Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics facebook community

John Goodband, Y. Solomon, Peter Samuels, Duncan Lawson, Roy Bhakta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The use of social networking services has rapidly increased in recent years, especially by university students. Some authors assert that they have educational potential in terms of promoting collaborative learning practices among undergraduate students which enhance engagement and understanding. This possibility is particularly relevant to mathematics learning, because university communities are frequently experienced as isolating and performance-oriented. This case study reports on the use of Facebook to support mathematical communication and more participative learning identities within a UK university mathematics department. It describes how the reactive formation of a student-led Facebook community became a source of conflict within the wider academic social community and how this conflict was eventually resolved. While it raises questions about the extent to which Facebook can encourage open collaborative learning within the wider context of student aspirations in a competitive climate, it notes its potential for fostering cross-cohort student support in a subject which frequently induces anxiety in its students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-252
JournalLearning, Media and Technology
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

facebook
networking
mathematics
Students
community
student
university
learning
open learning
Lead
climate
anxiety
communication
Communication
performance

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Learning, Media and Technology, 37 (3), pp. 236-252. Learning, Media and Technology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439884.2011.587435

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • undergraduate mathematics
  • communities of practice
  • learning environment
  • university climate

Cite this

Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics facebook community. / Goodband, John; Solomon, Y.; Samuels, Peter; Lawson, Duncan; Bhakta, Roy.

In: Learning, Media and Technology, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2012, p. 236-252.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goodband, John ; Solomon, Y. ; Samuels, Peter ; Lawson, Duncan ; Bhakta, Roy. / Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics facebook community. In: Learning, Media and Technology. 2012 ; Vol. 37, No. 3. pp. 236-252.
@article{0c7ca4a8a74d41a98bc7c4cf4ba41581,
title = "Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics facebook community",
abstract = "The use of social networking services has rapidly increased in recent years, especially by university students. Some authors assert that they have educational potential in terms of promoting collaborative learning practices among undergraduate students which enhance engagement and understanding. This possibility is particularly relevant to mathematics learning, because university communities are frequently experienced as isolating and performance-oriented. This case study reports on the use of Facebook to support mathematical communication and more participative learning identities within a UK university mathematics department. It describes how the reactive formation of a student-led Facebook community became a source of conflict within the wider academic social community and how this conflict was eventually resolved. While it raises questions about the extent to which Facebook can encourage open collaborative learning within the wider context of student aspirations in a competitive climate, it notes its potential for fostering cross-cohort student support in a subject which frequently induces anxiety in its students.",
keywords = "Facebook, undergraduate mathematics, communities of practice, learning environment, university climate",
author = "John Goodband and Y. Solomon and Peter Samuels and Duncan Lawson and Roy Bhakta",
note = "This is an electronic version of an article published in Learning, Media and Technology, 37 (3), pp. 236-252. Learning, Media and Technology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439884.2011.587435",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1080/17439884.2011.587435",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "236--252",
journal = "Learning, Media and Technology",
issn = "1743-9884",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Limits and potentials of social networking in academia: Case study of the evolution of a mathematics facebook community

AU - Goodband, John

AU - Solomon, Y.

AU - Samuels, Peter

AU - Lawson, Duncan

AU - Bhakta, Roy

N1 - This is an electronic version of an article published in Learning, Media and Technology, 37 (3), pp. 236-252. Learning, Media and Technology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439884.2011.587435

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - The use of social networking services has rapidly increased in recent years, especially by university students. Some authors assert that they have educational potential in terms of promoting collaborative learning practices among undergraduate students which enhance engagement and understanding. This possibility is particularly relevant to mathematics learning, because university communities are frequently experienced as isolating and performance-oriented. This case study reports on the use of Facebook to support mathematical communication and more participative learning identities within a UK university mathematics department. It describes how the reactive formation of a student-led Facebook community became a source of conflict within the wider academic social community and how this conflict was eventually resolved. While it raises questions about the extent to which Facebook can encourage open collaborative learning within the wider context of student aspirations in a competitive climate, it notes its potential for fostering cross-cohort student support in a subject which frequently induces anxiety in its students.

AB - The use of social networking services has rapidly increased in recent years, especially by university students. Some authors assert that they have educational potential in terms of promoting collaborative learning practices among undergraduate students which enhance engagement and understanding. This possibility is particularly relevant to mathematics learning, because university communities are frequently experienced as isolating and performance-oriented. This case study reports on the use of Facebook to support mathematical communication and more participative learning identities within a UK university mathematics department. It describes how the reactive formation of a student-led Facebook community became a source of conflict within the wider academic social community and how this conflict was eventually resolved. While it raises questions about the extent to which Facebook can encourage open collaborative learning within the wider context of student aspirations in a competitive climate, it notes its potential for fostering cross-cohort student support in a subject which frequently induces anxiety in its students.

KW - Facebook

KW - undergraduate mathematics

KW - communities of practice

KW - learning environment

KW - university climate

U2 - 10.1080/17439884.2011.587435

DO - 10.1080/17439884.2011.587435

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 236

EP - 252

JO - Learning, Media and Technology

JF - Learning, Media and Technology

SN - 1743-9884

IS - 3

ER -