Take your teaching online
Take your teaching online

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3.1 Social technologies for promoting community

Described image
Figure 8 Social media tools can give learners an easy way to communicate with each other

Some social media tools can be used to enhance communication and cohesion among your group of online learners. ‘Collecting’ tools such as Pinterest can help learners discover a topic collectively and share their findings or ideas. Social bookmarking tools such as Diigo can aid in broadening learners’ research skills, connecting them with resources they hadn’t previously discovered. Of course, simply using the right technologies will not force a sense of community and shared learning to develop in any given cohort, but it will give it a chance of happening. If Facebook is available to all members of your cohort (it is blocked in some countries), the creation of a class Facebook group can give learners an easy way to communicate with each other, as well as providing the teacher with an opportunity to provide prompt scheduling reminders, and to share relevant resources. Coughlan and Perryman (2015) have written about the use of student-led Facebook groups and their role in facilitating learning and achieving educational inclusion.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371