For information about the conference “Social Media in Academia: Research and Teaching” please click here.

For information about the book “Social Media in Higher Education: Teaching in Web 2.0” (edited by Monica Patrut and Bogdan Patrut) please click here.

“Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges”

Books published by IGI Global, 2012


  • Bogdan Patrut, “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania
  • Monica Patrut, “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania
  • Camelia Cmeciu, “Danubius” University of Galati, Romania

Editorial Advisory Board (provisional)

  • Luciana Duranti, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Martin Ebner, Graz University of Technology, Austria
  • Miikka Eriksson, University of Lapland, Finland
  • Mercedes Fisher, Milwaukee Area Technical College.
  • Olena Goroshko, The National Technical University: Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine
  • Gabriela Grosseck, West University of Timisoara, Romania
  • Carmen Holoţescu, Politehnica University Timisoara, Romania


This book is scheduled to be published by the IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), a prestigious international publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2012.

For information:

Dr. Bogdan Patrut

Department of Mathematics, Informatics, and Education Sciences

“Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania

Tel.: +40 234 20 60 90  GSM: +40 728 88 22 88, +40 741 63 81 82 



Provisional Table of Contents

1. Pedagogical Challenges of Social Media in Academia


O - Student-Faculty Communication on Facebook: Prospective Learning Enhancement and Boundaries

Laurenţiu Şoitu, “Alexandru Ion Cuza” University of Iaşi, Romania

Laura Păuleţ-Crăiniceanu, “Alexandru Ion Cuza” University of Iaşi, Romania

13023 words

This chapter addresses the topic of Facebook use in education, with focus on the learning issues concerning the student-faculty relations and communication on this Social Network. Its main purpose is to reveal academics’ general and particular attitudes towards the use of Facebook with instructional aim. Therefore, it presents a generous theoretical perspective on the emerging phenomenon of Social Networks integration on education, in the United States mainly. Further on, it puts side by side these views with the findings of a particular, empirical study conducted by the authors. A survey applied to a sample of Facebook users from “Alexadru Ioan Cuza” University from Iaşi, Romania (N=160) revealed that the academics partially agreed that the use of Facebook is suitable for educational exchanges. Whilst the literature suggested that students have more positive attitudes than faculty towards the use of Facebook in education, this present study doesn’t support this view.


P - Integrating Mobile Learning, Digital Storytelling and Social Media in Vocational Learning

Miikka Eriksson, University of Lapland, Finland

Pauliina Tuomi, Tampere University of Technology, Finland

Hanna Vuojärvi, University of Lapland

12604 words

In this chapter the focus falls on integrating mobile learning, digital storytelling and social media into vocational learning practices. The literature review introduces the development of mobile learning and digital storytelling and presents ways in which these concepts can piggyback the interactive features of social media. A case study during which participating students used mobile phones and videos with a mobile social video application (MoViE) to design and produce representative digital stories based on local tourism attractions is also presented. Twenty-five students participated in the internet inquiry about student attitudes towards the use of social media as part of their vocational expertise and their learning experiences with mobile devices and MoViE. This chapter will illustrate the benefits as well as the shortcomings of the used learning concept in order to produce more concrete knowledge of the use of mobile devices and social video applications in learning.


B - How Social Design Influences Student Retention and Self-Motivation in Online Learning Environments

Derek E. Baird, Disney Interactive, Palo Alto, CA, United States of America

Mercedes Fisher, Milwaukee Area Technical College, United States of America

6590 words

Investigating the social structure that works in online courses helps us design for and facilitate student collaboration. The integration of social technologies, and collaborative activities into the course design has a positive influence on student retention in online courses. In this chapter, we present an exploratory study of computer mediated groups which utilized this collaborative based model to participate in online and/or blended learning courses. Participants were put into groups and observed as they constructed new knowledge using both online dialogue (synchronous and asynchronous), and social media technologies (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wiki) as tools to support and facilitate their learning in the program.


J - Future Learning Spaces: The Potential and Practice of Learning 2.0 in Higher Education

Dr Charlotte Holland, Dublin City University, Ireland

Dr Miriam Judge, Dublin City University, Ireland

13012 words

Higher education’ institutions are promoting the integration of online technologies in teaching and learning as an attempt to provide flexible modes of delivery, to diversify the profile of students accessing higher education and to facilitate the development of life-long learning skills.  The availability of personal digital devices, such as wireless laptops and mobile phones, and campus-wide Internet connectivity has the potential to enhance or detract from learning in higher education.  This chapter explores the trend towards online learning in higher education, examining the potential of and current practices in the integration of Information and Communication Technologies, focusing on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning, and presenting some of the challenges that arise in the integration of online technologies and implementation of Learning 2.0 in higher education.


