Using Web-based Tools to Facilitate Engagement

The rapid growth and development of the Internet has opened up the possibilities for online teaching and learning to incorporate non-static web-based tools (also referred to as Web 2.0 tools) to engage learners at different levels: from interaction to collaboration to co-creation of content. Web 2.0 tools allow for transformational experiences in teaching and learning, as learners become active creators of content as part of their learning engagement.

Using tools such as blogs and discussion forums in teaching and learning engage learners to reflect on the learning experience and think critically as they share their observations and experiences. The use of YouTube and wikis encourage learners to construct their own meaning and collaborate to create content. The advent of social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, has expanded the reach of learning networks and has made learning a global affair. It is common practice now to design engaging activities that encourage learners to publish their own content: a video on YouTube, a tweet about something, a group on a social network space, a group project using a wiki, a reflective entry on a weblog.

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This testimonial illustrates how Web tools, in this case blogs, can enhance teaching and learning through different levels of engagement between teachers and learners.