GO WHERE THE STUDENTS ARE: GROUPS IN FACEBOOK TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS

A. Najera1, J. González-Rubio1, R. Ramírez-Vázquez1, C. Suarez2, P. Gómez1, A. Beléndez3, F.J. Escobar-Rabadan4, E. Arribas Garde1, R. Reolid1

1University of Castilla-La Mancha (SPAIN)
2University of San Luis Potosi (MEXICO)
3University of Alicante (SPAIN)
4Health Center Zona IV. SESCAM (SPAIN)
With the arrival of social media, medical students, future healthcare professionals, not only need to be aware of professionalism in their face-to-face interactions but also in the new virtual environments. Use of social networking by medical students is increasing, and some students lack awareness of consequences arising from the crossing of social networking and medicine. In this context, the use of Facebook could develop medical education beyond the restrictions of the classroom, and also be the connection between informal and formal learning, engaging students with educational content outside the classroom. Moreover, social media can be also used in health care training to improve communication between students and educators, patient communication, public health programs or research.

The aim of this study was to assess the interest and participation of students and educators of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain) in a closed and private group in Facebook.

The group was created in September 2011 and it already has 939 users including administrative staff, teachers and students. There are no rules more than terms of use of Facebook, but it is recommendable that posts might be related to Health and Research in Medical Sciences.

We analysed its use during the course 2015-16 through which there were a total of 563 publications, most of them done by students (344; 61%) rather than the faculty and the staff (219;39%). A total of 9,375 impressions, comments and shares were also registered. We classify publications between three mayor themes: those related to learning (181), scientific advances and science spreading (242), and other (140). Students shared more contents related to learning process (139) rather than scientific advances (94) and others (111), while teachers shared 148, 42 and 29 respectively. We also analysed the number or impressions to post: 583 comments, 130 shares, and a total of 8662 impressions (“likes”).

Students greatly appreciate the group use by teachers, but only a few have an account in social networks. In general, the posts that raise more interest were those related to science. We perform an opinion survey in the group: a total of 97 users answer the survey, 96 indicated that the group was useful or very useful and that they were very satisfied; only one user indicates that was fairly satisfied.