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ERIC Number: EJ1135554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-4744
The "Facebook" Effect: College Students' Perceptions of Online Discussions in the Age of Social Networking
Hurt, Nicole E.; Moss, Gregory S.; Bradley, Christen L.; Larson, Lincoln R.; Lovelace, Matthew; Prevost, Luanna B.; Riley, Nancy; Domizi, Denise; Camus, Melinda S.
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v6 n2 Article 10 Jul 2012
Despite the growing prominence of Facebook in the lives of college students, few studies have investigated the potential of these innovative web-based communication tools for engaging students in academic discussions. This study used a pre-test, post-test design in two introductory-level courses at a large public university to compare students' (n = 107) perceptions of, attitudes toward, and perceived learning associated with two different online discussion tools: the Facebook group forum and a university-sponsored online tool. Although pre-course surveys indicated that few students enjoyed online discussions, post-course analysis revealed significant changes in students' opinions regarding the value and functionality of web-based discussion forums, with Facebook as their clear preference. Students who participated in Facebook discussions enjoyed the site's familiarity, navigability, and aesthetically appealing interface. Facebook users also reported that they were able to become better acquainted with classmates, felt like valued participants in the course, and learned more course material. This study suggests that, if used appropriately, Facebook may help to increase college student engagement in certain learning contexts by cultivating classroom community and stimulating intellectual discourse.
Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University. IJ-SoTL, Georgia Southern University, Henderson Library 1301, Statesboro, GA 30460. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A