Author(s): Irena VALOVA, Milko MARINOV
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Education
Published by: Carol I National Defence University Publishing House
Keywords: social network; e-learning; learning management systems.

Summary/Abstract: The article described and shared experience in the use of social networks, particularly Facebook as a learning environment for students in Computer Systems and Technologies in the University of Ruse, Bulgaria. The choice of this particular social network among the many available and used in everyday life is justified and the main problems and questions that may arise when using the social network in education are formulated: Is it necessary or not all participants in the group to be friends in Facebook?; Is it necessary teachers to be friends with their students and to share or not with them their privacy in social networking? Is it a good idea for teachers to connect with their students in their digital world?; Can teacher/professor - student friendship improve the educational process or teacher have to be an authority figure?; Is it possible the usage of Facebook to discourage face to face contact?; Where is the limit of separation of social space from training space?; How and who to manage Facebook Wall - the center of the Facebook group, publishing content types, participants, content of different types - text, files, images, video and audio materials as well as links to other resources. Each member of the group may opines content, commenting and discussing, and also he himself to share content. Learning management systems (LMS) and usage of Facebook group in education are compared on the bases of the following criteria: User authentication; Ownership; Content; Interaction; Assessment tools; Relationship between content and interaction. On the bases of this comparison, on the bases of our experience in the education in IT courses and according to the statistical results of the collected data from a survey with our students during the last three years it can be said that despite the significant differences between the Facebook group and the traditional LMS, there seems to be grounds for using the Facebook group as an alternative to an LMS. A Facebook group has several distinct advantages over a conventional LMS, as well as some major disadvantages for learners and educators. Using a Facebook group as an LMS challenges the learners and the educators to provide original and creative solutions for learning in this environment. It is easier for the students to use Facebook group instead of new environment such as LMS. They feel free and comfortably in Facebook. In no case, however, it is impossible actual face to face education to be displaced by education in Facebook. All described features of social networking in this publication relate to the use of Facebook as a tool to support the traditional learning process and to make it more attractive for the new generation students today.

  • Issue Year: 13/2017
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 558-565
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: English