Facebook and learning

Things have been a little bit quiet lately on the blogging front owing to the need to focus on Assignment 2.  With that done, time to reinvigorate the blogging.

One of the things I wanted to write about was the use of social networking in an educational context. As a by-product of taking this subject I have been able to view first-hand how effective social networking can be for facilitating discussion in an educational setting. One of the difficulties I have found with studying by distance education is the lack of interaction with other students. I like to bounce ideas around with others and for my other subjects that did not really happen. Although the forums were available I felt no real impetus to be involved in discussions like I have with this group. I have really enjoyed reading what others have posted and have felt like that I have been able to interact with my fellow students. I think the key difference with this subject is the way Facebook has been used as the primary means of communicating information. I routinely check Facebook to see if Lyn has posted any information we need to be aware of. By the fact that I am already looking at what others have been posting just by being on the group Facebook page  I am more inclined to get involved because it is easier to do. From a learning perspective I am more likely to be involved in the learning process if it is not onerous to get involved in the first place.

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~ by dassocmed on September 4, 2012.

One Response to “Facebook and learning”

  1. I did the same thing while working on the second assignment: dropped off the blogging, although an additional reason is that it seemed everything I wanted to say was cynical and critical (you might have noticed? and that which came through was only the tip of the iceberg). Hm, that same thread is making this comment difficult :-$

    Second point of agreement: I would enjoy more meaningful interaction with other students and lecturers. I like to bounce ideas around – but I also like to dissect. How to dissect politely requires fairly refined skills which are not only perfectly compatible with but which I would really expect from ‘higher’ education. Such skills I recall being practiced in the ‘old days’ (oh my weary bones), in debates in face-to-face tutorial systems. So it is very disappointing to me that I have not witnessed any guidance or encouragement towards constructive critique in any subject (bar one, oh lovely INF213) so far in this course – beyond “netiquette” and warnings about not harrassing etc. I can guess which factors are involved, but biting my lip now 😛

    I agree that the Facebook group has felt, at times, a little more lively than some subject forums; and yet to my eyes it has also lacked depth that I would have preferred – and which I expect from ‘higher’ education. What is your view on that? I think it is achievable, but I am not sure the steps required are compatible with the direction of the education system today.

    I wonder whether the “face” aspect of Facebook (ie having our profile images there) makes it friendlier? I also wonder whether it is because there are no ‘suggestions’ about what to share that people feel inclined to share anything. There is that cute factor that when we share a link in Facebook it grabs an image from the site – the ease of that is fun? At the same time, I enjoyed much more INF213 in which the suggested topics (which we were not limited to) for discussion were actually well designed for multiple viewpoints, practiced critique content & skill needed for the second assignment, *and* there were rewards (ie marks) for contribution (both originating and responding) to discussion.

    What you say about the ease of checking Facebook is true, although it can be harder to spot new topic threads, new docs, new comments in long discussion threads, etc. Although, in any environment where discussion is active it can be difficult to keep up or catch up.

    Not onerous… absolutely – a huge detriment to the discussion within the Interact forums is that posting is not easy – the interface is a nightmare, formatting is impossible – and forget hyperlinking.

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