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Student involvement and Facebook, the perfect match?

Bilsen, Job (2012) Student involvement and Facebook, the perfect match?

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Abstract:Purpose – The rise of new web technologies (web 2.0) has shifted the way people work and communicate. Not only these technologies are imbued in many peoples lives, they have also attracted the attention of educators. Facebook has become the worlds largest social network with a wide adoption under student population and offers many functionalities that can be used in educational practice. The purpose of this study is to define if Facebook can increase student involvement as this is seen as a strong indicator for learning outcome. Design/Methodology/approach – The conducted research involves a literature review that defined 8 learning techniques that can be used as practical tools to implement Facebook in educational practice. A case study was conducted analyzing the used learning techniques and their impact on ‘student motivation’, ‘student behavior’ and ‘student engagement’ as these are important constructs of student involvement. The cases study consisted of the analysis of two courses given at the University of Twente. In order to get a clear insight on the effects of Facebook multiple research instruments were used. Structured interviews with educators elaborated on the intention of the use of Facebook and their experiences. A focusgroup interview with educators who did not use Facebook in their educational practice was conducted to define both possibilities and implications to the use of Facebook in an educational setting. A survey under students who followed the course tested if there was an effect between the use of Facebook and the perceived student involvement. An in-­‐depth analysis to the Facebook group-­‐ pages was done to measure the impact the learning techniques had on student behavior. Findings – When taking care of some conditions Facebook could be used in the educational practice to increase student involvement. Results show that learning techniques that placed students in an active role had the most impact on student behavior. Originality/value – This research combines the findings of several case studies on the use of Facebook in an educational setting. The distillated learning techniques can be seen as practical tools that can be used for implementing Facebook in the educational practice. The conducted case study offers insights on how to increase student involvement with the use of Facebook. As a result of this study a design-­‐guide and tool-­‐guide for integrating Facebook in the educational practice have been designed. Implications – Due to the small number of respondents in the case study it is hard to generalize some of its results. Also the use of Facebook in both courses had an experimental character and was highly informal. This had implications since not all distilled learning techniques could be tested.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62298
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