AN ENGLISH PLAY IS HOSTED BY FACEBOOK: STUDENTS' ACHIEVEMENTS AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS STUDYING AN ENGLISH PLAY USING THE FACEBOOK ENVIRONMENT
The current research examines the achievements and attitudes of thirty twelfth grade students towards studying an English play in the Facebook environment. The intervention using Facebook took place over a period of two and a half months in a closed group created exclusively for the English class as a second language. The importance of a closed group in Facebook is identified in the literature concerning communities of knowledge which share a common goal, common knowledge and access to resources and communications for creating collaborative products. Our findings reveal positive attitudes and satisfaction of the students concerning the learning experience, as well as a significant improvement in attitudes at the end of the sessions. However, the students’ attitudes were not found to correlate with their grades in the final test on the play. In addition, low achieving students preferred to study in a group, as they did in the Facebook environment, more than high achieving students who preferred to study alone, and apparently need collaborative study less. It seems that the low achievers need the sense of community, support and help that were provided by the group on Facebook. These findings may indicate the contribution of additional factors to achievement, besides positive attitudes and satisfaction. Such factors are predisposition towards collaborative learning, as well as the differences in learning characteristics and task demands between the final test, which was an individual pencil and paper test, and the Facebook online tasks which were collaborative and a-synchronic. A metacognitive analysis of the students' written responses supports and expands the findings of the study.