Li, L (2016) 'Are social media applications a facilitator or barrier to learning for tourism and hospitality management students?' Research in Hospitality Management, 6 (2). pp. 195-202. ISSN 2415-5152

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This paper reports an exploratory investigation on the role of social media (SM) in Chinese university students’ learning. Structuration theory was employed as the analytic framework to guide the discussion about the dynamics of the participants’ behaviours and thoughts on their use of SM. The study reveals the struggles that the participants face, in that SM are perceived as convenient technology to connect to friends and family, to find information and share it with peers, to facilitate peer discussion, and to have some “leisure time”. These positive perceptions are coupled with frustration and the “guilty” feeling of being distracted from formal university study. The study has implications for international education, particularly for institutions who are recipients of Chinese international students. The author argues that contemporary education should support an adaptive approach to facilitate students’ learning by welcoming normative SM social interactions in formal and informal contexts. Educators should be open to technology-in-practice by students and introduce innovative teaching and learning practice that would convert the socio-cultural struggles of the students to positive drivers for their enhanced learning.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: social media, formal and informal learning, international education, structuration theory
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2016 10:16
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 08:40
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