Social Media for Active Learning – An open, online course


Social Media for Active Learning

A professional development MOOC

Instructor: Vanessa Dennen, Associate Professor of Instructional Systems, Florida State University

Dates: March 24 – April 20, 2014

Last spring, from March 24 – April 20, 2014, we offered a free 4-week professional development course designed to help instructors, trainers, and instructional designers learn how to better use social media to support learning, whether in an informal networking sense or by embedding social media into more formal learning contexts. The course was hosted on Blackboard Coursesites and was open to anyone, anywhere in the world, at no charge.

In this website, we are sharing some of the contents we had explored during the course. Please use the menu buttons above including Module 1-4.

  • Module 1: Curation
  • Module 2: Social Media Lessons
  • Module 3: Personal Learning Networks
  • Module 4: Privacy & Ethics

This course aimed to help find new and better ways to reach and teach students, connecting them with the rich network of online people and resources, and helping them become active users and contributors within this network.

Since this was a professional development course, it has been designed with flexibility in mind. Each week we focused on a new topic and had new learning materials, a live chat, discussions, and a small project. The participants completed the projects for each week – or just those that interest they most or best fit their schedule. The participants were able to earn badges during the weeks they choose to complete the projects, and they were able to get feedback from our community of learners and teaching assistants.

About the Instructional Team


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Vanessa P. Dennen

Vanessa is an Associate Professor of Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies at Florida State University where she teaches courses on topics such as Web 2.0-based Learning & Performance, Mobile Learning, and Internet-based Inquiry. Her work focuses on fostering productive learning interactions and encouraging knowledge sharing and brokering in online environments, including social media. She is interested not only in formal learning settings, but also in professional development and informal online learning. She has published and presented widely on topics such online discussion and online learning activities and learning via social media. Recently she co-edited a book with Jennifer B. Myers, Virtual Professional Development and Informal Learning in Online Environments.

Instructional Team

The instructional team consists of 17 graduate students in the Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies program at Florida State University. They have played material roles in the design and development of the course. These MS and PhD students have many years of professional experience among them as both instructors and instructional designers in a variety of settings. They hail not only from the United States, but also from China, Italy, and South Korea. They are excited and well prepared to help guide students through this professional development learning experience.