The Effectiveness of Self-Directed English Learning through SNS: Adopting Facebook based on Gamification

The Effectiveness of Self-Directed English Learning through SNS: Adopting Facebook based on Gamification

Eun-Sok Won (Mokwon University, Daejeon, South Korea) and Jeong-Ryeol Kim (Korea National University of Education, Cheongju, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2018070101


This article suggests an efficient self-directed learning method that will help improve students' actual English ability by adopting Facebook, which is one of the most represented social networking services (SNS). The purpose of this article is to present a practical way in which to implement SNS-based, self-directed English learning by applying useful concepts from gamification and to ascertain the effectiveness of this method.
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As social network services (SNS) such as Facebook, Twitter, and smartphones have emerged, they have affected various fields including economics, industry, culture, and even education (Koo, Yoo, & Choi, 2010). In the English educational field, teaching and learning via smart technologies and services have spread widely, covering drawbacks in traditional methods. As a result of these changes, it has become important to consider how to practically and efficiently adopt SNS in the design of English classes.

SNS are the most appropriate representations of Web 2.0 technology and emphasize the value of openness, participation, and sharing. They provide users with the ability to communicate, participate, collaborate, and cooperate anytime and anywhere. In education, by utilizing Facebook to learn, students are able to study without being restricted by time and space and to connect various media such as photos, videos, and texts as well as hypertext.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Education has established “Guidelines for the Operation of Information and Communication Technology Education for Elementary and Secondary Schools” (2005) to establish and propel various policies meant to strengthen information and communication technology (ICT) education. The most important concept of the guide was the recommended use of ICT in all subjects for more than 10% of the course materials. This means that students, who already live in a smart technology environment, will be able to effectively utilize smart technologies in their learning activities and concurrently improve their ability to naturally do so in solving the problems they face in their daily lives.

In this study, Facebook was selected as the main material in an English class of 52 adult learners. To propel their self-directed English education, the learning and teaching procedures were designed by utilizing useful elements of gamification. The class was implemented for six weeks, during which we collected data such as the participants’ opinions, which were gathered through interviews and emails, and reviews in the form of Facebook replies. We also analyzed survey responses.

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