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The use of Facebook to build a community for distance learning students: a case study from The Open University

Callaghan, George and Fribbance, Ian (2016). The use of Facebook to build a community for distance learning students: a case study from The Open University. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-learning, 31(3) pp. 260–272.

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Social media platforms such as Facebook are commonplace throughout society. However, within higher education institutions such networking environments are still in the developmental stage. This paper describes and discusses case study data from the Open University’s Faculty of Social Science Facebook page. It starts by giving an overview of the literature surrounding social media in higher education before examining how the Social Sciences Faculty at the Open University has used Facebook to help build an academic community. Data includes numerical information on number of likes, demographic data on students who use the page, analysis on the type and nature of comments and more qualitative extracts from postings related to academic questions. It also discusses challenges and difficulties with using such social media tools in a university environment and suggests fruitful areas for future research.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Open University
ISSN: 1469-9958
Keywords: Facebook; social media; distance learning; Open University; e-learning
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 47804
Depositing User: George Callaghan
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 09:03
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:45
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