Citation: Erkollar, A., & Orberer, B. (2011). Trends in Social Media Application: The Potential of Google+ for Education Shown in the Example of a Bachelor’s Degree Course on Marketing. Communications in Computer and Information Science, 257, 569-578.
Summary: Authors review features of Google+ and consider what parts of Google+ might support teaching and learning in general and in a Marketing course.
- Social media in education raises privacy concerns. Google Plus could allow better privacy controls through the concept of circles.
- Circles allow instructors to set up a list of people in a class they want to share information with.
- Hangouts can be used for videoconferencing with people in a circle.
- "This could be helpful for online office hours, explaining assignments, talking about projects, group work or communicating with students completing a project..."
- Sparks could be used in class for searching and sharing course relevant content.
- Huddle could be used to share links and build a classroom community.
- Students may not want to go to a separate system like Blackboard to access information online. This might require too much effort. A social network that students like to use may solve this. However, a network like Facebook, which blends private and public interactions, is not ideal either. Google + allows you to limit sharing of information to group of people who should receive it.
- It is possible to use a network like Facebook through a separate account set up for teaching and learning.
- Authors taught a semester long marketing course using Google+
- Three parts
- Lecture with classwork
- Student projects in 3-5 person groups
- Product testing
- "Social network sites are 'web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and th ose made by others within the system' (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).
- "Circles are contacts that you can group, using different criteria for grouping, such as interests, types of contact..."
- "Sparks is a customized way of searching and sharing and follows an interest-based approach. Sparks offers the possibility to enter keywords and shows a list of results matching these keywords . . . An important feature is that the results of such sparks can also be shared with circles or selected people."
- "Huddle...is 'a group messaging experience that lets everyone inside the circle know what's going on, right this second.'"
Questions Raised by Authors
- Can students be added to circles without an active Google+ account be added by sending email to their current account?
- Can a student be added to more than one circle?
- Can circles be stored in an archive after a semester?
- Can an instructor re-use content from this semester in future semesters?
- Can content generated in one circle be copied to another course?
- Can sparks be shared with multiple circles?