Social media in enabling education

Concise paper

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Susan Hopkins
University of Southern Queensland

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Monday 4 December, 1.50pm – 2.10pm
Stream 5
Room C204


This paper argues that students from rural and low socio-economic status (LSES) backgrounds, who undertake enabling education, benefit from the social, cultural and network capital which digital, narrative and connective platforms may provide in pre-tertiary teaching and learning. In particular, this paper discusses the trial of the use of the social networking site Facebook as a learning management system within an enabling tertiary preparation program designed to raise the aspirations and widen the participation of economically and geographically disadvantaged young people. It also discusses the role of new media in an approach to Tertiary Preparation which recognises that to succeed in their university study, non-traditional students need to develop not only academic skills and confidence, but the skills and confidence to survive and thrive in the broader networked digital society. The presentation includes updates, images and examples from the author’s most recent use of a closed group Facebook page to facilitate digital literacy, enculturation, engagement, socialisation and social networking among participants in the 2017 Life Literacies program for tertiary preparation students, funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP) in 2017 (to improve the access, participation and success of students from communities under-represented in higher education).

About the Author

Susan Hopkins

Susan Hopkins is a Lecturer in the Open Access College at the University of Southern Queensland, Ipswich campus. Her research interests include sociological approaches to the education of marginalised and non-traditional students including incarcerated students and LSES students in enabling education.