Facebook : a tool to enhance teaching and learning for postgraduate research students

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    The popularity of social networking sites has boomed in recent years and the number of registered users continues to increase. Existing literature reports on the vast impact of these online sites not only on numerous areas of everyday life but also on the realm of higher education. In spite of the potential use of these sites as education and communication tools, few academics use them. In the current study, various Facebook elements were introduced to a group of postgraduate research methodology students with the purpose of exploring and describing the ways in which Facebook could be used to enhance learning from a student's perspective. A mixed-methods design was followed in that data were collected using pre- and post-module questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. It was found that the use of Facebook in the postgraduate research course was perceived as beneficial, but the social presence of the students on the page was low. Although the students felt that its use promoted their ability to grasp complex concepts, which is particularly relevant to the research methodology classroom, it was evident that improved student participation on Facebook could only be achieved through required participation and a heightened teaching presence.