ERIC Number: EJ1038858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
The Academic Journey of University Students on Facebook: An Analysis of Informal Academic-Related Activity over a Semester
Vivian, Rebecca; Barnes, Alan; Geer, Ruth; Wood, Denise
Research in Learning Technology, v22 2014
This paper reports on an observation of 70 university students' use of their personal social network site (SNS), Facebook, over a 22-week university study period. The study sought to determine the extent that university students use their personal SNSs to support learning by exploring frequencies of academic-related content and topics being discussed. The findings reported in the paper reveal that students used their personal SNSs to discuss academic-related topics, particularly to share experiences about doing work or procrastinating, course content and grades. Mapping academic-related activity frequencies over the 22 weeks illustrated that around certain points in the academic calendar, particularly times when students' assignments or exams were nearing, academic activity increased, suggesting that SNSs may play an important role in a students' academic experience. The findings suggest that many students today may be leaving traces of their academic journey online and that academics should be aware that these interactions may also exist in their own students' online social spaces. This study offers opportunities for future research, particularly research which seeks to determine differences between individuals' academic activity, the extent that intensive SNSs use supports or distracts students from learning, as well as the extent to which universities should or can harness SNSs to improve the student experience.
Descriptors: Social Networks, Computer Mediated Communication, College Students, Course Content, Grades (Scholastic), Role, Learning Processes, Informal Education, Assignments, Information Sources, Academic Achievement, Educational Experience, Mixed Methods Research, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Foreign Countries, Focus Groups, Ethnography, Graphs, Interpersonal Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia