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Students' use of Facebook groups for peer to-peer learning

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Paper presentation for Networked Learning Conference 2014. The presentation shows findings from an empirical study of five non-institutional Facebook groups created and managed by students in Danish upper secondary schools. The study rejects the claims that students do not wish to use Facebook for school-related activities. The empirical study demonstrates that students are using Facebook groups to help each other with all kinds of school-related matters, including issues relating directly to academic subjects. Based on the findings from the study, the paper concludes that there is an educational potential of Facebook groups in supporting peer-to-peer learning between students.

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Students' use of Facebook groups for peer to-peer learning

  1. 1. Students’ use of Facebook for peer-to-peer learning Christian Dalsgaard, associate professor @chrdalsgaard cdalsgaard@tdm.au.dk Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media Aarhus University Denmark
  2. 2. What are the educational potentials of Facebook groups?
  3. 3. Educational potentials of Facebook? • Facebook as a Learning Management System • Facebook for social integration
  4. 4. Study – upper secondary education 17 schools 182 teachers 2035 students 5 student Facebook groups
  5. 5. Learning Management Systems (LMS) vs. Social media
  6. 6. Almost all the time Often Sometimes Rarely Never Don’t know To what extent do you use LMS to communicate with your teacher? To what extent do you use social media to communicate with your teacher? Almost all the time Often Sometimes Rarely Never Don’t know
  7. 7. Almost all the time Often Sometimes Rarely Never Don’t know To what extent do you use LMS to help or receive help from fellow students regarding homework? Almost all the time Often Sometimes Rarely Never Don’t know To what extent do you use social media help or receive help from fellow students regarding homework?
  8. 8. Students use LMS to communicate with teachers Students rarely use LMS to help each other
  9. 9. Students rarely use social media to communicate with teachers Students use social media to help each other
  10. 10. Student-managed Facebook groups
  11. 11. 5 Facebook groups Total 3139 posts 15018 comments Average 1 post 4 comments per day
  12. 12. Categories of communication Social posts not relating to school work •  Social events in school •  Social events outside school Academic posts •  Subject matter •  Study technique •  Administrative issues
  13. 13. Where are the materials for classical civilization?" How do you define something in Maple?" Where should we submit the math assignment?" Biology is moved to Thursday" The Danish lesson is cancelled" How do you use sinus in Maple?"
  14. 14. What are the educational potentials of Facebook groups?
  15. 15. Facebook for peer-to-peer learning Facebook is not only for social integration and non-academic communication Students use Facebook groups to help each other with school work Students take on the role of teachers and utilise Facebook groups for peer-to- peer learning THANK YOU! Christian Dalsgaard @chrdalsgaard cdalsgaard@tdm.au.dk

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