Our series continues with a focus of the effective use of Facebook to create online learning networks.


The case study below comes courtesy of Alistair Smith (asmith@lincolncollege.ac.uk), who has successfully used the social network to create a learning community that exists within and outside of the classroom. See this link for a PowerPoint that summarises the project undertaken in Photography up at CHT:


The benefits of using Facebook are obvious to Alistair:

“I have found using Facebook a great tool to take learning into the domain of the student; to be able to weave learning in to their everyday digital lives. As digital natives our students are never far from an electronic device that keeps them in the loop with work. It is a great way to address a group and check who has seen the information as was as share learning experiences and critiques. The unexpected result is the sheer amount of independent student led learning that takes place in this arena.”

The impact on the learning in this particular group has been significant, with group members reporting:

“I think it’s very useful on keeping students up to date with work that’s been set and also to send each other interesting things about photography.”

“Great for getting important updates and notices straight away.”

“I can keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening on the course twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With notifications and easy, one-click access without laborious logins to sites not mobile friendly, I can access information within seconds and never be out of the loop. I can also ask a question and have it answered within minutes. The Facebook group is a powerful learning and communication tool and probably the most valuable we have. We can share ideas, inspiration, and creativity whilst never missing a beat.”

 “I find it really helpful to have access to feedback from other students and tutors outside of college hours. We post things we find interesting or useful for others as well as interesting and insightful reads.”

 “This group has proved invaluable to me. Connecting with other students and tutors as and when needed. Critique, links and chat all help and reassure me.”

“Thanks to the Facebook group I can keep in touch with the staff and students so that I can receive advise and information, this is really helpful when we are not in college.”

“The page has been invaluable for me throughout my past 2 years, feedback for images amongst many other things. We can help each other with any issues no matter how big or small and the info is instantaneous (we’ll, more so than email). It’s a great asset to the course!”

Please contact Alistair for further information on this and let us know (via Workplace or the comments section of this blog) how you get on with setting one up for your course!


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