Learning in Facebook: First year tertiary student reflections from 2008 to 2011

Josh McCarthy


This paper reflects on the use of Facebook as an online learning environment for first year design students from 2008 to 2011. Between 2008 and 2010 three student cohorts from the University of Adelaide engaged with their peers through forums hosted by Facebook, submitting work-in-progress imagery and critiquing peers' submissions. In 2011 the study expanded to include national and international collaborators with first year cohorts from Swinburne University in Australia, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore also participating, allowing students to interact with their global peers. The online forum facilitated increased peer interaction, particularly between local and international students, and improved academic performance as a result of consistent feedback from a range of sources. At the end of 2011 students from the four participating cohorts between 2008 and 2011 were invited to take part in a survey reflecting on and evaluating the learning experiences in Facebook. The results highlighted many positive outcomes regarding the online forum, and have led to the establishment of a series of recommendations for the future use of Facebook as a learning tool, outlined at the conclusion of this paper.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.373