Can the use of a Facebook group in addition to classroom teaching enhance exam success in a Drug Calculations module?

Ryan, Gemma Sinead (2014). Can the use of a Facebook group in addition to classroom teaching enhance exam success in a Drug Calculations module? In: The 5th International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP 2014), 22-25 Jun 2014, Noordwijekhout, Netherlands.



A wide range of literature acknowledges the use of e- and traditional learning in the health professions but further research is frequently recommended to explore perceived benefits (Lahti, Hatonen & Valimaki, 2013; Cook et al, 2010) particularly in the rapidly changing technological environment.

Facebook boasts 1.11 billion users; over 61% access this via mobile ‘anytime, anywhere’ (Statistics Brain, 2013). In the United Kingdom an estimated 80% of student nurses may have a Facebook account, with a wide range of informal programme/university specific ‘groups’ available to members for support/advice. As an electronic and mobile learning tool, Facebook offers quick, easy, flexible access, complementing the ‘always on’ behaviours of nursing students today.

Aim: To establish if a module specific Facebook group can improve examination success and user satisfaction in a Drug Calculations Examination.

Method: Examination scores and feedback questionnaire were used to evaluate exam success and satisfaction of pre-nursing students undertaking a Drug Calculations Module. A 30 student cohort opted in or out of using a Facebook group in addition to classroom teaching.

Results: A t-test to the 95% confidence level showed that students who opted in to the Facebook group were more likely to pass on first attempt with a higher mark on their exam; p=0.038. Chi-square testing showed White British students were more likely to opt-in to the Facebook group p=0.000. 90% of group users expressed that it improved their learning experience and would use it again.

Conclusion: Facebook groups enhanced student success in their Drug Calculations examination and were a satisfactory option to students who chose to opt in. Students from Black/Black African groups were less likely to use this learning option. Additional research is required into student demographics and use of Facebook groups, along with more robust exploration of student use of Facebook groups for formal/informal educational support/advice.

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