LIDA102 Social media, online identity and learning

Join the discussion on social media, online identity and learning sharing your personal views. Choose one or more of the following questions as a catalyst for your contributions to the forum:

  • How much of what you learn should be open and transparent (i.e. public) and how much should be kept private. Why?
  • In a digital age, how important is it for you to build a digital footprint of your learning?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities for building your online identity?
  • What levels of online engagement do you feel are appropriate for your own learning on this course? Does this differ from your engagement in other online communities?
  • Please “Like”, share and reply to posts. These are forms of engagement and a contribution to your online learning identity.
  • Other?

Any public tracking of my online learning is for me, usually because the online tools are better for searching and connecting than offline. I participate in loads of online learning - anything that sounds interesting, although my participation varies widely. It all depends …

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Hi @vtaylor

What I like about open online learning is the ability to sip and dip in the things I find interesting.

I do get frustrated when so-called “open” courses require password registration in order to take a look at learning materials. This forces a prospective learner / interested person to leave a digital footprint of courses they have accessed. I can imagine situations where an individual would like to retain anonymity when deciding if an open course would be of interest.

Worse than having to register for access to an open course are the ones that require completion of a gatekeeper “test” to access the next module. I’m never that interested.

The article about lurkers was interesting. I find it odd that they are so concerned about trying to get peripheral learners to be more visibly present in the open courses.

Agreed - there is much to be learned through reflective observation. We know from our data that a high percentage of OERu learners actually read the contributions of others who post even though they are not visibly present in the courses.

I think the level of engagement that is appropriate is up to the learner (within course requirements). It is a bit of a self-determining issue. Some people are comfortable actively engaging, but as noted in your comment a lot of learners prefer to browse and gather information. The decision on how much to actively engage may also depend on the openness of anything they actively engage with - is it an open course or closed course? It may be more comfortable for people to actively engage and leave behind a footprint if it was only open to people they know.

Another thing to consider is what is “engagement”. Learners might consider that browsing and information gathering is appropriate engagement with the course and achieves learning, without having left a footprint behind. There are a lot of different perspectives to consider for this question.


Totally agree Kelleigh - learners should have freedom to decide how and how much they engage publicly. That freedom includes the autonomy to decide whether to leave a digital footprint in open courses. Excellent point and thanks for sharing!

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Another good point - Listening attentively to a face-to-face lecture without participating in classroom discussion, does not mean the learner is not engaged.


#LiDA102 I think the act in the behaviour of lurking too ambiguous in that there is a very thin line between being ‘genuinely’ passive, being passive in fear of what other people might think, being passive for not able to articulate should a debate arise or avoid a misunderstanding, or drama… the list goes on …

  • In a digital age, how important is it for you to build a digital footprint of your learning? I think living in a digital age it is very important for me to build a digital foot print of my learning because my digital foot print can determine my digital reputation and also if a employer wants to hire me he will make sure to look at my digital foot prints before hiring me so I have to be very careful.

We are living in a digital world that every thing we do is electronically done.It is very challenging for me to build a good digital foot print because at first i didn’t know but now i do so it is a good opportunity for me to make a fresh start and build a good identity for my my future reference.

It is important that we build a digital footprint but it is also important that understanding how our digital footprints can affect our education, it helps us choose and control what we leave online for other to find. A digital footprint that implies a positive image helps in creating strong and lasting relationships in our educational, work and personal life. #LiDA102

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I am approaching this from a professional level, and so most of my online footprint is professional, but as a rule private and personal information should not be visible however participation in events and projects is good to have from a professional point of view.
Professionally building a digital footprint can be very important in certain communities of practice and can also work well to validate how active you have been in your sector. That being said it is better to have no footprint than to have personal or negative information.
In this course, a moderate level of participation is essential, mostly because participation is part of the course tasks, however, a higher level of participation will involve the learning material to a greater extent for facilitating more learning.
I am taking this course by myself, and therefore interactions are somewhat sporadic with various individuals who are participating in different ways and times; if I were in a class that started this course at the same time, then I would probably be more motivated to involve myself to a greater degree.
I do not engage much in social media, posting or commenting or even liking, so my participation on these channels tends to be much higher than my participation in other more public channels. My level of participation, while never very high on public social media, my participation level has dwindled over the years, especially since the pandemic. I haven’t even logged on to my Facebook in about a year.


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It is good to hear that you are participating in more online courses. I’m practically new, as #Lida101 was my first, and now I’m attempting this one. I trust I will be inspired by your commitment to complete this course and move on to others.

I have had the opposite view regarding online participation. I’m more active on social media, posting pictures of myself and liking other users’ posts on Facebook, Instagram, etc. As far as footprints are concerned, professionally, I might have something on LinkedIn.
I hope to be active in this course as well.

The Power of Openness and Transparency

Embracing open and transparent learning has its merits. When knowledge and resources are shared openly, it creates an environment of collaboration and community. By opening ourselves to others, we invite feedback, fresh perspectives, and insights that can enrich our understanding. It also fosters a sense of accountability as we engage in public discussions or share our expertise.

The Value of Privacy

On the other hand, there are valid reasons to keep certain information private. Respecting personal privacy and safeguarding sensitive data, such as personal identification or proprietary knowledge, is crucial. Maintaining boundaries between our personal and professional lives allows us to preserve our sense of self and protect what matters most.

Striking the Balance

Finding the right balance between openness and privacy is a personal choice. It hinges on the specific context, the nature of the information, and our comfort levels. While embracing the benefits of sharing is essential, exercising caution and considering the potential consequences is equally important.

Building a Digital Footprint

Building a digital footprint of our learning experiences has become increasingly significant in the digital age. Sharing our expertise, skills, and achievements online can have several advantages. It allows us to demonstrate our capabilities to potential employers or collaborators, expand our professional networks, and contribute to online communities. It also provides a platform to showcase our learning journey and foster a positive online presence.

Challenges and Opportunities

Building an online identity comes with its own set of challenges. Privacy management and controlling the visibility of personal information are crucial. Online security risks and the potential misuse of data require vigilance. Navigating the complexities of online reputation management becomes vital. Nevertheless, the opportunities to connect, collaborate, and contribute make it a journey worth considering.

Engagement in Learning Communities

When reflecting on our level of online engagement, it is crucial to align it with the specific learning environment or community. Active participation in discussions, asking questions, and sharing relevant insights are valuable contributions. Collaborating with peers through group projects or online platforms can enhance the learning experience. Seeking guidance from instructors or mentors fosters growth. However, striking a balance between engagement and personal well-being is essential.

Final Thoughts

We must evaluate our boundaries and preferences regarding open and transparent learning. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the balance may vary from person to person and context. By carefully considering the benefits and potential risks, we can navigate the digital landscape and shape our learning experiences to align with our goals and values.