Using Web 2.0 technology for work experience: student perspectives of Tawasul

John Raven, Karen O’ Donnell

Abstract


This paper discusses the implementation of Web 2.0 technology for work experience (WE) in a tertiary context. The technology, specifically social networking software, was implemented in an attempt to help overcome challenges experienced by students out on WE at the Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology. Typically faculty visited WE students in the field every few weeks but had little other direct interaction due to time and travel constraints and many students reported feelings of isolation. A social network tool that we named Tawasul was implemented to help overcome this issue by building a virtual community of practice that included both students and faculty. Student feedback revealed strong support for the online application as well as significant differences between male and female students. It is clear from the study that emerging technologies, such as social networking tools, can help learning during WE although there are academic and cultural issues that need to be taken into consideration.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18538/lthe.v7.n1.20