A Comparison of the Use of Social Media for Blended Learning in China and UK Higher Education


Purpose–The purpose of this paper is to compare the use of Wechat in China vs. Facebook/ Twitter/ Blog/ Instagram/ Google+ in the UK in higher education practice, based on a case study in art and design subjects between a Chinese and a British university(Ningbo University and University of Huddersfield). Methodology –A combination of literature reviews, action research, peer observation and semi-structured interviews. The research consists of two parts: one was conducted in the project An Action Research of Blended Learning Mode Based on Wechat in China, funded by the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province, and the other part results from the Visiting Scholar Programme in the UK funded by K.C. Wong Education Foundation, Hong Kong. Findings – The findings represent similarities and differences between the Ningbo University and the University of Huddersfield relating to the use of social media and the strategy applying instructional technology for blended learning in art and design subjects. It mainly indicates the potentially useful, pros and cons of social media in higher education practice, and presents strategies and innovation practices of adopting social media in creative arts and design subjects, including instant dissemination of ideas and processes, dynamic atmosphere of classrooms and studios, assessment and feedback, and students’ portfolios. Originality/value – The paper provides a cross-cultural perspective on sharing the knowledge and good practice of developing or enhancing the use of co-created social resources, strategies and technologies to meet the needs of the future all over the world.

Author Information
Zhifen Di, Ningbo University, China
Minhua Ma, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom
Wei Zhao, Shen Yang Institute of Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2017
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon