Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement

Facebook Group as a Learning Management System Facebook for Teaching and Learning: A Review of the Literature Literature Review of Research on Facebook Use
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Published Date:18-11-2017
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I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 Published Online November 2015 in MECS (http://www.mecs-press.org/) DOI: 10.5815/ijmecs.2015.11.07 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool Ibtesam Fares. Al-Mashaqbeh Department of Computer Science, Al al-Bayt University (AABU), Mafraq-Jordan E-mail: ibtesamirbidyahoo.com Abstract—The aim of this study is to investigate higher- Instructors should support students by encouraging them education student‟s attitude toward the use of Facebook, to explore the Social Media resources. This will help as one of the social media tool, to enhance their them enjoy their learning time. Now a day, by looking at education. This study was conducted on college students the evolving technology, particularly the one associated at one of the Jordanian higher educational institution. The with using Facebook in education, it will bring teachers number of participants of this study was forty five and students closer and increase student‟s desire and students who were enrolled in Computer Educational motivation for learning. course. This course is either a graduation requirement for A. Use of social media all elementary education major students or as an elective course for other student‟s non-computer majors. We Facebook is a good educational tool to organize class noticed that each student has created a Facebook Page to activities and student‟s communications. Student may use for the class purposes and other page(s) for their own interact with each other for many purposes such as: personal needs. The result of the study showed that the getting information about class activities, networking Facebook site is a useful tool to deliver course materials with each other, getting class notes, and to set up and support learning. Students have showed their meetings and to create project groups. There are a lot of acceptance of this media to communicate with others and advantages for utilizing Facebook as a good tool to to find course materials and references. Most support learning, such as: it is a cost-effective teaching participants felt motivated and enjoyed going through the resource, network is possible and it is already set-up, and course when using the Facebook site. most students are very well familiar with Facebook application. On the other hand, if needed, teachers or Index Terms—Computer assists learning, educational students can get help on how to use Facebook by technology, Facebook for learning, higher education. searching on the internet and finding many resources available or may get help from their peers to set up a Facebook account. Facebook is placed in the category of I. INTRODUCTION internet based learning that involves students in a way that a traditional teaching method does not. Using The development of information technology and Facebook should enhance student‟s performance, and computer applications, open the door for many social also, it helps student to become more active and engaged media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, and weblogs that in learning 2. Online Social activities that use Facebook help students to interact with each other. Facebook is a site will enhance student‟s ability to stay connected and popular social media tool that support information be active in his/ her community. It could be used by exchange between class-mates. Initially, it was designed students to interact with instructors for those who have for social interaction purposes, and later on it became a low self-esteem 3. Social sites have the capabilities to great potential for broadcasting information and speeding serve as an excellent educational tool. Students have used up the learning process. Instructors can use this tool to online environment for building, buying, and creating encourage learning, exchange information, and organize educational tasks. It provides instructors and students the class activities. learning flexibility environment, by having a chance to The web environment provides many educational continue their education from home on their own pace opportunities and advantages over traditional classes. It and time. Students enjoy this environment and it is an includes additional resources and materials to be utilized easier way to interact with their professors 4. during the class period. Also, Additional advantages are In this century the duty of the educators should focus the emphasis on the written word through e-mails and/or on providing students with high quality education, online discussion to support a deeper level of thinking utilizing methods and resources that bring students back and generating new ideas. In web environment, a one-to- to caring more about their education. This will go on the one relationship between student and instructor may be same path with student‟s need, trying new ways, and not more emphasized than in traditional teaching settings 1. keeping stock in the old style way of teaching. The old Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the 61 Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool style will impose some restrictions on students such as: meanly for social interaction