Thanks to Mike via Jane for this presentation & paper I missed. I really must keep a closer eye on what’s taking place on campus.
Faceworking: Exploring Students’ Educational Use of Facebook was a presentation by Neil Selwyn last month based on his associated research paper.
Neil’s research was carried out in the School of Social Science of a large ‘Russell Group’ university and is based on the wall postings of 600+ students over a 4-month period. 4% of the wall postings were found to be related to the students’ studies or aspects of their university experience. These 2000+ postings we classified as follows:
- Recounting & reflecting on the university experience
- Exchange of practical information
- Exchange of academic information
- Displays of supplication and/or disengagement
- Exchanges of humour and nonsense
The discussion (indeed the whole paper!) are well worth a read but here are some of the findings. Facebook is being used by these students for education-related interactions but on a small scale and mainly to maintain links within an existing network. The Facebook wall postings appeared to be one part of multi-modal conversations involving IM, email, SMS and of course face-to-face. The interactions are seen as important but also nothing new, just a continuation of existing offline practice.
My favourite quote from the wall postings has to be “I am so done with this vygotsky shizzle, it’s driving me insane!!!!!!!”