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Social pedagogies: motivating students through authentic audiences

Social Media IconsDerek Bruff, the director of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching, was at Elon University in February to talk about social pedagogies. You can view a condensed version of the presentation below or jump to specific video segments by clicking on the links under “Social pedagogy tools.”

What is social pedagogy?

Social pedagogy is “design approaches for teaching and learning that engage students with what we might call an ‘authentic audience’ (other than the teacher), where the representation of knowledge for an audience is absolutely central to the construction of knowledge in a course.”
– Randy Bass and Heidi Elmendorf

An example of how social pedagogies impact a class

Derek tells a story about how his student’s motivations changed when Google indexed the class blog and an expert unexpectedly responds to a student’s paper. (4:58)

Social pedagogy tools


Click to hear about examples of how course blogs encourage student reflection and make it easy for students to read each other’s work. (5:10)

More information on blogging:

Social bookmarking

Click to hear about assignments that use social bookmarking tools Diigo and Pintrest. (5:51)

More information on social bookmarking:


Click to hear about courses using Twitter to connect course content wherever the students are located. (4:00)

More information on Backchannels:

Social networks

Click to hear about how courses have used fictional personas on social networking sites to engage students and used Flickr to share photos of student work. (2:19)

More information on social networks:

The original Prezi presentation along with a participant-generated list of pros, cons and applications for each tool is available on Derek’s blog. View other Elon Teaching and Learning Technologies’ videos on YouTube.

Teaching and Learning Technologies is ready to partner with you to explore how social pedagogies can be implemented in your courses.  If you are interested in learning more about tools like Elon’s blogging platform, social bookmarking or backchannels, contact us at TLT@elon.edu or 278-5006.

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