purpose and for student having a limited computer access, more restricted web- work in class research projects. A lack of control by page browsing, no cell phone allowed, etc. The student instructors is the most concern issue regarding the use of deserves to have a positive educational environment, and Facebook sites for academic purpose. Facebook site is a these restrictions will not help. Students need to use medium for students‟ interaction, but has a limited role different type of technology without having the fear of play in promoting student engagement in learning the unfamiliar or may lose control which will cause more process. It could lead to be used as a vehicle for rejection of technology 5. information exchange, rather than as a vehicle for Facebook frequently used to communicate with others strengthening students learning. Using Facebook sites in through writing private messages, chat, comments, wall an organized educational plan should help creating a posts-messages, and creating groups that appear on user‟s positive interaction that leads to a successful learning personal page 6. In teaching-learning process it could environment 11. Using network sites should help be used to work on class assignments, to facilitate direct students maximize their knowledge by providing them engagement with academic work by chatting, and to set with easier access to references, such as professional up times for face-to-face meetings. It also could be used research papers. This process may improve student‟s to facilitate social engagement around future academic learning strategy, as well. They can access digital library plan 7. As shown in Fig. 1. to read materials that enrich their knowledge and share their opinions about specific class 12. A social network media has been used in education as a tool to enhance learning. Most research has contradictory results related to the benefit of using Facebook in education. Some research support the use of Facebook sites and found that it is a good resource for learning, and other research result was against using it as a learning strategy 13. The use of Facebook has determined and influenced by some social factors that are related to different aspects such as: user‟s experience with the website, culture may as well play a role in how users employ Facebook, use of Facebook is also influenced by peer-to-peer experience with the website, and gender is found to be a possible factor influencing Facebook use 14. Facebook has been used, from the beginning, as a social media that leads to be a good representative of people‟s opinion. It gives a good indication on the Fig.1. Creating groups achievements of specific goals related to progress of There are some privacy concerns when utilizing the heritage-based tourism orientation. People sharing social network sites in learning needs, because it supports through Facebook recorded comments, opinions, pictures, freely interaction between students and their professors, and information that are related to specific hot topics. and the consistency of using Facebook. On the other Social networking applications such as: Facebook, hand there are positive attitude toward the application of Twitter and YouTube became people‟s daily activities Facebook in education. It helps instructors connect with 15. There are many studies, related to this existing their students and discus their assignments, upcoming study, indicates that collection of information about the events, post useful links, and samples of work. Students use of social multimedia such as Facebook and can use Facebook sites to check out their teachers‟ Blackboard as a course delivery method. They found that profiles to read his personal information, interests, and using social media sites as a delivery tool for course background and friends, which could enhance and materials and communications was useful and enjoyable. motivate learning climate 8. Facebook is a good They also recommended conducting more studies to educational opportunity to engage students in learning. examine its effect and benefits 16 and 17. Another advantage is that it helps bring back students The use of social media such as Facebook as the who dropped out of school, and motivate them for related studies found it considered as: a good tool for learning. It makes the professor more approachable by learning and teaching settings, it is consider as a best connecting with his students via his Facebook site. Also, practice process in education, it is a successful method it encourages students to learn in a collaborative that motivate students learning and teaching, it also, environment 9. Using Facebook group page can enable could be helpful process to be used for quizzes, student to communicate with other students. This presentations, and announcement 18, 19, and 20. communication is considered a helpful process to achieve Using Facebook in teaching and learning process could educational goals and to work as a team to finish group foster learning in both formal and informal setting 21. projects. So, using Facebook in school is considered an Facebook applications could be used for class assessment, interesting method 10. self-directed learning, group learning activities, and as a In higher education settings, Facebook sites were used learning management system 22. A study conducted to Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 62 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool collect student‟s attitude toward the use of Facebook