Researching Students’ Experience of Social Media Use as an Informal Learning Platform
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The purpose of this article is to explore students’ experience of social media use as an informal learning platform in the international perspective. In accordance, the main focus of this exploratory study is to reveal the use of social media for informal learning of Masters level students of an international Institute of Education in the United Kingdom. Initially, for setting the context of the study, this article begins with some background information about social media and informal learning. Then, consequently, it describes the whole research design process along with students’ experience. Data is collected through focus group discussion and questionnaire from the students of different countries, where diversified contexts of students created multidimensional data which enriches the article. Data reveals that, in this age of advanced technology, students use social media as a modern interactive communication channel to communicate, share ideas, experiences, message, pictures, videos and information of interest. Moreover, students find the use of social media helpful in terms of supporting one another in their learning, arranging study groups, managing group works, coordinating meetings, and communicating each other. On the contrary, the most significant demerit of social media students mentioned is the distracting nature of social media; and students become easily addicted to these media which distracts their focuses of learning. Nevertheless, critical analysis of their experience and opinion are made, and some important issues are revealed, which are considered as recommendations for future prospects of social media use in informal learning.
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