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A case study of Israeli higher-education institutes sharing scholarly information with the community via social networks
ARTICLE

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Internet and Higher Education Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to empirically examine cases in which Social Networking Sites (SNS) are being utilized for scholarly purposes by higher-education institutes in Israel. The research addresses questions regarding content patterns, activity patterns, and interactivity within Facebook and Twitter accounts of these institutes. Research population comprises of 47 Facebook accounts and 26 Twitter accounts of Israeli universities or colleges and/or sub-divisions within these institutes. In addition to descriptive statistics, all tweets within Twitter accounts were analyzed and classified into categories, based on their content, for better understanding of how they can facilitate informal learning. Research findings suggest that SNS promotes knowledge sharing, thereby facilitating informal learning within the community; SNS open academic institutes to the community altogether. Still, SNS were utilized in an assimilation mode, i.e. while the potential is high for using special features enabled by SNS as well as unique sharing of information modes, de facto use of these special features was extremely low. However, contrary to the relatively high dropout rates of SNS' personal accounts, many academic accounts were frequently active for long periods of time. This may indicate that SNS activity which is based on sharing of knowledge as well as on social interaction has better sustainability prospects. Usage and content patterns of these accounts corresponded to parallel patterns in the Israeli higher-education community in “real” life, hence reinforcing the role of these institutes within the community. Overall, this study implies that the potential of SNS as means of sharing academic knowledge in higher education institutes in Israel has not been actualized yet, but is indeed being explored by these organizations as well as by the community.

Citation

Forkosh-Baruch, A. & Hershkovitz, A. (2012). A case study of Israeli higher-education institutes sharing scholarly information with the community via social networks. Internet and Higher Education, 15(1), 58-68. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 24, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.08.003

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