Open Access

Social networks as tools for acquiring competences at university: QR codes through Facebook

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education201411:11020026

DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v11i2.2050

Received: 15 November 2013

Accepted: 15 February 2014

Published: 15 May 2014

Abstract

Immersed in an academic system where the curriculum teaches students specific skills in order to develop a future profession, social networks, as specialised environments primarily in informal education settings, prepare them in attaining innovative and emerging competences that are not found in the curriculum. Here we present the results of an innovative study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the University of Seville (US), Spain, and the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Carabobo (UC), Venezuela, encompassing a collaborative experience of best practices. A sample of 175 students was used in the study, of whom 55 were obtaining a degree in Business Administration at UC, and 120 were studying in the Faculty of Education Sciences at US. Among the most significant findings, we affirm that Facebook, as a learning environment for studying and sharing Quick Response (QR) codes, is a tool that the student defines as close, reliable, easy to use, and has many advantages over other settings, as it becomes a place where people from different locations meet and share common educational experiences. Furthermore, this study emphasises that using Facebook allows students to acquire and/or develop instrumental, interpersonal, and systemic competences.