as a Facebook that may the user know or be interested learning instruments. It found that students felt in satisfaction with the use of online environment to support • Highlights. It informs users of any friend‟s learning interaction 23. comments on pictures or videos they have liked 26. B. Facebook Facebook was started in 2004 in Harvard University There are two important tabs in Facebook site: first tab is the wall, which is the user‟s main "space" on Facebook. by student Mark Zuckerberg. He created a web site as a Second tab is the Info, which considered as the user‟s social media for Harvard students to communicate with each other. By late 2004, more than half of Harvard space, where the user can type in information and can students were using the web site. After that Facebook add or remove data at any time. Facebook applications include: Notes, Photos, Links, was then opened, eventually, at most colleges across the United States and Canada. Later on, Facebook site was Video, Games, and Quizzes. The personal Facebook site is a user friendly, easy to set up and use. It includes: released worldwide in year 2006. The Facebook site now News-Feed that have the updated list of what friends are is open to anyone age 13 and older with a valid e-mail doing and posting. It divided into two portions: Top address. The Facebook site includes the following areas: picture profile, Contact information, the Wall, status News and Most Recent. This page allows users to manage their personal friend‟s list by editing information, update as shown in Fig. 2, and news feed 24. So, from having a site for social communication between students or adding and deleting friends as shown in. Using the Privacy Settings area that have the ability to protect belonging to one university, Facebook site has become a global social network and part of our daily live activities. privacy by having the option to control what others see, right down to individual photo albums, or various pieces People use Facebook to interact by posting messages and pictures, it also been used to present commercial products of personal information. Other Facebook feature is the Like Comment area that allows friends to quickly show and services, companies, organize, and apply for jobs. Also, it been used by students and educators for support for one another‟s content by clicking a “Like” button to let the others know that the user liked the transmitting research materials and professional work and projects. content 27. As shown in Fig. 3. Fig.2. Status update The basic Facebook profile includes the following Fig.3. News Feed. areas: profile picture; Contact information; The Wall; Status update; News Feed. Facebook friends and groups sites; and area uploading or erase photos and videos 25. Facebook site has five major components: News Feed, II. THE STUDY Filters, Requests, Suggestions, and Highlights. These components work as following: A. The important of the study The purpose of this study is to examine the use of • News Feed. Users can see others activities on Facebook in university by students and teachers for Facebook such as: Wall posts, uploaded Photos or educational purposes in computer courses. The goal of videos, and posted links. the study was to determine if the implementation of • Filters. It directs users to manage activity in the social networking media such as Facebook would support homepage. student‟s education process. Researcher also sought to • Requests. It informs users with any request or understand how students use social networking, outside invitation then users has the option to accept, the traditional meeting and classroom space, and how Ignore, or Block. they perceive the use it for educational purposes. • Suggestions. It inform users with any suggestions made by friends, groups or pages uploaded by B. Research Questions Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the 63 Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool The following are the research questions were used to by the researcher. The student‟s responses were marked guide the design and implementation of this study: directly on the survey. The questionnaire items were made in the form of statements to which the student had 1. What are the student‟s perceptions toward using to respond on five-point scale. This scale spanned Facebook site as a tool to support learning process? between "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree". The 2. What are the most and least part of the Facebook questions were intended to gather information about site services that were used during the course term? student‟s satisfaction with the use of Facebook site as a 3. Are student‟s perceptions toward using Facebook, course communication tool. as a supporting tool, for course delivery vary To insure the validity of the research method, it was based on selected variables, such as: year of study, sent to five technology education faculty members for past experience with Facebook, and student evaluation. These members were asked to evaluate the specialization? questionnaire method and recommend any changes that could help the study. After this, a good feedback was received and some recommendations were made and taken into consideration. III. METHODOLOGY C. Procedure The present study has three phases. Phase 1: students were asked to create a Facebook page to be used for the During this study the instructor: course activities. Phase 2: students were asked to make invitation to other students to be a friend to