Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Cross Space: The Exploration of SNS-Based Writing Activities in a Multimodal Learning Environment

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Cross Space: The Exploration of SNS-Based Writing Activities in a Multimodal Learning Environment

Article excerpt


The innovative use of educational technologies has been developing at pace and offers higher education institutions valuable opportunities to design more inclusive media-enhanced learning environments. They also stimulate the online provision of off-campus study to convert traditional print-based materials into multimodal, interactive and technology-mediated e-Learning formats (Sankey, Birch, & Gardiner, 2010). Multimodal learning environments combine sensory modes (visual, aural, written) and content knowledge to improve learners' attention and learning performance, especially for lower-achieving students (Moreno & Mayer, 2007). In particular, the educational elements of multimodal learning environments can mix other instructional systems such as e-Learning or m-Learning to promote learners' engagement. Fadel and Lemke (2008) also uncovered the mixed and positive trends of multimodal designs combined with augmented learning. Students engaging in multimodal learning environments are reported to outperform those who learn in a traditional environment. Recognizing the positive features of multimodal learning environments, many scholars stipulate that learners should be using social media for such purposes, and that educators should also embrace these new platforms (Jenkins, 2009). Therefore, the combination of social-media and education is considered as the new way to create an enthusiastic teaching and learning atmosphere. This suggests the potential of using SNS as an educational platform and highlights the necessity of a transactional space that combines classroom-based education with enjoyable leisure activities for young people (Erstad, Gilje, & de Lange, 2007).

Literature review

The need of SNS (Kakao-Talk) as a writing tool

Writing not only has an interactive social-function to express writers' thoughts and induce readers' understanding (Widdowson, 2003), but also provides the opportunity for the learners to have control over the structure, grammar and content. The non-verbal language presents the possibility to select more appropriate English (Kim & Kim, 2006). However, despite its clear advantages as a communication mode, writing has some drawbacks with regard to regulating prompt feedback and error correction, due to the limited time and procedural problems (Shehadeh, 2011). For L2-less English proficient students' (LPSs') effective writing, smartphones can be used as a learning agent to overcome the regulation of time and space, by utilizing "In-class content" in an SNS environment. A smartphone can lead to relevant opportunities for learners to be connected with both the content and the instructor, as it is the most popular and accessible device for communication (Dunlap, Furtak, & Tucker, 2009). Furthermore, it can increase self-esteem by building "social capital: mutual assistance and trust" through interpersonal relationships (Steinfield, Ellison, & Lampe, 2008) and collaborative group activities (Yamamura, 2011). Also, composition through a nonsimultaneous board can reduce learners' anxiety, developing more comfortable interactions than face-to-face writing (Mabrito, 2000).

These features implicate the positive effects of SNS-based writing practice on "affective domain." In particular, "goal orientation," "self-regulated strategy," and "self-efficacy" are strongly related to academic satisfaction and achievement (Kim & Yan, 2014). Furthermore, by sharing peers' ideas through online writing, learners can experience more interactive social processes than paper-based environments (Goldberg et al., 2003). For instance, with the use of Twitter, a friendly-learning environment can be crafted to enhance L2 learners' confidence in their language performance (Antenos-Conforti, 2009) because of the convenience of editing, writing and revision.

Additionally, it's noteworthy that the population of young adults using Kakao-Talk in Korea is ever increasing, unlike in the USA (Figure 1). …

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