Students' perceptions of using Facebook as an interactive learning resource at university

Christopher Irwin, Lauren Ball, Ben Desbrow, Michael Leveritt


Facebook is a popular platform that may facilitate learning activities at university. In this study, students' perceptions of using 'Facebook pages' within individual university subject offerings were evaluated. Individual 'Facebook pages' were developed for four university courses and used to provide information relevant to the courses and allow opportunities for student interaction. An initial questionnaire administered in the first lecture of semester indicated that nearly all students (n=161, 93.1%) possessed an activeFacebook account. Most students (n=135, 78.0%) anticipated that a Facebook page would facilitate their learning, by increased interaction with students and instructors, and notifications for course information. A second questionnaire was completed in the final lecture of semester indicating that 81.9% of students engaged with the course Facebook page at some stage. However, perceptions of the effectiveness of the page as a learning tool were variable, with only 51% of students stating that it was effective. Despite this, the majority of students (n=110, 76.4%) recommended using Facebook in future courses. This preliminary evaluation of Facebook as a learning aid suggests that it has the potential to promote collaborative and cooperative learning, but further research is required, specifically to understand if and how it can enhance learning outcomes.

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