2. Social Media as a Mean for Current Education


I - Enhancing Social Presence and Communities of Practice in Distance Education Courses through Social Media

Lori B. Holcomb, North Carolina State University, United States

Matthew Krüger-Ross, Simon Fraser University, Canada

10894 words

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact social media has on the development of communities of practice and social development in distance education courses. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the integration of social media tools including Ning in Education (an educational social networking tool), Twitter, and WordPress into three distance education courses in instructional technology. The social media tools were examined to identify the educational and pedagogical benefits each tool affords. Utilizing a mixed-method methodology, student data was collected through a series of three online surveys coupled with student interviews.  The pre-/post- data collected as part of this study provides empirically based findings indicating that social media technologies can help support online communities of practice as well as the development of social presence.  Data analyzed from student interviews provides data triangulation in addition to a richer and deeper understanding of the pedagogical affordances social media tools provide.


K - Framing Non-Formal Education through CSR 2.0

Bogdan Pătruț, “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania

Monica Pătruț, “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania

Camelia Cmeciu, Danubius University of Galați, Romania

11998 words

Schools and universities are not the only providers of knowledge any longer. Other types of organizations have become aware that a solid public-serving reason should lie beyond the firm-serving motive. “Doing well by doing good” has been the syntagm that prevails nowadays in the organizational discourse focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns. This chapter has a twofold aim: to highlight two paradigmatic shifts (CSR 1.0 → CSR 2.0 & formal education → non-formal education); to provide an analysis of the Web 2.0 practices and items ad of the verbal and visual framing devices used in a CSR 2.0 campaign on non-formal financial education. Social media have provided the applications to put into practice the concept of edutainment specific to non-formal education since educators get a multifold identity, being, at the same time, generators and receivers of knowledge.


A - Social Media Audit and Analytics: Exercises for Marketing and Public Relations Courses

Ana Adi, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom

10072 words

Beyond influencing the ways we communicate and we do business, social media is currently challenging traditional higher education in many respects: from the way in which courses are delivered and students interact with each other and with their lecturers to the content that the courses cover. In particular, the emergence of the social media specialist working in marketing-communications, creative industries or journalism, and their use of ever-changing content management and analytics tools require adaptation of courses to the constant changes in industry. Starting from two case studies of teaching social media auditing and analytics as part of courses taught in Belgium and Bahrain, this chapter aims to present a model exercise for marketing and public relations classrooms covering these topics. The discussion of the challenges of teaching social media audit and analytics emphasizes the need of more and constant collaboration between academia and industry as well as the need to ensure that students have a high level of media literacy before they embark on such a career route.


3. National Examples of Good Practices of Social Media in Academia


N - Functions of Social Media in Higher Education: A Case Study

Violeta Maria Șerbu, The Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Romania

11982 words

This chapter aims to explore some critical functions that social media is playing for the internal processes included in an alternative higher education model – The Alternative University, developed in Romania, since 2007. This case study highlights challenges and opportunities associated with using this new communication as well as information technologies in order to generate effective learning environments. The collaborative and student-centered traits of higher education models using social media for learning activities are mainly treated in our study. Functions such as connecting people, sharing knowledge, collaboratively generating knowledge, community building, management platform, accumulation and construction of knowledge, knowledge assessment, raising learning motivation, personal branding or networking are identified as important assets of social media for their use in a higher education setting.


C - An Users’ Perspective on Academic Blogging: Case-study on a Romanian Group of Students

Mihai Deac, PhD, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Ioan Hosu, PhD, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania

8631 words

There has been much research dedicated to the use of blogs in higher education, but a great deal of its enthusiasm is based on data that have the potential to be distorted by social desirability. The current chapter attempts a more balanced look at the use of educational blogs, taking into account the shortcomings, as well as the benefits of their proliferation amongst students. We write from the perspective of the blog users. Although their feedback is mostly positive, user behavior is also affected by fear of peer appraisal, lack of engagement, lack of trust or unwillingness to share knowledge or to debate. In order to support our argumentation, we use traffic data from the educational blog “blogdeseminar”, survey data from a convenience sample of Romanian students, and qualitative data from 11 interviews.  


