Facebook can help improve students’ academic performance

Facebook student

Facebook is usually seen as the largest social network site for people to communicate with others. It is very popular in students.

For example, more than 87% of college students use Facebook every day. They share their experiences from the university and exchange academic information.

In addition, teachers can interact with students in a less formal way via the site.

One possible way to use Facebook in education is using a Facebook group as a Learning Management System (LMS).

Inside a LMS, students can easily share their knowledge, ask for help of other students, and ask questions. Teachers can use the LMS as a forum or a blog to interact with students.

LMSs are useful for student enrolment, assignments, exams, course plans, syllabus, and distribution of basic course materials.

Nevertheless, whether a Facebook LMS has such benefits is still unclear, because previous research has shown that students who use Facebook tend to have lower grades and less time to study.

In a recent study published in Computers in Human Behavior, researchers used two Facebook groups as learning aid during the course “Designing Educational Software and Media” in one semester.

The teacher led one group, and students led the other.

The main difference between the two groups was that student-created group was more informal and had social as well as entertainment content.

Participants included 139 college students who took the course.

In the teacher-related group, the teacher uploaded lessons and literature in the class, and students used the group wall and messages to communicate with the teacher and other students about the course content and materials.

Students also upload their seminar works on the group wall and received feedback from the teacher and peers.

In the student-related group, students discussed the course, shared useful information and materials (e.g., links to books, presentations, and videos), and had fun.

Researchers found that there is a positive correlation between students’ grade and the frequency of using Facebook as a learning aid.

In addition, perceived usefulness greatly influenced students’ decision to use Facebook during study.

An interesting effect was that the frequency of Facebook use for social purpose was not related to students’ academic performance.

The study suggests that Facebook can be a useful learning aid to improve teacher-student relationship.

Teachers and students can communicate more frequently and more easily about study-related issues.

Teachers should also encourage students to have their own groups for course discussion and information gathering.

All of these interactions can help increase students learning performance.

Citation: Lambić D. (2016). Correlation between Facebook use for educational purposes and academic performance of students. Computers in Human Behavior, 61: 313-320. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.052
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