With more than 4.6 million people, mostly undergraduates, enrolling in at least one online course in fall of 2008, students are showing that they are comfortable with the concept of technology in education. Many students in online classes, however still have to deal with the high cost of textbooks and supplemental materials. Online technologies, however, can provide other alternatives to costly coursepacks and textbooks. Faculty and students may be able to replace or supplement coursepacks and textbooks with social bookmarking sites. This study shows how social bookmarking, specifically Delicious.com, can be used in a course to provide an inexpensive answer to the question of rising course materials costs. Through a series of online focus groups, 53 students enrolled in a “Social Media and Public Relations” course revealed their apprehension toward using an unknown technology and discussed their positive and negative experiences with using the course-specific Delicious.com account. Implications for how social bookmarking can impact online and offline learning are discussed.
Tricia M. Farwell, Richard D. Waters. Exploring the Use of Social Bookmarking Technology in Education: An Analysis of Students’ Experiences using a Course-specific Delicious.com Account. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2010.