The effects of social media on cognitive development in undergraduate economics students

The study attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of social media on cognitive development among undergraduate economics students at a South African university. The study collects data on student postings to discussion topics posted on Facebook and Twitter. The use of 3 well-known rubrics for evaluating cognitive development: Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2001), revised Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson et al. 2001), and Greenlaw and Deloach (2003), are used. Results indicate that student posts fall mainly into lower levels of thinking suggesting that social media may not be effective in cultivating critical thinking. Moreover, these results shed light on the voluntary versus mandatory nature of participation, the time length for student responses, and “big think” style questions in a developing country context (i.e. poor internet).

10 April 2015
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: A20, A22

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