Supporting social bookmarking activities

Grant type: Hot Topic
Round: Hot Topic 2009/10
Amount awarded £50.00
Completed: June 2010
Leader(s): Miss Anne-Florence Dujardin
Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University
Contact Email:
Contact phone: 01142255280
Interim report received: 7 June 2010
Final report received: 7 June 2010


Social bookmarking can help students develop a personal and confident stance towards academic texts. The issue is: how can we use of the pedagogical affordances of social bookmarking? Advice on e-tutoring needs to be revisited, taking into account the functions offered by specific applications. Diigo, for example, isn’t just about storing and sharing links to webpages: it allows annotation and discussion.

To help students make the most of social bookmarking:

− Provide a clear brief. Explain the value and importance of doing literature searches in academic courses.
− Link to an end-of-module essay, so that students benefit from ‘rehearsing’ their ideas before they start formal writing.
− Provide ’lead sentences’ (e.g. ‘this reading made me think about X theory because…’), to encourage students to take an evaluative stance.
− Keep ‘seeding’ with examples, to show students that you’re still involved in developing their ideas. Go beyond the set texts to keep things interesting.
− Recommend that students get daily email updates, so they can follow other students’ work.
− Respond to students’ posts: prompt, praise, encourage comments on fellow students’ work - just as in the VLE.
− If there is a ‘topic’ facility, start a discussion on a topic raised by several readings, to help students critique several texts together.
− Ideally embed an RSS feed in the VLE, to signal that social bookmarking is part of the learning activities.
− Assess to give an incentive to use social bookmarking.

Ethical Issues

The hot topic summarises my experiences as e-tutor, and does not contain any information about students.