Learning in the Café: Pilot testing the collaborative application for education in Facebook
This paper reports on a pilot study using the Café, the collaborative application for education as an online learning environment within the Facebook framework, for first-year tertiary design students. The Café, a new e-learning application, has been designed based on five principles of user interface design – visibility, usability, relevance, accessibility and interactivity – and developed not only to take advantage of Facebook’s popularity and social qualities, but also to provide institutions with an established, structured and dedicated e-learning environment that meets the needs of contemporary tertiary students and teaching staff. From March to June in 2013, 48 students participated within the e-learning environment, in combination with traditional face-to-face classes including lectures and tutorials. Students were required to submit work-in-progress imagery related to major assignments, and provide feedback and critiques to their peers. The evaluation process of this new e-learning application involved pre- and post-semester surveys providing participating students with the opportunity to critically reflect on the experience during the semester.
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