Investigating the Use of Facebook as a Dynamic Communication Tool for Engineering Undergraduates
International Journal for Digital Society (IJDS)
The proliferation of social networks as part of the Web 2.0 evolution has not passed unnoticed to members of the academic society, who have attempted in various ways to include them into their teaching methodology. One potential application is their use as dynamic communication tools between lecturer and students. The key focus of this paper is to explore the use of Facebook as such a tool with a selection of undergraduate Engineering and Engineering Science classes, ranging in size from 20 to
... in size from 20 to 90 students. The use of Twitter is also briefly considered, as an alternative, but initial results showed that the use of this social network did not succeed for a number of factors including the lack of privacy, lack of familiarity by the students, and the limitations of the Twitter posts. On the other hand, the use of Facebook was positively adopted by the students, due to factors such as increased privacy of personal information, flexibility and familiarity. Both student and lecturer feedback on the use of both social networks is presented within. Following the implementation of Twitter and Facebook communication channels with our students, and analysing the results obtained, we feel that only Facebook groups appear as a strong potential candidate to create a dynamic communication link with the students.