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

Authors: Johanna Kenney; Swapna Kumar; Mark Hart

Addresses: 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

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

Received: 03 May 2013
Accepted: 20 Jul 2013

Published online: 28 Feb 2014 *

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