current technology. But rather than requiring students to access and learn a new

technology from scratch, I was hoping there would be a more familiar solution to group interaction using the social

media outlets they are already used to.

Methodology 3 – Practical Issues:

A Facebook page was created for the course where students could upload their Photoshop projects and I could post

course-related links and announcements. A Google+ circle was created for the purpose of adding students, which required

the students to have a Google account, whether through Gmail, YouTube, or Google+.


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