Identifying and Comparing Academic and Student Perceptions of the Uses, Benefits, and Concerns of Using Facebook and Discussion Boards in Higher Education

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Finger, Glenn
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Usher, Wayne
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Learning through a variety of online platforms, including Learning Management Systems (LMS) and functionalities within them, such as Discussion Boards, and Social Networking Sites (SNS), such as Facebook, is becoming an increasingly popular way of communicating with students and enhancing student learning (Caldwell, 2015). However, despite this increasing popularity amongst educators and students, there is limited research concerning SNS and LMS (i.e. Facebook and Discussion Boards) as functionalities for promoting effective learning and teaching in higher education. Therefore, this study has drawn upon the work of Bandura’s Self-efficacy model (1977) to critically examine academics’ and students’ perceptions of the perceived use, benefits and concerns of Facebook and Discussion Boards for learning and teaching. Following ethical clearance, data were collected using two surveys consisting of Likert-scale and open-ended questions investigating academic and student perceptions pertaining to Facebook and Discussion Board uses, benefits, concerns, frequency of use, General Self-efficacy, Facebook Self-efficacy and Discussion Board Self-efficacy. Surveys were administered to students and academic population consisting of a total of 339 participants (275 students; 64 academics), drawn from the Griffith Health Group, at Griffith University. The Griffith Health Group consists of eight schools, which are the School of Applied Psychology, School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Allied Health Science, School of Medical Science, School of Medicine, School of Dentistry and Oral Health, and the School of Human Services and Social Work. Data were analysed using a mixed-methods approach, involving, where applicable, both correlational and thematic analysis.

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Thesis (Masters)
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Master of Education and Professional Studies Research (MEdProfStRes)
School of Education and Professional Studies
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Learning management systems
Social networking sites
Discussion boards in higher education
Facebook in higher education
Social media in higher education
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