Availability: Accessed via a web browser, as well as through mobile applications. All formats require an internet connection.
What is it?
Facebook is the world’s largest social media site with nearly 1.6 billion users. It allows you to share posts and information about yourself; such as interests, gender, marital status etc., with other users. Facebook also allows you to create private groups, as well as pages, events etc., so is a useful tool for organising groups or sharing information with specific people.
How does it work?
To begin using Facebook, you will need to create a profile – although some pages and profiles can be viewed without an account, to interact with the content/person you will require a profile. On Facebook you can add friends which will give them full access to the posts and details on your page. They will be able to view the posts, photos, videos etc. posted, you also are able to share other people’s post with your friends, add them to groups and pages amongst many other things detailed in the supplementary information provided in this section.
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What are the implications for teaching, learning and assessment?
The popularity of Facebook means it is a space that many students will be on and it and able to connect. Due to Facebook’s ability to create private and/or groups, pages and events it can be useful for students and academics alike to share information, as well as planning and management with a specific group.
It is worth noting that not everyone is on Facebook and are may well be legitimate reasons for this (cultural, personal safety or just a dislike of social media). This means that Facebook should never be a core tool in the delivery or management of any learning interactions.
Many educators may not like/want to friend or be friended by their students (some organisational policies prohibit this) due to the bluring of lines between professional and personal spaces/relationships.
For many platforms such as Facebook are seen as social and the language and behaviour there isn’t necessarily appropriate for more professional activities. As an educator/organisation how might you address this? What would the policy regarding, for example. A complaint of inappropriate behaviour conducted within a facebook group used for a course but with no institutional oversight of that space?
For the reasons above Facebook is a great avenue (provided it is not the only one) for information to be pushed out to learners potentially through groups or pages. Providing all learners are willing it also makes for a convenient collaborative space for discussion and organisation of group work