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Facebook and Learning …RG

Learning is social…hence can social media tools be used for learning by students?

About 70% of students in any university use social media in class. It is also common with IT savvy teachers. Having a Facebook page for class, group, community etc is very common. But do students really learn with these Facebook interactions? More importantly, what do these pages mean to the students, particularly for academic purposes?

 Tutors have experienced that with wide range of mobile devices being used by students, they can achieve greater engagement from students by using Facebook which is easily accessible via such devices. The question arises is how it should be used to achieve learning without compromising academic objectives?

Teachers can use NOTES functionality to update key take away for students after every lesson. This section can also be used to upload pre-reading material where students can read before the class and come prepared. With this approach, there will be more interaction in class instead of one way traditional delivery of lecture or should I say beginning of flipped classroom approach.

The LIKE functionality can be used to gather feedback or evaluation of a particular lecture, subject material, lecturer etc. if a lecturer gets a regular feedback on his/her lectures this would give him/her an opportunity to improvise (if required ) or make his lecture more interesting for students. Similarly, this functionality can also be used for peer evaluation. Students can evaluate each other’s work and give constructive comments learn and grow together.

Engaging students in the subject material and maintaining their interest is the most important task every lecturer has. Use of social media can help engage more students than other traditional methods such as survey etc. Since it is easy accessible students need not put extra effort to login via laptop/desktop etc and perform task.

Facebook sends updates whenever anyone comments, likes, adds content etc. hence this can be used to communicate with students. Students can communicate among themselves and with the lecturer on regular basis. They can even form discussion forums and discuss projects without being physically present with each other.

Lecturers can post questions in form of quizzes to help students test themselves in a fun way. They can also discuss their reasoning for choosing a particular answer and it will form a learning community which will benefit everyone reading as well as attempting the question. Student can post questions which may arise during the class. If in case time doesn’t permit, the lecturer can answer those questions later and all students would be updated with the answers.

Such means are measures of eLearning can help immensely to improve curriculum delivery in any sphere of education more efficiently and effectively among peers, students, etc. this can gradually help to implement flipped classroom approach which is make learning more effective and efficient than preset scenario.