small-classroom-lecture YuJa offers a practical and easy way for instructors to engage with students, using familiar social media tools. The “Connected Classroom: extends beyond lecture capture to engaging and interactive multimedia discussion forums, video podcasting, the creation of learning channels and much more. While YuJa facilitates interaction between instructors and students, it also encourages student interaction and collaboration.

Brief Introduction to Social Learning

Social learning isn’t about Facebook and Twitter, it’s about engaging students in an immersive learning experience:
  • Shared audio and video.
  • Podcasts, both audio and video.
  • Discussion forums.
  • Shared files and presentations, including PDF or PowerPoint files.

Why Should You Incorporate Social Learning?

Social learning resonates with a generation familiar and already engaged with social media. More than 80 percent of young adults, between 18 and 29, already make use of some form of social media. Including social media as part of the classroom experience actively meets the students where they are, relying upon familiar contexts to encourage learning unfamiliar material. Since the majority of students are familiar with these tools, they adapt easily to using them as part of the learning environment. Additionally, since YuJa incorporates varied forms of social media interaction in a self-contained environment, it allows those students who may not make use of Twitter or other common social media to engage in an educational setting and incorporate these tools into their learning processes.

The Benefits of Social Media for Students

The use of social media encourages an engaging and collaborative space for students and instructor, promoting higher levels of student engagement in the learning process. Higher levels of student engagement result in positive student learning outcomes, including both critical thinking skills and improved student achievement and academic success (Carini, Kuh, & Klein, 2006). Through the use of social media, students develop improved relationships with instructors and one another, increase their understanding of the subject matter in the class, and create a virtual student community with the ability to assist and support one another (Fewkes & McCabe, 2012). The integration of social media into the classroom, as with YuJa’s connected classroom, promotes collaboration and community among students, helps them to learn to work together and encourages an enterprise video style. The use of information technology by students, in any form, is associated with improved student outcomes and academic achievement (Nelson, Laird and Kuh, 2005). Social media allows you to share information technology with students outside the classroom. This includes lecture captures and video podcasts, but also other online resources, including files and media. For students, the use of social media tools provides:
  • Increased student engagement.
  • Positive learning outcomes.
  • Improved relationships with faculty and peers.
  • Higher academic achievement.
By opting for an academic setting, like YuJa, for social media interaction among your students, you limit the potential for off-topic discussion and can easily monitor conversations and keep discussions focused and on-topic. With increasing concerns about cyber-bullying and inappropriate internet behavior, the use of a single, focused social media platform is a practical way to maintain student conduct. Convenient tools, including video quizzes and polls, make it simple to track student understanding and increase social media participation.
  Carini, R. M., Kuh, G. D., & Klein, S. P. (2006). Student engagement and student learning: Testing the linkages. Research in Higher Education, 47(1), 1-32. doi: 10.1007/s11162-005-8150-9 Fewkes, A. M., & McCabe, M. (2012). Facebook: Learning tool or distraction? Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 28(3), 92-98. Nelson Laird, T. F., & Kuh, G. D. (2005). Student experiences with information technology and their relationship to other aspects of student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 46, 211-233. doi: 10.1007/s11162-004-1600-y Tarantino, K., McDonough, J. & Hue, M. (2013). Effects of Student Engagement with Social Media on Student Learning: A Review of Literature. The Journal of Technology in Student Affairs. Summer 2013. Web.