each other on - Created a Facebook site representing the computer the course Facebook site. Phase 3: students were asked to in education course materials and instructions. use the Facebook page created for the course, to - Separated the course Facebook page from his communicate with other students and the instructor. The personal page and communicates with students instructor posts certain rules and directions to follow through it. during the course period. - Informed his students that they will not be A. Sample viewing their profile page, and setting their page to “limit” insures that they will not see anything The present study was conducted at Al Al-Bayt the student does not want them to see. University during the first semester of 2013-2014. Al Al- - Posted on the course Facebook site the contents, Bayt University is one of the higher education videos, pictures, and messages that are related to institutions in Jordan. Participants of this study were 49 the course work in a weekly basis. students who were either, enrolled in the Computer - Created a “Facebook Office Hours,” to allow Educational course which is a requirement for graduation students to communicate with him using for all elementary education major students, or other Facebook chat. This will give the student the students taking the course as an elective for other majors. opportunity to ask questions or get additional The main objective of the study was to learn about using feedback. computer applications as educational tools to support - Made announcements for exams, quizzes, education. All participants of the study belong to the assignments, or general college events that he same academic background. would like this student to know about it. B. Research Instruments: - Informed students about their work, absence or improvement during the semester, but in a private 1. Course Facebook site: message by the Facebook site on student‟s emails. During the study period the students were asked to To accomplish the aims of the study, a course Facebook page was created by the instructor and each do the following as shown in Fig. 4. student was asked to create their own Facebook site that different from their personal account if any. Since most Post materials as extra task at students were familiar with the technology, it was a least once a week simple transition for them to keep up with their class work using a social network. This page includes the following main places for: picture profile; contact Students Set their profile to “open” information; post comments; status update; updating were and add other students in the information about the Facebook friends and groups sites; asked to class as friends and uploading or erase photos and videos. do the following 2. The Survey Learn about extra materials The data for this survey were collected by means of a that are presented by others questionnaire intended to elicit student‟s perceptions toward the use of Facebook site, as a social media, to support traditional teaching method. The survey Fig. 4. Steps students follow during the class period questionnaires consist of 34 items which was developed Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 64 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool 3.71, which indicates a positive student‟s attitude toward IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION the use of Facebook site for educational purpose. A. Demographics The results related to the second research question “What are the most and least part of the Facebook site As shown on Table 1, the participants of the study services that were used during the course term” were were the students who registered in the course during the shown in Table 2. It revealed, based on the highest mean first semester (49 students). It shows that as to the year of value, that the most important item was number 7 with a study, 49% of the participants were in their first and mean value of 4.2. "I used the Facebook site to find second year; 51% were in their third and fourth year. different multimedia that helps simplifies the class Regarding the third demographic question about having materials “. It was noticed that questions 18, 34, 9, 24 computer experience, Table 1 shows that 46.9% replied were very important and have the highest means (4.1, that they have computer experience, and 53.1% replied 4.04). These results describe the student‟s most used that they did not have computer experience. It also shows activities in the Facebook site. The lowest mean was 2.9 that the participant‟s majors were 32.7% from Science for item 23. “The site was used to get the comments and College and 67.3% from Humanity College. grading homework”. Results related to the third research question "Are Table 1. Students Answered for the Demographic Questions students' perceptions toward using Facebook site as a Facebook Year Major supporting tool for course delivery differ based on Experience selected variables: year of study, past experience with First & Third & Humanit Facebook, student specialization?” It revealed that There Science Second Fourth Yes No y college were no statistically significant differences at (α = 0.05) year year College in the use of Facebook units due to students majors. 