Student Engagement through Facebook and Youtube

Concurrent Session 1

Brief Abstract

A popular adage is "Learning is everywhere;" however, Click-Link-Connect educational programs still struggle with student social connection. Educational programs need continious annual imrovement to improve remote educational experiences. Social media networks can promote learner engagement in a remote setting.  The purpose of this paper is to theoretically demonstrate how a summer program in BELL, or Building Educators for Better Life, was used as a model to redesign a pre-exisiting program that can improve student engagement with technology while maintaining the core goals of the organization. This paper addresses instructional practices that need improvement, how the addition of social media networks can facilitate this while promoting student engagement in a remote environment. The utilization of social media networks as educational tools reveals the flexible nature of scaffolding online learning while mitigating skepticism toward it.



I hold a B.A., and MSc. in Media and Communications, and I am currently receiving my Doctorate in Educational Technology at Central Michigan University. I have experience teaching online and I'm currently a Digital Learning Support Specialist for Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. My main goal is to consider the student experience in online courses. When I was an undergraduate student, I had to figure out how to make university learning work for me. Students need help navigating school and finding their own personal way to make course material applicable.

Extended Abstract

Hostility toward remote learning will never disappear as parents, teachers, and politicians seem to not meet halfway to address everyone’s needs. Given the current COVID-19 health crisis, public schools are continuously faced with difficult dilemmas.  Social media networks can promote learner engagement in a remote setting. BELL, or Building Educators for Better Life, is used as a theoretical model to demonstrate how programs can incorporate social media networks to enhance student learning. This paper addresses BELL program's instructional practices that need improvement and how the addition of social media networks can facilitate this while promoting student engagement. The BELL program’s goal is to be cost-effective and educationally productive, which can be achieved through the addition of social media networks such as Facebook and Youtube.  Facebook and Youtube both provide opoporunties for students to engage in asynchronous discussion forums, while incorporating videos. Rather than simply having students posting comments at each other, they can watch videos along with their comments. The traditional course management system like Blackboard is not a social environment that students associate with a community. Most college students associate social media with an online community. If this is true, then why not take what students ubiquitously use to communicate but change the context. Previous studies have demonstrated how established programs can change in order to address student engagement and technology usage.