Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Why This Professor Is Encouraging Facebook Use in His Classroom

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 5th, 2014

Facebook and academe aren’t exactly friends. Over the years, the social-media company has been the source of ethically questionable research, the purveyor of uncomfortable teacher-student interactions, and, of course, the consummate classroom distraction, scourge of lecture halls the world over.
At least on that last note, however, one researcher says higher education has unfairly maligned the social-media behemoth. Kevin D. Dougherty, an associate professor of sociology at Baylor University, has spent the last two and a half years measuring how the Facebook group he created for his introduction-to-sociology course affected student performance. He found that students who participated in the online group enjoyed the course more, felt a stronger sense of belonging, and got better grades than those who did not participate.
In short, Mr. Dougherty says, the class’s Facebook page helped “turn 250 strangers that happen to sit in a class together into a community.”

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