Open Access

Facebook’s Potential for Collaborative e-Learning

International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education20118:8020197

https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v8i2.963

Received: 15 June 2010

Accepted: 15 November 2010

Published: 15 July 2011

Abstract

Today, Facebook (www.facebook.com) is probably the most palpable example of environments known as ‘social networks’ or ‘Web 2.0’. Social networking sites are platforms that facilitate information sharing, interaction and collaboration among their users. However, Facebook’s success is not solely dependent on its capacity to connect people, although this was its initial orientation. The platform’s power for sharing resources and linking content on the Internet to user profiles, as well as its evolution towards lifestreaming and microblogging, enable it provide support for complex, continuous interaction experiences and, consequently, to structure collaborative-learning processes. The platform’s communication tools, combined with the option to enhance its potential by installing third-party modules and applications, allow members of a community or work team to carry out very diverse activities.

On the basis of theoretical underpinnings represented by the socio-constructivist perspective on communities of practice, the Web2Learn work group analysed and assessed the features that enable Facebook to be used as a platform for carrying out collaborative online activities from two angles: technological and educational.

Keywords

Facebooksocial networkscollaborative learningcommunities of practiceWeb 2.0