Facebook and Informal Learning

Callaghan, George and Fribbance, Ian (2018). Facebook and Informal Learning. In: Callaghan, George; Baxter, Jacqueline and McAvoy, Jean eds. Creativity & Critique in Online Learning: Exploring and Examining Innovations in Online Pedagogy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 81–102.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78298-0_5


This chapter examines the social media tool Facebook through the lens of teaching theory. We reflect in detail on the challenges such social media present to those working in Higher Education, for example the ethical aspects of working with Facebook and the threat such social media might present to deep learning. The chapter begins with a review of the literature surrounding social theory of learning, particularly on the debates around informal learning. There is then a discussion of social media in Higher Education in general and the use of Facebook in particular. Data from the Faculty Facebook page is used to illustrate how this technology stimulates and encourages informal learning. We go on to examine these developments within a critical perspective, in particular exploring the ethical and practical challenges of using commercially controlled software within an HE environment. The concluding section then presents a summary and points to useful areas of future research.

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