Analysis of Social Presence and Context Awareness for Ubiquitous Learning Support in Social Network Environment

Mashitishi B. Phurutsi


Ubiquitous Learning, Learning Environment, Social Networking Site, Social Media Site, Social Presence, Context awareness


On one hand South African institutions of higher learning are English language environment dominated by underprepared learners and overpopulated classrooms. On the other hand the country has seen an increase of learners entering higher learning fraternity with a fair demonstration of social media proficiency. It was for these reasons this study aimed to conceptualize a framework for ubiquitous learning support in a social media environment. The paper adopted Information System (IS) theories: Context Awareness (CA) and Social Presence (SP) to analyze the textual interactions between learners and their teachers on a social network platform. The analysis was based on how CA and SP manifest and influence learning in the social networking environment. Following a qualitative paradigm, content analysis was used to analyze the data collected in a contextual enquiry. Online focus group and textual interactions (analysis of documentary evidence) were used as qualitative data collection methods for this study. The study found that SP surfaces through the use of predefined modalities of the social networking sites and those that are defined and accepted by the social network sites community. Although contextual task awareness dependents on the user, CA indicators such as temporal and identity takes place automatically through contextual reconfiguration. In this study learners revealed that they were able to converse using any language at any given time and space, including their home language, English or even informal spoken language when interrogating the learning content online.

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