Vol. 27 No. 2 (2013)
Published January 23, 2014
AbstractThe purpose of this exploratory investigation was to share the strengths, challenges, and tensions of using Facebook in an undergraduate nursing program. The observations presented have emerged from information shared by study participants and the professional insights of the three researcher-authors who represent perspectives from nursing, education, and technology-enabled teaching and learning. The theoretical framework used to guide the study was Drexler's (2010) Networked Student as well as ideas based on work by Siemens (2010) and Downes (2012). Findings suggest that use of Facebook in professional programs such as nursing provides an opportunity for the modeling of professional behaviour by students and teachers. However, concerns about privacy, misinformation, and a lack of professionalism are also present in the discussions of Facebook in professional programs. As a learning strategy, Facebook is recommended when pedagogical benefits are anticipated and clear and transparent guidelines regarding its use have been established by the user group. It is respectfully acknowledged that there are many social media options available to students and teachers to support learning in a professional program. Facebook, however, was the focus of this study given its unique prevalence among university students at the present time. The paper is a first step in looking at how Facebook and other social media experiences may play a role in supporting learning in professional programs offered by universities.
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