This paper explores conceptual issues around peer-to-peer learning, informal learning and the marketing outreach of social media. Data collection was achieved by analysis of the social media conferences data streams, interaction and feedback from staff, conference delegates, students and school children.
Critical reflection of the event has contributed to our understanding of these concepts, in particular how interactions across institutional boundaries stimulate excitement and interest in an evolving social and professional context. Students discussed the impact of social media on their own and organisation’s lives and explored professional impacts. Informal learning resulting from the first event encouraged us to develop increased interaction by establishing display and debate opportunities for participants as they explored each other’s worlds. Not just about employability skills development, the events helped students and researchers to explore interactions facilitated by social media. Social media interactions are an increasingly important way for live events to generate greater social capital beyond their boundaries (Inversini et al 2015).
Informal peer learning is increasingly vital in Higher Education (Boud et al, 2014) and doesn’t necessarily need formalisation by curriculum integration. Peer learning is a diverse umbrella for activity involving reciprocal learning benefits, from Mazur’s Peer instruction (1997) in flipped classrooms to mentoring schemes to informal Facebook sites set up by students around group tasks. Within HE as well as in schools, this provides valuable learning opportunities. However, in school curricula there is less opportunity for informal learning which offer an opportunity for HE/School interaction. Informal peer learning will be a necessary characteristic of learning at work (Bourner et al 2011) preparation for this activity, recognition of its important role can help teachers design online activities which benefit different ages or stages of learning. The skills and outcomes involved in peer learning can include not just working with others but also critical enquiry, reflection, articulation of knowledge and understanding, and acknowledging constructive feedback (Boud et all, 2014, p9).
Boud, D., Cohen, R., & Sampson, J. (Eds.). (2014). Peer learning in higher education: Learning from and with each other. Routledge.
Bourner, T., Greener, S., & Rospigliosi, A. (2011). Graduate employability and the propensity to learn in employment: a new vocationalism. Higher Education Review, 43(3), 5-30.
Greener, S. (2014) Editorial: Designing Environments for Peer-to-Peer and Collaborative Learning, Interactive Learning Environments 22(4) 399-400Inversini, A., Sage, R., Williams, N., & Buhalis, D. (2015)
Inversini, A., Sage, R., Williams, N., & Buhalis, D. (2015). The Social Impact of Events in Social Media Conversation. In Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2015 (pp. 283-294). Springer International Publishing.
Mazur, E. (1997). Peer instruction (pp. 9-18). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.