The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of using social software in higher and further education teaching and learning


Social software is increasingly being used in higher and further education to support teaching and learning processes. These applications provide students with social and cognitive stimulation and also add to the interaction between students and educators. However, in addition to the benefits the introduction of social software into a course environment can also have adverse implications on students, educators and the education institution as a whole, a phenomenon which has received much less attention in the literature. In this study we explore the various implications of introducing social software into a course environment in order to identify the associated benefits, but also the potential drawbacks. We draw on data from 20 social software initiatives in UK based higher and further education institutions to identify the diverse experiences and concerns of students and educators. The findings are presented in form of a SWOT analysis, which allows us to better understand the otherwise ambiguous implications of social software in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. From the analysis we have derived concrete recommendations for the use of social software as a teaching and learning tool.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
Additional Information: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Schroeder, A., Minocha, S., & Schneider, C. (2010). The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of using social software in higher and further education teaching and learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(3), 159-174., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: case study based analysis,collaborative learning,technology-enabled education,social software,SWOT,Web 2.0
Publication ISSN: 1365-2729
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 07:10
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2019 09:42
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Related URLs: http://onlineli ... 0347.x/abstract (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2010-06
Published Online Date: 2010-01-26
Accepted Date: 2009-12-12
Authors: Schroeder, A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-4051-9275)
Minocha, S.
Schneider, C.



Version: Accepted Version

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