49 51 46.9 53.1 32.7 67.3 There are statistically significant differences at (α = 0.05) in the use of Facebook units due to the year of study The Results of the study that is related to the first variable, in favour of, the third and fourth year students. research question “What are student‟s perceptions toward The result also, revealed that there are statistically using Facebook site for educational purposes”. It was significant differences at (α = 0.05) in the use of revealed that the descriptive analysis for the 34 items of Facebook units due to the past experience with Facebook the survey method that was used to describe students' variable. In favour of students with no Facebook use perceptions. It indicated that the overall mean score was experience. Table 2. The responses for the survey items were reordered based on the highest mean value Item Mean Std. Dev 7 I used the Facebook site to find different multimedia that help simplifies the new topic 4.2 1 18 The site was used to add or remove friends 4.1 1.026 34 I think that using Facebook site for learning consider as an active learning and it is a good tool for learning 4.08 1,187 9 The Facebook site was used to send students activities and exercises to course site 4.04 0.865 24 The site was used to read the course tasks deadline 4.02 0.946 10 I used the site to get information about deadlines homework 4 1 20 The site was used to get information about the first, second, and final exam times 3.94 1.008 8 I used the Facebook site to get instruction about students duty and requirements 3.92 1.096 1 Facebook gave me the chance to choose the writing language 3.9 1.085 25 The site was used to get information about day by day comments from the instructor 3.88 1.013 26 The site was used to add, delete , update materials 3.88 0.992 11 The site was used to get information about instructor feedback and comments 3.86 1.041 16 The site was used to see others reactions and response to discussions 3.86 1.099 28 The site was used to get information about group task and progress 3.86 1.061 13 I used the chatting for fast communication with others after class time 3.82 0.905 33 The site was used to get updates about the personal page and note 3.76 1.465 19 The site was used by instructor to direct our discussion and participations 3.73 1.335 15 The site was used to discuss and answer questions that related the class topics 3.65 1.165 6 I used the Facebook site to read class materials and lectures. 3.55 0.959 30 The site was used to add webs addresses that support the course topics 3.55 1.292 4 I used the Facebook site to get information about class terms and references 3.53 1.12 3 I used the site to get information about class schedule and dates 3.51 0.938 22 The site was used to announce each student task 3.49 1.12 29 The site was used to download files and materials as an extra references 3.49 1.227 14 I used the site to add class news and updates 3.43 1.099 17 The site was used to response to other students imported pictures and materials or pressing like 3.31 1.025 21 The site was used to explain difficult terms 3.22 1.388 23 The site was used to get the comments and grading homework 2.9 1.373 Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66 Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student‟s Attitudes towards the 65 Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool These findings suggested that using Facebook site for REFERENCES educational purposes on higher education is likely to be a 1 G. Smith, and D. Ferguson, Teaching college courses motivating factor for teaching and learning process. The online VS Face-to- Face. T.H.E. Journal, 28, 18-26,. Facebook site for this study have created an active 2001. learning environment that could find equal opportunities 2 T. L. Towner, A. VanHorn, and S. L. Parker, Facebook: to practice communicate and have feedback from the Classroom tool for a classroom community? Paper presented at the Midwestern Political Science Association, instructor and his students. The researcher, as a faculty Annual Meeting, pp. 1-18, 2007 member in higher education institute, were very 3 N. B. Ellison, C. Steinfield, and C. 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Kim, How and Why College Students Use professor, Faculty of Information Web 2.0 Applications: The Role of Social Media in Technology, Dept. of Computer Science, Formal and Informal Learning. Int. J. of Web Based Al al-Bayt University (AABU), Mafraq- Communities, .9(2), 174 – 187, 2013. Jordan. Al-Mashaqbeh primary teaching 22 Q. Wang, H. L. Woo, and C. L. Quek, Perceived areas are related to the use of computer Usefulness of Facebook for Teaching and Learning: the applications in teaching and online Student Teacher's Perspective. Int. J. of Web Based teaching process. She has over 10 years Communities, .9(2), 243 – 255, 2013. teaching experience at the university levels for graduate and 23 M. Kang, and T. Im, Factors of Learner–Instructor undergraduate levels. Her research and writing focus on Interaction Which Predict Perceived Learning Outcomes pedagogical use of computer tools, and integration of specific in Online Learning Environment. Journal of Computer computer tools into actual classroom instruction to support Assisted Learning, 29, 292–301, 2013. meaningful learning. 24 Wikipedia, “Wikipedia, Facebook” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook, 2014. How to cite this paper: Ibtesam Fares. Al-Mashaqbeh,"Facebook Applications to Promote Academic Engagement: Student's Attitudes towards the Use of Facebook as a Learning Tool", IJMECS, vol.7, no.11, pp.60-66, 2015.DOI: 10.5815/ijmecs.2015.11.07 Copyright © 2015 MECS I.J. Modern Education and Computer Science, 2015, 11, 60-66

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