Social media has been seeping into most aspects of the higher education sector – from research to marketing, from student support to engaging Alumni – and is playing an increasingly important role especially in marketing and communication. The Faculty of Business and Law at Victoria University (VU), Melbourne, set up a Facebook site in 2008 principally as another means through which to communicate to students. Predictably, given the exponential growth of Facebook use globally, numbers of students using the Faculty Facebook have more than doubled in the last two years from 1500 in April 2010 to 3348 Likes currently. That Facebook has experienced ongoing growth in the typical student age (18-24 year olds) range might explain an increased interest in any Facebook site; further, the Faculty has advertised its Facebook presence via other media which could also explain an increase of ‘friends’. One issue around Facebook use at universities seems to be, then, not whether universities should use Facebook at all but, more specifically, if universities should use Facebook for teaching. This paper examines VU’s Faculty of Business and Law Facebook and uses data from an online survey of Faculty Facebook friends to suggest why and how some students connect to the site. More importantly, the paper examines some students’ attitudes to using Facebook – and social media more generally – for teaching rather than the extra-curricular communications that currently dominate the Faculty’s Facebook usage.
|Keywords:||Social Media, Facebook, Student Engagement|
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Work Integrated Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Transition and Retention Coordinator, Faculty of Business and Law, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia