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Using Facebook to Engage Microbiology Students Outside of Class Time

    Author: Blaine A. Legaree1
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    Affiliations: 1: Keyano College, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada T9H 1N4
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 15 December 2014
    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Keyano College, 8115 Franklin Ave., Fort McMurray, AB T9H 1N4, Canada. Phone: 780-972-5616. Fax: 790-791-4991. E-mail: blaine.legaree@keyano.ca.
    • ©2014 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2014 vol. 15 no. 2 301-303. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.713
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    Abstract:

    Learning microbiology can be made fun by writing funny lines related to microbiology. Students were tasked to create their own pick-up lines and explain these basNumerous usage studies show that a high percentage of college age students are subscribers of the social media service Facebook. Modern teaching methods have a high emphasis on student engagement in the classroom, however, not all students participate equally and therefore it is important to find alternate methods for student engagement. The popularity of social media services and the wealth of online biology resources therefore seem like an obvious way to additionally engage students, particularly non-traditional students who may be less likely to participate in class discussions. In order to investigate how to engage students using this tool, I set up a Facebook group for my medical microbiology class over two semesters. Afterwards I surveyed students on its usefulness. The feedback was mostly positive, and of the resources shared with students, they were most likely to view online videos. Students also found it helpful to have an alternate means of interacting with the instructor and their peers.

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References & Citations

1. Duggan M, Brenner J 2013 The demographics of social media users—2012 PewResearchCenter [Online.] http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-media-users.aspx
2. Educatorstechnology.com 2012 The ultimate guide to the use of Facebook in education Educational Technology and Mobile Learning [Online.] http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/06/ultimate-guide-to-use-of-facebook-in.html
3. Fogg-Phillips L, Baird D, Fogg BJ Facebook for educators Scribd Inc. [Online.] http://www.scribd.com/collections/2978508/Facebook-for-Educators
4. Fusaro M, Couture A 2012 Students and professors perceive online education differently (translated from French) Presentation at CREQUP conference. [Online.] http://www.crepuq.qc.ca/IMG/pdf/Rapport-Etude-TIC-Mai-2012-VF.pdf
5. Junco R, Heiberger G 2009 You can use Facebook for that? Research-supported strategies to engage your students Presentation at the National American College Personnel Association Meeting Washington, DC
6. Martin C 2009 Social networking usage and grades among college students UNH News Dec. 28 2009 [Online.] http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/UNHsocialmedia.pdf
7. Nielson Company (The) 2011 The mobile media report: state of the media Q3 2011 [Online.] http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2011/state-of-the-media--mobile-media-report-q3-2011.html
8. Nielson Company (The) 2013 The mobile consumer: a global snapshot [Online.] http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/reports-downloads/2013%20Reports/Mobile-Consumer-Report-2013.pdf
9. OnlineCollege.org May 21 2012 100 ways you should be using Facebook in your classroom. Online College. [Online.] http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/05/21/100-ways-you-should-be-using-facebook-in-your-classroom-updated/
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.713
2014-12-15
2017-11-22

Abstract:

Learning microbiology can be made fun by writing funny lines related to microbiology. Students were tasked to create their own pick-up lines and explain these basNumerous usage studies show that a high percentage of college age students are subscribers of the social media service Facebook. Modern teaching methods have a high emphasis on student engagement in the classroom, however, not all students participate equally and therefore it is important to find alternate methods for student engagement. The popularity of social media services and the wealth of online biology resources therefore seem like an obvious way to additionally engage students, particularly non-traditional students who may be less likely to participate in class discussions. In order to investigate how to engage students using this tool, I set up a Facebook group for my medical microbiology class over two semesters. Afterwards I surveyed students on its usefulness. The feedback was mostly positive, and of the resources shared with students, they were most likely to view online videos. Students also found it helpful to have an alternate means of interacting with the instructor and their peers.

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