My colleagues and I have some new early cite articles now available:
Ethics in evaluating a sociotechnical intervention with socially isolated older adults. To be published in Qualitative Health Research.
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to consider how ethical principles can inform the effective design and implementation of technology-based interventions that aim to promote the wellbeing of socially isolated older adults. We evaluated a new iPad application with small groups of older adults. In this article, we reflect on the ethical issues encountered at each stage of the research process. Drawing on the ethical principles of beneficence, research merit and integrity, justice, and respect, we identify key issues to consider in the future design and implementation of social isolation interventions that use new technologies. Key issues include: (a) providing sufficient support to facilitate ongoing social interactions, (b) managing older adults’ expectations, (c) providing encouragement without coercion, and (d) responding to individual needs. We conclude that it is important to report on ethical challenges incurred when evaluating social isolation interventions to inform future research in this important area.
Hamid et al., Understanding students' perceptions of the benefits of online social networking use for teaching and learning. Published in Internet and Higher Education.
Abstract: The recent popularity of social technologies has motivated some university lecturers to use them for Online Social Networking (OSN) educational activities. These technologies have enormous potential to enhance the teaching and learning experience. However, there have been limited studies assessing how to effectively use social technologies
and what the impacts are on students' learning experience, particularly with regard to their value in enhancing interactions. This paper focuses on students' experiences with using OSN for student–student and
student–lecturer interactions. A total of nine focus group discussions with 46 students were held in Malaysian and Australian universities. A thematic analysis revealed that students identified a number of positive outcomes from using OSN to interact with each other and with their lecturers. The findings contribute to current understanding about how students leverage social technologies to enhance interaction among themselves, with their lecturers, and with the content of the course.
Dr Jenny Waycott, Associate Professor, School of Computing & Information Systems, The University of Melbourne
Contact: jwaycott @ unimelb.edu.au