Articulation of Group Dynamics of Undergraduate Students in Social Media
The main aim of this study is to investigate the students’ group dynamics during their online activities within the framework of Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) theory of Vygotsky and the potential of more capable peers for knowledge construction in an undergraduate course. A social media environment was used as a support tool in a blended approach. The students were given a task set on computer programming in the social media and asked to support each other for solving problems with no teacher intervention. Pre and post tests were conducted and t-test of the scores (out of 15 marks) obtained by the students was done to discern any improvement of learning as a result of students’ engagement in problem solving in the social media. The results of the t-test indicated an improvement of acquisition of knowledge in the topic of basic programming. The conversation of the students in the form of textual messages showed that the students who experienced a problem in order to solve the set task were in the ZPD and ultimately did it successfully with a little assistance and scaffolding from a more capable peer. In fact, the members of the peer groups provided support to bridge the gap between the existing skills and abilities of programming and their intended goal, that is, completing the tasks given by the course teacher. Additionally, the students felt that peer interaction improved their understanding of the computer programming and problem solving competency. // Paper ID 56
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