Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HONG KONG)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 7267-7275
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Adoption of Facebook for academic usage has seen a rise as the social network platform becomes very popular among young people. 83% of 18 to 29-year-olds who use the Internet are on Facebook in the U.S. [1], with similar trend demonstrated around the world [2]. While research of university students from Parslow et al. in 2008 [3] stated "only 7% felt that Facebook was an appropriate place to learn", recent study from Maleko et al. (2013) [4] indicates that 68% of programming students were willing to be enrolled into a Facebook group for academic learning purpose.

Studio based subjects in design education often involve team of students collaborate on projects, which communication, discussion and review would happen frequently among students and tutors. Due to the high adoption rate of Facebook among students, the ease of access to discussion and instant feedback characteristics provide by the platform [5, 6], we study on the acceptance of utilizing Facebook on learning in these design studio subjects. One aspect of concern is that Facebook as a social network platform represents students' social life, which some want to maintain separation from their academic life [3]. There is also a risk that having lecturer present in Facebook discussion "will change the nature of [the learning] interaction for the worse." [4]

Our research involves surveying design school students from a sub-degree and a bachelor degree program on their adoption of Facebook for academic purpose and the acceptance of having tutor participating within Facebook Group discussion. Further investigation of tutor's effects in Facebook Group were done with two groups of students in the same design studio subject, one with full tutor participation in Facebook throughout, while the tutor intentionally withdrew from the other team’s Facebook Group in the middle of the subject in the control group experiment.

[1] Duggan, Maeve & Brenner, Joanna (2013) The Demographics of Social Media Users — 2012, PeW Research Center, Feb 14, 2013.
[2] Su, Susan (2010) Who’s Using Facebook Around the World? The Demographics of Facebook’s Top 15 Country Markets, Inside Facebook gold, Jun 8, 2010.
[3] Parslow, P., Lundqvist, K. Ø., Williams, S., Ashton, R. and Evans, M. (2008) Facebook & BlackBoard: comparative view of learning environments. In: SSE Systems Engineering Conference 2008, 25-26 Sep 2008, The University of Reading.
[4] Mercy Maleko, Dip Nandi, Margaret Hamilton, Daryl D'Souza, James Harland, "Facebook versus Blackboard for Supporting the Learning of Programming in a Fully Online Course: The Changing Face of Computing Education," latice, pp.83-89, 2013 Learning and Teaching in Computing and Engineering, 2013.
[5] Maleko, M., Hamilton, M. and D'Souza, D. 2012:b. Access to Mobile Learning for Novice Programmers via Social Networking Sites. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Computer Science & Education (ICCSE),Melbourne, Australia, IEEE.
[6] Pempek, T. A., Yermolayeva, Y. A. and Calvert, S. L. 2009. College students' social networking experiences on Facebook. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 30(3): 227-238.
Online social networking, Facebook, Learning Management System, Design studio learning.