A recent article addressed use of FaceBook in classroom training. Author Nisha Mahotra noted, “Many of the students began participating instantly (though some never signed up). The students quickly formed study groups outside of class, exchanged articles, and helped each other. Overall, they performed better than the non-participating students. The discussions on Facebook were commendable and carried over into face-to-face discussions. In class, students were interacting like never before and seemed more comfortable with each other as a result of the online interactions. Not only were the discussions in class livelier, but also the students were more insightful in discussing each other’s research. After all, they knew the topics beforehand.”
She went on to outline her best lessons from experimenting with FaceBook in training, listing,
• A Facebook page creates a public presence online. Anyone on the Internet, even those that don’t have a Facebook account, can view this page. By default, comments can be viewed by anyone on the Internet. (Pineda)
- Students tend to be concerned about their online persona – saying something unintelligent is a big concern for them. (Selwyn) As a result, they are less likely to participate on a Facebook page than a closed group.
- Facebook groups resemble an online café with walls to the rest of the online community, allowing students to (a) chat in real-time, (b) discuss in virtual-time, and (c) share materials through straightforward file upload.
- Facebook groups can be open (public), closed (require administrator approval for joining and only members can read the posts), or secret (only members can see the group, who’s in it, and what what’s being posted).
- Students prefer a closed group. They are apprehensive about asking questions in open groups where their Facebook friends can judge them as scholastically inept. (Selwyn)
And then she cited an article to get anyone started with this tool, Everything You Wanted to Know About FaceBook Groups, a great explanation no matter what you have learned by trying.
Can you picture this tool influencing group communications, innovation, and learning at YOUR workplace? Might be the next ‘thing’ to replace meetings!