Olga PILLI * and Oytun SOZUDOGRU**
*Dr. Girne American University, Faculty of Education.
**University of York.
Problem Statement: Learning Management System as a tool to organize, manage, deliver and evaluate the teaching and learning activities are expanding significantly at the on-campus and off-campus education. Apart from the plenty of benefits of LMSs, there are some restrictions of using LMSs for instructional purposes. At the same time, the expanding of social networking site is also climbing in the field of education. Therefore, this paper discusses the impact of the using Web 2.0 social media tools through Google Plus as a learning management system for the “History of Science” course at the undergraduated level in computer and instructional technology education.
Purpose of Study: The main purpose of this study was to explore the students` perceptions of using Google Plus to organize the course. The Google Plus circle was used for putting up announcements, distributing resources, and leading online discussions.
Methods: A total of 28 students taking a “History of Science” course at Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus were participated in this study. An interview session was conducted with the students in order to collect data for this study.
Findings and Results: Results indicated that students were mainly pleased with the affordances of Google Plus as the essential utilities of an LMS could be easily implemented in the Google Plus circle. However, using the Google Plus circle as an LMS has certain limitations. Students stated that Google Plus did not support to upload files directly, and also they indicated that most of the posts were not reading regularly.
Conclusion and Recommendations: For the purposes of “History of Science” course, the user friendly interface of Google+ with various features and the visual oriented content nature of “History of Science” course gave freedom and creativity to students in communication, understanding and interaction. Constraints of using the Google Plus circle as an LMS, implications for practice and limitations of this study are discussed.
Keywords: Google Plus, learning management systems, social network sites, North Cyprus.