From Verbal to Visual: Can Instagram be used to Assess Learning in Higher Education?
Abstract: Instagram (IG) is a mobile photo and video sharing platform that enables users to produce digital media and share it instantly with a global community of users. Although IG is a relatively new platform only ten years old, it has a billion users worldwide. Its use appeals to younger generations who enjoy communicating in a visual manner rather than with words. Current literature on IG in educational settings is in its infancy, with preliminary reports describing its potential in education, especially in English language learning. Therefore, discussion about using IG in the classroom has been anecdotal, with a lack of compelling evidence of its effectiveness for learning. Other research gaps include student attitudes towards IG for education, self-regulation and motivation when using the platform for learning purposes, and assessment rubrics. Due to IG’s popularity amongst the younger generation, there is potential to use it in higher education as a platform to promote student learning. This research paper covers the basics of IG and debates the potential advantages and pitfalls of its application as an assessment tool in higher education. The author highlights the need for theoretical models to inform a systematic approach to IG in the classroom and for rigorous longitudinal studies across different disciplines.