A virtual panopticon in the community of practice: Students' experiences of being visible on social media
Jenny Waycott, Department of Computing and Information Systems, Australia ; Celia Thompson, School of Languages and Linguistics, Australia ; Judithe Sheard, Information Technology, Australia ; Rosemary Clerehan, Faculty of Medicine, Australia
Internet and Higher Education Volume 35, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
It has become commonplace in higher education for instructors to use social technologies to motivate and challenge their students and to support learning objectives. In some instances, social technologies are used to make students' assessable work visible to other people, such as peers and external audiences. This study investigates university students' responses to the requirement to make their assessable work visible online to others. Using the lens of the community of practice framework and the notion of a virtual panopticon, we analysed data from focus group discussions with 20 university students. Our findings reveal that students experienced benefits, such as being part of a cohesive learning community, but also felt conflicted about how much of their work and themselves they wanted to share. Our study highlights the importance of lecturer-student negotiation in the management of online visibility, especially regarding student privacy and identity performance.
Waycott, J., Thompson, C., Sheard, J. & Clerehan, R. (2017). A virtual panopticon in the community of practice: Students' experiences of being visible on social media. Internet and Higher Education, 35(1), 12-20. Elsevier Ltd.