Open Access

Latin American university students’ perceptions of social networks and group work

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201310:10020462

https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v10i2.1728

Received: 15 December 2012

Accepted: 15 April 2013

Published: 15 July 2013

Abstract

In recent years, the Internet and Web 2.0 tools have played a fairly pivotal role in university education. Social software tools have stood out in particular, with social networks attracting the most attention. In the field of education, social networks have gradually become a highly valuable didactic resource because the students who populate today’s university classrooms also live out a large part of their lives on those networks. Student group work is a cornerstone of the constructivist view of teaching, which can draw on resources of this type because, among other things, they foster socialisation, information searching, the attainment of a common goal, etc. But, for all of this to happen, students must have positive attitudes towards group work. This article presents the results of a study on university students’ level of knowledge of social networks and their perceptions of group work. It was conducted on a sample of students from Argentina, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The findings particularly show that the students held high perceptions of group work and of the opportunity to work online with fellow students from different geographical areas.

Keywords

Internet social software university students social networks