Challenges of Designing Learning Using Social Media

Designing learning incorporating social media is extremely challenging.  You really have to understand the separation of social media tools from tools that just enhance learning. I pursued this challenge to see what all it encompassed.  I have included my Learning Design Plan in detail.

First I determined what course to use it with, audience, course description, and type:

Course Name: How to Construct a Basic D2L Course

Course Description: The How to Construct a Basic D2L Course is designed to provide participants with an overview to the tools facilitators may use to build a D2L online course. In this introductory course, we will focus on understanding how the D2L tools work as well as some basic pedagogical use of an educational and social media tool.

Audience: Full/Temp Faculty, Staff, Ph.D. and Graduate Students

Course Type: Facilitator Lead Online Course

Researching I choose a combination of university-related social media tools and one non-university tool. The tools are:

  • Screencast-O-Matic is a fast recording app used to create a video file, share on YouTube, or even download to integrate with an LMS.
  • iblog is the blogging service for the university. It is hosted through Edublogs | CampusPress and runs on the WordPress platform. iblog is open to any active faculty, staff, or student at IUP. The service is also available to any class, organization, or department.
  • iwiki is the universities collaboration/repository tool. iwiki is divided into a team or academic spaces. Team and academic spaces are designed to allow for easy collaboration, documentation, and discussion of various points a team or course may need to engage in. Using iwiki allows for teams or courses to add resources, files and other important documents. iwiki has full version tracking and change logging.
  • Optional use of StudyMate, itube (university streaming service) or YouTube is possible.

I came up with three possible learning strategies:

PA Symbols Research
Describe why, when, who/what the PA symbols are were chosen and their importance to PA history.

Assessment Method:

  • Select one of the PA State symbols. (E.g. State dog, insect, animal etc.) Create a Screencast-O-Matic video ( the program is free) on your research on why that symbol was chosen, when that symbol was chosen, and who/what was behind that symbols story.
  • Your submission should be 3-5 minutes. It should include narration, smooth transition between elements, and webcam recording of you. A script of the video should be included.
  • Alternatively, acceptable submissions include a word document (3-5 pages) or an audio file. Examples of free audio recorders include Audacity or SoundCloud.
  • Upload your submission to the PA Symbols dropbox, itube, or the class Youtube channel. If itube or Youtube is used, upload the URL of the video to the dropbox. Audio files can be uploaded or a link to the audio file can be entered in the dropbox. A script of the audio should be included.

PA Symbols Research
This activity will support course goals by showing an alternative assessment method using a social media tool and an app that enhances learning.

Age of Discovery iblog Post:
Analyze the value of the activity as a valid pedagogical endeavor.

Assessment Method:

  • Review the Age of Discovery Challenge or Quiz through the StudyMate web site.
    • Create your iblog (if you have not already). Choose a theme that is Accessibility enabled. Create a blog post on if you believe or not that if using StudyMate is a valid instructional strategy.  Determine why or why not this method satisfies direct, indirect, interactive, independent, an experimental instruction.
    • Remind the students that blogs by design are open. If the set the blog as private advise students.
    • Comment on two of your peer’s blog posts using the comment sections.
    • Copy and paste the URL to your blog post to the Assessment Tool in D2L Brightspace. Responses graded according to scale stated in the syllabus.

Age of Discovery iblog:
This activity will support course goals by reviewing the pedagogical use of an educational tool.

Curate D2L Resources:

  • Discover resources on D2L tool using curation.
  • Practice communication curating resources using the university wiki.


  • Use the iwiki tool to collect/curate a list of resources on how to use the various D2L tools mentioned in this lesson.
  • Include the citation of the sources of the  resources, URL or upload document to iwiki, and your reflection on why the resources have values to learn D2L
  • Comment on two of the D2L tools in the comment section as to how you could use the tool for instructional strategy.
  • Submissions can include files, video, audio, and text entered into the iwiki. For audio and video include a script of the content.

Curate D2L Resources:
This activity will support course goals by collecting, organizing, and sharing resources with others.

Pros  and Cons of the tools:


  • iblog and iwki are university provided and they are supported by our university help desk (IT Support Center). If the tools do not to work, students can get assistance to correct the problem. Students are also provided with “How to” help to understand how the tools work. Instructors will need to help students with the content and area but are not burdened by technical issues.
  • There are no issues with FERPA, privacy, or security.
  • Clear accessibility features are found in iblog and iwiki.


  • Screencast-O-Matic is not a university supported tool so the instructor will be responsible for all forms of technical, instructional, and content support.
  • iblog and iwiki may be a difficult learning curve for some students.

A Learning Design template outlines a sample of designing learning incorporating social media.

One thought on “Challenges of Designing Learning Using Social Media

  1. Another tool that could be applied to my learning design plan is Nearpod. I have been investigating this tool.

    Like Sceencast-O-Matic student do not need to have an account to use the tool. In Nearpod the instructor will need an account but students just need a key/id to join a lesson.

    As part of the College of Ed assisting future designing lessons is a definite possibility. Nearpod permit the teacher to upload a lesson on what a state symbol is and how they came about. It would make an interesting social studies lesson.

    A teacher could incorporate a video on Pennsylvania State Symbols. Students could also make their own video on state symbols as well as complete an assessment using Nearpod. Students also could answer a poll on how that liked the lesson. It seems Nearpod as a great deal of possibilities.

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