Social Bookmarking: Creating Interconnectedness for Online Health Informatics Students

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Juliana J. Brixey, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN
University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City, KS
Judith J. Warren, RN, PhD, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS

Learning Objective 1: to define social bookmarking and Delicious

Learning Objective 2: to explain how interconnectedness is created for online health informatics students using Delicious

Encouraging online students to become interconnected is often challenging because most courses are asynchronous. Group projects have been used to assist students in forming associations, but these connections are often lost upon completion of the project. Another innovative strategy is to engage students to co-create and share information using web-based technologies such as social bookmarking. Social bookmarking allows users to save, organize, and share links to web pages as bookmarks using an internet service, such as Delicious. The bookmarks are available from any computer as opposed to bookmarks saved as “favorites” on only one computer. Moreover, interconnectedness is established by forming online groups, such as for a particular course. The connections created during a course can continue as long as the students maintain user names with Delicious. The purpose of this project is to introduce and connect online health informatics students using Delicious. 
System requirements
Students must have Internet access.  
User Accounts
Students must create a user account with Delicious.  User names are submitted to faculty. Faculty adds names to an ongoing group of online health informatics students.
Course assignments
Course assignments require students to bookmark web sites to their Delicious accounts that have been reviewed or cited. Each bookmark is tagged with keywords to facilitate other students searching for and retrieving information on a topic of interest.
Delicious has been successfully used to manage bookmarks and connect online informatics students. More than 1500 bookmarks have been saved.
Social bookmarking is another dimension to use for online teaching to create a sense of interconnectedness among students. Students create a repository of web-based resources related to health informatics. It is anticipated that students will return to the Delicious group because new bookmarks are added by other students. A sense of professional collaboration is formed through social bookmarking.