Social bookmarking is an online tool that can enable students to develop their skills in finding, sharing and (re)organising online information. Research has demonstrated that it has the potential to impact positively on students’ digital literacies – their ability to use the Internet critically to support their learning – and particularly on the kinds of online research skills that are vital to supporting inquiry-based approaches to learning and teaching in history. This chapter provides a detailed overview of how online social bookmarking tools have been used to support the development of students’ digital literacies in history in a number of UK higher education institutions. The general approach which has been adopted is based on constructivist principles and requires students to develop their skills and appreciation of the Internet as a venue for scholarly research in order to strengthen their inquiry skills in preparation for more independent work at higher levels of study. The chapter presents evaluative data that has been collected from students who have used social bookmarking to support inquiry activities within modules and as part of their independent learning activities. We also report staff reflections on the usefulness of social bookmarking to support student learning in history and make some recommendations for the practical application of such tools elsewhere. These include the potential significant impact of social bookmarking on students’ ability to interact productively and creatively with online resources in the course of their learning; the usefulness of the tool in supporting collaborative working and sharing materials; the need to ensure that students receive adequate training in using social bookmarking and that their work receives adequate credit (which will, in turn, increase motivation).
Wood, J., Liuzzo Scorpo, A., Taylor, S., Rahman, M., Bell, E. and Matthews-Jones, L. (2014), "Making Historians Digitally: Social Bookmarking and Inquiry-Based Learning in History in Higher Education in the UK", Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 393-412. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000002024
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