P116: Meeting students where they are: Utilizing Facebook as a class discussion board and for virtual office hours

Author: Elizabeth D. Blue, Campbell University, USA


Date: 8/3/14

Time: 4:20 PM4:40 PM

Room: LTT 102

Related Symposium: S17

Over the past few years, my class size has increased and e-mail traffic from students has increased accordingly. In addition, the questions asked in these e-mails or during my office hours are often the same or very similar. A discussion board is an ideal way to answer questions outside of the classroom so that all may benefit from the answers, and it can also encourage interaction amongst students. There are a number of on-line discussion board applications available, as well as discussion boards on Blackboard and other places. Several systems were surveyed, but there is an inertia around creating a new account, learning a new system, and remembering to check the new system regularly enough to make it a useful conversation. Inspired by those using Twitter as class discussion boards, I decided to meet the students where they already are and utilize Facebook for the course discussion board. The outcome has been positive, with students asking questions frequently, interacting, and quite often answering each other’s questions.