The Facebook effect: usage of social media in e-Learning programs

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Dr Giannikas talks about her presentation on The Facebook Effect on eLearning at the IATEFL LTSIG Showcase on April 10th, IATEFL Brighton.


Due to their dynamic and motivating nature, e-Learning tools provide higher education with powerful mechanisms to alter the passivity that in-person learning at a physical campus may sometimes bring to students. The tools in question also try to promote interaction and to actively involve students in their learning process (Alejandre, Allueva, Tolosana, Trilo, 2012). There is no doubt that e-Learning offers flexibility and variety to students; however, the interactive and communicative element can be compromised when a course is mostly built on asynchronous tasks. Coincidently, there has been a considerable increase in the use of Facebook as a pedagogical tool in e-Learning settings and is considered to highly improve communication among students and between teachers and students in a familiar locale, but it can also help increase interactive learning in an otherwise isolating environment.

Facebook has become an integral part of our lives, and has had a massive impact on communication and interaction; its built-in functions offer pedagogical, social and technological affordances. In her talk, Dr. Giannikas will be elaborating on her recent study on the effects Facebook can have on eLearning programs, how it can serve as a supplementary feature to Moodle or Blackboard and allow students to embrace a social constructivist approach in their learning. Based on her experience, Dr. Giannikas will share how she integrated Facebook in her teaching and suggest guidelines that can be shared in higher education and teacher training institutions.

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