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The academic journey of university students on Facebook : an analysis of informal academic-related activity over a semester

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journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Vivian, A Barnes, R Geer, Denise Wood
This paper reports on an observation of 70 university students' use of their personal social network site (SNS), Facebook, over a 22-week university study period. The study sought to determine the extent that university students use their personal SNSs to support learning by exploring frequencies of academic-related content and topics being discussed. The findings reported in the paper reveal that students used their personal SNSs to discuss academic-related topics, particularly to share experiences about doing work or procrastinating, course content and grades. Mapping academic-related activity frequencies over the 22 weeks illustrated that around certain points in the academic calendar, particularly times when students' assignments or exams were nearing, academic activity increased, suggesting that SNSs may play an important role in a students' academic experience. The findings suggest that many students today may be leaving traces of their academic journey online and that academics should be aware that these interactions may also exist in their own students' online social spaces. This study offers opportunities for future research, particularly research which seeks to determine differences between individuals' academic activity, the extent that intensive SNSs use supports or distracts students from learning, as well as the extent to which universities should or can harness SNSs to improve the student experience.

History

Volume

22

Start Page

1

End Page

16

Number of Pages

16

eISSN

2156-7077

ISSN

2156-7069

Location

Sweden

Publisher

Co-Action Publishing

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Appleton Institute for Behavioural Sciences; TBA Research Institute; University of Adelaide; University of South Australia;

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Research in learning technology.