Virality: What makes content “sticky”?
…and what does that have to do with #higher education?
Since acquiring a decent camera, I’ve been looking at my surroundings with new eyes. I am finding beauty in the most ordinary places and things. Compiling a library of shots has the added bonus of totally transforming my presentation slides.
It’s a case of one thing leading to another. As all of these photos started colonizing my computer, I decided to experiment with tumblr as a way to share and follow others. It’s been a fascinating process to identify which images get likes and reblogs, and which ones languish, unloved. I’ve found that I’m not a very good prognosticator.
Is this also true of knowledge generally? The products of research want to be shared, but how can we make evidence-based practice more “viral”? And if learner engagement is analogous to clicks, shares and eyeballs, what can we learn from social media applications to implement in higher education classrooms (both online and face-to-face)?
In a 2015 Scientific American article, researchers found that messages with positive valence, emotional evocation, practical application and/or surprising content are more likely to be viewed and shared. These elements could not be better aligned with high-impact practices in education. In other words, research on social media underscores the relevance of constructivist (and – especially – “post-constructivist”!) teaching and learning approaches.
Back to photo-sharing, which image do you think gets more shares?
(I probably don’t need to post the answer, but just in case, it’s “A”)