D - Uses and Implementation of Social Media at University:The Case of Schools of Communication in Spain

María-Jesús Díaz-González, University of A-Coruña, Spain

Natalia Quintas Froufe, University of A-Coruña, Spain

Almudena González del Valle Brena, Bureau Veritas Business School, Spain

Francesc Pumarola, Expert in Internet issues, Spain

8792 words

There have been many contributions to scientific literature which have helped develop a theoretical framework in the field of education and Information Technologies. The contributions have come from the educational sciences and from the communication processes and collaboration perspectives. The purpose of this chapter is to make a contribution within the specific scope of university teaching and social media. In order to achieve this objective, a case study methodology was chosen to analyze the use and implementations of social media networks in Spanish Schools of Communication. The parameters used were chosen out of the same social media nature (potential use). The success of social media presence at Schools of Communications must follow an initial plan and a further control and supervision of the plan. The relationship of social media with the university community depends greatly upon the specific community manager's profile and commitment.


M - Web Use in Public Relations Education: A Portuguese Example

Sónia Pedro Sebastião, ISCSP - School of Social and Political Sciences, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, CAPP – Center for Administration and Public Policies, Portugal

8942 words

The chapter relates several of the difficulties associated with public relations as an academic subject. Bearing these obstacles in mind, a public relations academic program has been defined, along with, a teaching strategy using web-based social media (blog and facebook profile) to communicate with students. The main purposes of the research are: to understand how university students see public relations as a subject and to ascertain their attitude toward the importance of using web-based communication tools in the assessment of public relations disciplines. The results have shown that students understand that the use of web-social media is important to their academic life and to their relationship with the teacher. Nevertheless, it is also recognized that the use of technological tools must be followed by motivation, interest in the subject of public relations and in general academic work.


S - Social Media Usage among University Students in Malaysia

Norsiah Abdul Hamid, Universiti Utara Malaysia

5299 words

This chapter discussed a research conducted in a university setting which involved 405 undergraduate students. The aim of this research is to determine the relationships between social media and personality traits particularly in identifying the profile of social media adoption among students in Malaysia, including duration, frequency of use, purpose, and person/s that introduced the social media, and determining the relationships between social media and personality traits.


Q - Social Media and other Web 2.0 Technologies as Communication Channels in a Cross-Cultural, Web-Based Professional Communication Project

Pavel Zemliansky, University of Central Florida, USA

Olena Goroshko, The National Technical University: Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine

8230 words

In recent years, cross-national web-based teaching projects have become very popular in many fields. During such projects, participants from different countries work together on collaborative tasks. Communications among project participants take place over the Internet, including via social media. In this chapter, we report the results of social media use in one such project, which brought together students from the United States and Ukraine. A pre and post project survey taken by the participants demonstrate the main opportunities and challenges afforded by social media to educators. The reporting and analysis of the survey results are preceded by a review of relevant literature, which contextualizes our findings.


E-Learning Records: Are There Any to Manage? If so, How?

Luciana Duranti and Elizabeth Shaffer, University of British Columbia, Canada

10310 words

Through the lens of an archival theoretical framework, this chapter examines the digital outputs of the use of social media applications by students, faculty and educational institutions, and discusses the need to control and manage their creation, use, maintenance and preservation. The authors draw on a case study that explores the identification, arrangement, description and preservation of students’ records produced in an eLearning environment in Singapore and is used as a starting point to highlight and discuss the implications that the use of social media in education can have for the management and preservation of educational institutions’ records as evidence of their activity and of students’ learning, to fulfill legal and accountability requirements.  The authors also discuss how the use of social media by educators in the classroom environment facilitates the creation of records that raise issues of intellectual property and copyright, ownership and privacy; issues that can further impact their maintenance and preservation.


4. The Impact of Social Media Technologies on the Academic Environment

F - The Influence of Twitter on the Academic Environment

Martin Ebner, Social Learning, Computer and Information Services, Graz University of Technology, Austria

5930 words

In the last few years microblogging has become a phenomenon of our daily live. Communicating, sharing media files, as well as acting on digital social communities platforms using mobile devices assist our everyday activities in a complete new way. Therefore it is very reasonable that academic environments are influenced arbitrarily too. In this publication different settings for the use of microblogging are pointed out – for teaching and learning as well as for further scientific purposes such as professional conferences. It can be summarized that there are different possibilities to use microblogging in an academic context; each of them are new advantages for the academic life. The publication gives a short overview and a first insight into the various ways to use microblogging.


