Today, Facebook (www.facebook.com) is probably the most palpable example of environments known as ‘social networks’ or ‘Web 2.0’. Social networking sites are platforms that facilitate information sharing, interaction and collaboration among their users. However, Facebook’s success is not solely dependent on its capacity to connect people, although this was its initial orientation. The platform’s power for sharing resources and linking content on the Internet to user profiles, as well as its evolution towards live-streaming and microblogging, enable it provide support for complex, continuous interaction experiences and, consequently, to structure collaborative-learning processes. The platform’s communication tools, combined with the option to enhance its potential by installing third-party modules and applications, allow members of a community or work team to carry out very diverse activities. On the basis of theoretical underpinnings represented by the socio-constructivist perspective on communities of practice, the Web2Learn work group analyzed and assessed the features that enable Facebook to be used as a platform for carrying out collaborative online activities from two angles: technological and educational.
Facebook, Social networks, Collaborative learning, Communities of practice, Web 2.0
The purpose of this article is to review the potential pros and cons of using Facebook in an educational context. The authors suggest that “the platform’s [Facebook] power for sharing resources and linking content on the Internet to user profiles, as well as its evolution towards livestreaming and microblogging, enable it [to] provide support for complex, continuous interaction experiences and, consequently, to structure collaborative-learning processes” (p. 197). The primary benefit of using Facebook is that interactive Web 2.0 technologies “foster active participation and student-centered learning” (p. 199). The particular strengths of Facebook for collaborative learning include its pervasiveness, the simplicity of use, the ability to chat, microblog, and message others, the ability to expand the potential of the interface through various add-ons and plug ins, and ease of use for mobile devices. (pp. 202-203). The authors suggest that even though education wasn’t the original intent of Facebook, the benefits of the use of Facebook as a learning tool include the use of innovative learning approaches including informal and collaborative learning. They suggest that since students are active in the process of generating and discussing content on Facebook, this could also potentially increase motivation levels. Ultimately, they argue that the biggest strength of Facebook in pedagogy is its ease, immediacy and ubiquitous nature.
Cerda, F. L., & Planas, N. C. (2011). Facebook’s potential for collaborative e-Learning. Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento (RUSC), 8, 197-210.
|Links to Article||https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.7238/rusc.v8i2.963.pdf|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|In Publication||Revista de Universidad y Sociedad del Conocimiento|
|Type of Research||Critical or postmodern|
|Intervention/Areas of Study||Collaborative, group, or team-based learning|
|Level of Analysis|
|Specific Populations Examined|
|Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest|
|Specific Course or Program Characteristics|
|Outcome Variables of Interest|
|Student Sample Size|