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Problem Statement
Susan Connell
ED 690
Summer 2004

Best Uses for Social Software for Education and Training with Adult Learners

Many online software tools are currently available to facilitate instruction, information exchange and virtual communities in education and training for adult learners. These include Wikis, instant messaging, dedicated chat rooms, listserves and blogs as well as more structured environments such as Blackboard and Moodle that can integrate a variety of functions. As Kaplan-Leiserson (2003) points out, these tools are often implemented without much thought as to their usability, effectiveness or appropriateness in a given situation.

Clearly there is no single type of software that is ideal for every situation. The aim of this report is to clarify the features, benefits and shortcomings of the primary categories of social software used in adult eLearning applications. Questions to be addressed include:

  • Which software products correlate best with a selection of common learning goals?
  • How can available software best be used to foster a sense of community?
  • Which types of software more useful in solo versus group learning endeavors?

Kaplan-Leiserson, E. (2003). We-Learning: Social Software and E-Learning. Learning Circuits. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development. Retrieved June 11, 2004 http://www.learningcircuits.org/2003/dec2003/kaplan.htm.


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© 2003, 2004 Susan Connell, Educational Technology Student at San Diego State University