G - The Impact of Social Media on Scholarly Practices in Higher Education: Online Engagement and ICTs Appropriation in Senior, Young and Doctoral Researchers

Antonella Esposito, University of Milan, Italy

12831 words

This chapter reports selected findings from a small-scale, exploratory study aiming to provide a 'snapshot' of actual modes of uptake of new digital tools for research purposes. The study consists in an interview project, carried out in a large Italian university and constituted by semi-structured interviews to 14 senior, young and doctoral researchers, working in Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine and Physics subject areas. Whereas the most popular attitude is a pragmatic and efficiency-driven approach in selecting and using old and new tools, a few isolated profiles of ‘digital scholars’ emerge, championing the construction of their digital identity along with networked modes of knowledge production and distribution, despite the lack of legitimation of their own research context.


H - Academic Perspectives on Microblogging

Gabriela Grosseck, West University of Timisoara, Romania

Carmen Holotescu, Politehnica University of Timisoara / Timsoft, Romania

Bogdan Patrut, “Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacau, Romania

14500 words

The Web, as a socio-technical environment, comprises various means of interactions, as well as the social practices related to their use. In the online landscape structured on four axes of interactions: communication, collaboration, creation and curation, the microblogging is seen as a new social media revolution.

It is quite demanding to write about microblogging in general, and writing a comprehensive study on its dissemination and pedagogical potential can present even more problems. Even if this social media instrument has come into use only relatively recently (the first platforms appeared six years ago, in 2006), more and more educators, practitioners and researchers worldwide are actively involved in finding, testing and sharing educational uses for microblogging. This chapter introduces the phenomenon of microblogging and presents the most relevant options for educators. The chapter has a descriptive character, and it is structured into two large parts that provide a general-to-specific approach of both theoretical and practical aspects related to the microblogging phenomenon and the impact of microblogs in the educational space.


T - Digital Literacy for Effective Communication in the New Academic Environment: The Educational Blogs

Ruxandra Vasilescu, Spiru Haret University

Manuela Epure, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

Nadia Florea, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest

10957 words

‘The fixity’ of knowledge, the accumulation of fix elements of knowledge no longer meets the requirements of nowadays society. The capacity of change, adaptation and constant updating of these elements according to individual needs, but also to the needs of the various contexts the knowledge must be used is a prerequisite of social integration for the graduate. Education stepped into the era of deep reforms based on new concepts: student-centered learning, informal education, personal learning environment, stating that „to teach means to model and to demonstrate; to learn means to practice and to consider”. The information technology provides to the new student with the learning environemnt he/she needs in the new context, connects him/her rapidly to the up-to-date information and to the rest of the world. Finding new ways of recreating student community on the background of the change of the student structure, the profile of the new student, their interests and individual learning habits on the one hand and the main challenges of the workforce training/retraining for the current and future information society is the main concern of this chapter. Due to the spectacular extension of the Internet use, the blog is a solution for the development of the student community, for social interaction and serves as an alternative or extension of classroom discourse.


L - Implementation of Augmented Reality in “3.0 Learning” Methodology:

Case Studies with Students of Architecture Degree

Ernest Redondo, Isidro Navarro, Departamento de Expresión Gráfica Arquitectónica – Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech, Spain

Albert Sánchez, Departamento de Expresión Gráfica Arquitectónica II – Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería de Edificación de Barcelona. Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Spain

David Fonseca, Departamento de Arquitectura – Arquitectura La Salle. Universitat Ramón Llull, Spain

10402 words

This chapter discusses the impact of using social media resources and new emerging technologies in teaching and learning processes. We are focused in Spanish architecture-education framework, by analyzing three case studies, carried out by students finishing architecture and building degrees. Students interaction with this resources is assessed, as well as their derived academic results, and the degree of satisfaction from students and teachers using these resources and technologies. To conduct the study, we worked with web based freeware applications, such as Dropbox, blogging systems, Moodle, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google Maps. Mobile devices, such as Smartphones and tablets PCs, were used to test QR-Codes (Quick Response Codes) and Augmented Reality technology based applications as Junaio and Ar-Media Plugin.


R - Digital Social Media Detox (DSMD)

Dr. Theresa Renee White, DuBois Hamer Institute, United States

9086 words

This study explores personal and public implications of intense social media dependency.  Twenty-five college students took part in a ten-hour detoxification intervention to experience a day of face-to-face interaction without access to social media.  Qualitative, triangulation research strategies were used in this empirical study to correlate participants’ self-reported experiences with direct observation by trained moderators.  The primary concerns of the study were to discover if digital social-media use inhibits college students’ social and intellectual development, potentially limiting their participation in a public, postmodern culture. Their social-media dependency is shown to be inhibiting, but with revocable negative effects, suggesting a continuum of pathological use that educators can help mitigate in the new academic environment of the millennial generation.