Will social media replace face-to-face interaction in higher education?

This blog post is one of a series for the student engagement project LSE2020. It is written by Emma Wilson, Graduate Intern for LTI. You can find her on Twitter (@MindfulEm).

The online world is changing the way we receive, perceive and process information. We are living in a digital age of 24/7 connectivity and this undoubtedly has an impact on today’s teaching and learning experience in higher education. As discussed in our previous blog, students have spoken of the impact social media might have on our emotional wellbeing but what place do they think it should have in the classroom?

Whilst electronic forms of communication are an ever-increasing feature in the workplace, one must not forget or undervalue the importance of interpersonal skills. But what are the expectations of students in the way that classes are delivered? Do they see a decreasing importance in the traditional ways of learning such as office hours, study groups and seminars? Would they prefer to see a shift towards distance learning, Skype meetings and debates over social media?

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