Breaking down the walls: Using social media to build authentic, open, networked communities in online courses

Spotlight Talk July 27, 2017 10:00 am - 10:45 am

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Alec Couros, Professor, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
In the past decade, technology and social media have radically transformed almost all aspects of our lives, bringing with them tremendous opportunities for learning. But despite the incredible possibilities of social tools, institutions of higher education have been slow to leverage their potential, and there continues to be a deep disconnect between the emerging digital world and pedagogical practice.

In this presentation, Dr. Alec Couros will describe the ways in which we might bring social media into online courses in meaningful ways that support student learning. Using rich examples, Dr. Couros will illustrate the many benefits of “thinning” the classroom walls in order to help in build a vibrant course community that endures well beyond the end of the course, as well as to create opportunities for students to connect to online networks and authentic communities of practice. Additionally, he will discuss ways in which we might leverage social tools in order to help students develop professional digital identities and to enable them to become self-directed, autonomous learners who are well-equipped to thrive in our rapidly changing digital world.

Alec Couros


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