Like It: A Facebook E-Learning Architecture for Higher Education

Like It: A Facebook E-Learning Architecture for Higher Education

Mary Leigh Morbey, Farhad Mordechai Sabeti, Michelle Sengara
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8803-2.ch019
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Social networking environments have become a ubiquitous part of the university experience. Accordingly, postsecondary institutions have started to consider the role that social networking can play in teaching and learning across academic disciplines. This case study documents findings from a 2012-2013 mixed-methods data collection in six graduate and undergraduate Digital Literacies and New Media Literacies courses at a major Canadian comprehensive university. It examines the pedagogical implications of adapting the Facebook platform for online collaboration and multimedia learning in blended courses, and offers a model of Facebook implementation for engineering and architecture education. Questions guiding the research ask: What is gained pedagogically through the use of Facebook in higher education courses? What are the pedagogical challenges encountered, and how might these be addressed? Suggestions based on observed trends are offered for the effective inclusion of Facebook as a beneficial pedagogical component in the design of e-learning platforms for higher education.
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Social media challenge the existing structures of universities by breaking down strict hierarchical pedagogical structures and allowing learners to engage in meaningful and critical conversations in online learning environments (Morbey, Sabeti, & Frank, 2014). Further, social media provide students with opportunities for more diverse and enriching conversations with educators; learners become team players, technologically collaborating in the production of knowledge, sharing their personal insights, and engaging in debates. These activities are particularly relevant to engineering and architecture education where students and professionals come together to complete designs of built environments (Bala & Arat, 2013). Whether pertaining to the study of architecture, engineering, or education itself, technology enhanced learning platforms are becoming more common at the postsecondary level, but have yet to be fully understood.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Participatory Culture: A culture in which private individuals do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers, that enables people to work collaboratively.

Multimodal Learning: The use of multiple stimuli in a learning experience. With multiple modes of expression in the digital age, auditory, visual, and tactile senses are being employed simultaneously in the intake of information.

Postsecondary: A level of learning that is generally offered through universities, colleges, or institutes. These programs offer diploma or degree options.

Social Network: A platform to build social relations among people who share ideas, interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.

Blended Learning: The integration of face-to-face and online approaches to education.

Social media: The social interaction among people in which they create, produce, share, or exchange information and ideas through virtual communities and networks.

New Media Technologies: Increased access to content in the digital age, characterized by creative participation, asynchronous contribution structures, and interactive user feedback.

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