Int. J. of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments   »   2013 Vol.1, No.4



Title: More than a social network: Facebook as a catalyst for an online educational community of practice


Authors: Johanna Kenney; Swapna Kumar; Mark Hart


3176 Cpl Johnson Rd, Bldg 1291, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA
University of Florida, 2403 Norman Hall, P.O. Box 117048, Gainesville, FL 32611-7058, USA
College of Public Health and Health Professions, 1225 Center Drive, P.O. Box 100175 Gainesville, FL 32610, USA


Abstract: This article describes the use of Facebook as an educational community of practice by online doctoral students to achieve their common goals. The analysis of participants' interactions in the social network revealed that participants shared knowledge, resources, advice, and insights. They collaborated and communicated with each other to provide feedback, supported each other, and essentially, learned in and as a community. The results are discussed within a social constructivist learning perspective of the building of community among adult practitioners in a higher education setting.


Keywords: Facebook; communities of practice; CoP; online learning community; educational community; online programmes; social networking; doctoral students; interaction analysis; e-learning; electronic learning; knowledge sharing; resource sharing; advice; insights; feedback; social constructivist learning; higher education.


DOI: 10.1504/IJSMILE.2013.057467


Int. J. of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2013 Vol.1, No.4, pp.355 - 369


Submission date: 01 May 2013
Date of acceptance: 20 Jul 2013
Available online: 05 Nov 2013



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