Is it a tool suitable for learning? A critical review of the literature on Facebook as a technology-enhanced learning environment

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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

Versão: 1.0

Última Atualiz.: 01-11-2018 14:50

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Despite its continuing popularity as the social network site par excellence, the educational
value of Facebook has not been fully determined, and results from the mainstream educational
paradigms are contradictory, with some scholars emphasizing its pedagogical affordances
(e.g., widening context of learning, mixing information and learning resources, hybridization
of expertise) and others cautioning against its use for educational purposes. Moreover, systematic
reviews about documented educational usage of Facebook as a learning environment
are lacking. This article attempts to provide a critical overview of current studies focusing on
the use of Facebook as a technology-enhanced learning environment, with the aim of exploring
the extent to which its pedagogical potential is actually translated into practice. Only
empirical studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals with a specific focus on
Facebook as a learning environment have been considered for the review. The authors
conducted a comprehensive literature search that identified 23 relevant articles that were
subsequently analysed according to a simplified list of guidelines. These articles were further
analysed and recoded through a set of emerging categories. The results show that pedagogical
affordances of Facebook have only been partially implemented and that there are still many
obstacles that may prevent a full adoption of Facebook as a learning environment such as
implicit institutional, teacher and student pedagogies, and cultural issues. Finally, a broad
observation on the implications of the study is developed with some suggestions for future
research.

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