Social Media and New Visual Literacies: Proposal Based on an Innovative Teaching Project

Social Media and New Visual Literacies: Proposal Based on an Innovative Teaching Project by Sara Martínez-Cardama and Mercedes Caridad-Sebastián

Social networks and collaboration make it possible to offer new metacognitive horizons for comprehension of theories in a group of students considered digitally native. This study discusses the applicability of different forms of visualisation used as a constructivist learning technique on social networks. It presents the results of an innovative teaching project awarded on a competitive basis implemented in the course entitled ‘Information and Communication Theory’, offered for the first time in the 2017/2018 academic year within the framework of the new undergraduate degree in Management of Information and Digital Content at UC3M iSchool (Spain).This project was based on the educational use of the Twitter social network to encourage collaborative reading in a course with a significant theoretical burden and which had the handicap of being presented in the first year of the programme. Accordingly, it was based on the assumption that the familiarity of the target group of the project (first-year students) with the Twitter platform might foster greater interaction in learning theoretical contents and facilitate discussion of same and participation. Participation in the social network through observation and the metrics obtained from the platform itself revealed participation through visual elements to be a key factor in the creation of engagement on the part of the students, mainly through GIFs and memes. Evidence shows the validity of this social network as a teaching tool for fostering collaborative reading on a network, as well as the development of high-level cognitive skills such as reflection and critical thinking. Similarly, it looks at the possibilities of visual learning for fostering participation, creativity and innovation within the course.