Using Reddit in Higher Education
This story highlights a use case for using Reddit for an online educational technology course at a large university in Canada.
Why use reddit?
The first question that some may ask, is ‘Why are you using Reddit?’
In the support of the course in question, the instructor wanted a way for students to be able to create a share content, and enable a mechanism to curate content. While other sites allow for liking and commenting, reddit has the unite affordance of being able to sort and filter based on categories of content, as well as time.
Using the built-in feature in reddit called ‘Flairs’, learners can create posts that either contain their content or link to it (such as it sharing this blog post) using a specific category. For the purposes of this post, I would classify this as an announcement as it relates to getting started with reddit for use in this class..
While Reddit is not primarily known as a professional space, but more of a social one, reddit’s Karma system does allow for ongoing reputation tracking through upvotes and downvotes of shared content and comments. This ensures that learners are able to engage positively and contribute with a built in mechanism for accountability of their professional behaviour, something that may not exist on other platforms such as twitter.
Working in the ed-tech space always requires a measure of experimentation. Exploring new technologies and their affordances, along with their limitations and engaging with peers is an important part of learning to effectively embed and use technology tools, and reddit is one such tool.
If this post seems a little ‘meta’, it is. It is intended to both explain how reddit works in this course, along with explain a little why the platform was chosen. This post will be updated as the term progresses with images, reflections on the pros and cons of this platform for use in higher education settings.