Vol. 35 No. 1 (2020): Special Issue on Technology and Teacher Education
Special Issue

Exploring the Use of #Hashtags as an Easy Entry Solution to Enhance Online Discussions

Preeti Raman
University of Toronto
Teresa Avery
Clare Brett
Jim Hewitt
Published October 30, 2020
How to Cite
Raman, P., Avery, T., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2020). Exploring the Use of #Hashtags as an Easy Entry Solution to Enhance Online Discussions. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 35(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1167


Abstract: Growing interest in online learning has instructors looking for new ways to engage learners in asynchronous discussions. Building on experiences with hashtag use to connect on social media platforms, the purpose of this study is to investigate the contexts of hashtag use and its associated impact on learner engagement in asynchronous online discussions. In more detail, this mixed-methods case study will answer the following questions: 1) How and in what context do students use hashtags in online discussions? and 2) In what ways, if any, does the use of hashtags promote engagement in an online community? Findings suggest that while classifying and organizing course information was a strong motivator for tagging posts, hashtags were also used to connect to others in the learning community, express opinions, and encourage knowledge building. The results from our study contribute to a better understanding of engagement with and through hashtag use.


Keywords: engagement, social media, online learning, tagging


Résumé: L'intérêt croissant pour l'apprentissage en ligne incite les instructeurs à rechercher de nouvelles façons d'engager les apprenants dans des discussions asynchrones. S'appuyant sur les expériences d'utilisation du hashtag pour se connecter sur les plateformes de médias sociaux, le but de cette étude est d'étudier les contextes d'utilisation du hashtag et son impact sur l'engagement des apprenants dans les discussions en ligne asynchrones. Plus en détail, cette étude de cas à méthodes mixtes répondra aux questions suivantes: (1) Comment et dans quel contexte les élèves utilisent-ils les hashtags dans les discussions en ligne? (2) De quelle manière, le cas échéant, l'utilisation de hashtags favorise-t-elle l'engagement dans une communauté en ligne? Les résultats suggèrent que si la classification et l'organisation des informations sur les cours ont été un puissant facteur de motivation pour marquer les publications, les hashtags ont également été utilisés pour se connecter à d'autres membres de la communauté d'apprentissage, exprimer des opinions et encourager le renforcement des connaissances. Les résultats de notre étude contribuent à une meilleure compréhension de l'engagement avec et via l'utilisation du hashtag.


Mots-clés: engagement, médias sociaux, apprentissage en ligne, marquage



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