Dawn Carmichael

Work place: Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK

E-mail: dawn.carmichael@gcu.ac.uk


Research Interests: Software Development Process, Software Engineering, Analysis of Algorithms


Dawn Carmichael has a PhD in the area of software metrics for social media. She currently holds a lectureship at Glasgow Caledonian University where she teaches HCI as well as web design and development. She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy with pedagogic interests in the design of effective digital learning spaces. Her research interests include; social media analysis, software engineering, and UX design.

Author Articles
A Data Analysis of the Academic use of Social Media

By Dawn Carmichael Jacqueline Archibald

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijitcs.2019.05.01, Pub. Date: 8 May 2019

The use of Facebook, in higher education, has become common place presumably due to a general belief that the platform can promote information flows between students and with staff as well as increasing a sense of community engagement.  This study sets out to examine the academic use of Facebook groups using data analysis in order to determine if there are educational benefits and if Facebook group based learning strategies can be evaluated quickly and relatively easily.  The data analysis involved utilising Social Network Analysis (SNA) in examining two Facebook groups; one under-graduate ‘course’ based group with 135 members and one under-graduate first year ‘module’ based group with 123 members. The SNA metrics included degree centrality, betweeness centrality, clustering coefficient and eigenvector centrality. The study also involved conducting a survey and interviews drawn from users of the Facebook groups to validate the utility of the SNA metrics.  Results from the validation phase of the data analysis suggested that degree centrality is a useful guide to positive attitudes towards information flows, whilst betweenness centrality is useful for detecting a sense of academic community.  The validation outcomes also suggest that high clustering coefficient scores were associated with a lower perception of academic community.  The analysis of the data sets also found that the ‘course’ based group had higher scores for degree centrality and betweenness.  This suggests that the ‘course’ based group provided a better experience of information access and a sense of academic community.  Follow up interviews with respondents suggested that the ‘course’ based Facebook group may have had higher scores because it included more real world acquaintances than the ‘module’ based group.

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Heuristic Evaluation of the use of Blackboard & Facebook Groups in Computing Higher Education

By Dawn Carmichael Claire MacEachen

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijmecs.2017.06.01, Pub. Date: 8 Jun. 2017

The features of social media sites make them potentially effective as a learning platform for student communication and collaboration in higher education. Moreover it has become apparent that student Facebook users have been repurposing its features to fit their academic requirements. This study aims to determine if Facebook Groups and the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) can enhance the learner experience, and if so, in what way. The study made use of a heuristic evaluation with an educationally relevant criteria set [1]. The results, amongst other things, indicate that Facebook Groups are more useful for peer-to-peer communication than Blackboard, probably due to the notification system in Facebook. Analysis indicated that in some instances the strengths and weaknesses of Blackboard and Facebook were complementary and therefore could, arguably, improve the overall student experience.

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Other Articles