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Why teach a fish to swim? A design-based research study incorporating social media into the professional writing curriculum to shape professional practice and identity

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Why teach a fish to swim? A design-based research study incorporating social media into the professional writing curriculum to shape professional practice and identity

Novakovich, Jeanette (2016) Why teach a fish to swim? A design-based research study incorporating social media into the professional writing curriculum to shape professional practice and identity. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Research has found that professional communicators are not prepared for the challenges that social media presents and face a number of barriers due to a lack of social media knowledge and skills. Correspondingly, higher education has failed to include enough social media and online content to provide learners with the necessary skills for professional practice. Furthermore, the neoliberal objective to shape a flexible workforce has engendered a new form of professionalism that tasks individuals with developing an incorporated branded self. Within the framework of the higher education curriculum, social media can perform two roles for learners: foster workforce competences and provide an authentic community of practice to comodify their brand. The issue for educators is that no comprehensive studies have fully examined the incorporation of a social media component into a professional writing course, identifying the barriers, skills, and processes that facilitate or foster the professionalization of the tools for learners and enable them to use these technologies both appropriately and strategically. This dissertation employed a design-based research methodology to systematically study how to design an effective learning environment for the integration of social media technologies and addressed the following research questions:
• What problems might educators face when integrating social media practices into the curriculum?
• How can social media technologies facilitate professional identity formation to bridge the transition from the everyday practices of learners to professional practices?
The study spanned the time period 2012-2016 and involved the developing, testing, investigating, and refining of a yearlong professional writing course, which included the tools, curriculum, activities, software, and theoretical constructs for the course design (Reeves, 2006, p. 58). The results indicated that students lacked agency on social networks and required guidance when articulating modes of online authenticity. The final iteration of the course design effectively produced a virtual community of practice, as measured through learning analytics, and provided a means to shape professional social media practices and foster professional identity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Novakovich, Jeanette
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Educational Technology
Date:12 August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shaw, Steven
ID Code:981486
Deposited By: JEANETTE NOVAKOVICH
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 15:03
Last Modified:15 Sep 2018 00:00
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