Facebook in the University Classroom: Do Students Perceive that it Enhances Community of Practice and Sense of Community?
Doris G. Duncan, Casimir C. Barczyk
Facebook is growing in popularity as an academic application. With over one billion people accessing it globally, it continues to flourish as a social networking media. Educators wanting to enhance the natural learning environment of their classrooms are finding that Facebook is a beneficial supplement. This study aims to determine the attitudes and perceptions of students participating in Facebook-enhanced higher education courses. In a post-test only research design involving 106 students enrolled in four courses at two large public universities in California and Indiana, USA, it was found that students were favorably disposed toward the classroom use of Facebook. They perceived that it enhanced their sense of social learning, with older students experiencing a stronger effect. To a lesser extent it also enhanced their sense of connectedness. Additionally, students perceived that Facebook facilitated their communities of practice (CoP) in terms of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and learner-centered activities. Implications for course design, classroom management and future research are discussed.
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