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Jumping into the World of Facebook

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All of our students are using it and many are abusing it but Facebook doesn’t have to be the enemy. Laurie Logan, a professor in the School of Business, shared her story about using Facebook with her students at the latest Innovation Case Jam.

Laurie created her Facebook page for her Small Medium Enterprise students this past fall.  She uses it to share videos of interest, promote events that are going on and for discussions on topics covered in class. Her students use this space to apply their learning and share their insights. Video sharing is often their preferred mode of sharing.  Her colleagues have used her Facebook as a space for sharing and for finding additional teaching resources.

Although over 650 students are friends of Laurie’s, participation on her Facebook is not a requirement of her course.  She uses it as a space outside of the classroom but also uses the shared findings as ice breakers in her classes.  “My learners are proud to share relevant videos, products and businesses that support the learning that happens in the classroom.  This is a way for them to participate which seems to come natural to many of them”, shares Laurie.

A little later in the fall, Laurie started a Facebook Group called SME Success! for alumni of the Small Medium Enterprise program.  Just a few short months later this group has grown to over 250 alumni who seem to be running the show themselves. Laurie continues, “I gave them a spot to connect and our alumni has taken things from there.  My input is very limited but the dialogue and the connections are happening.  They are sharing their stories of success in opening their own businesses and moving forward in their careers.  They are networking and finding common ground.”

Laurie has been teaching full-time for six years.  Prior to working at Algonquin, Laurie was an entrepreneur and owner of her own business and she is a SME alumni herself.  For more information on Laurie, visit her faculty bio.

If you have questions for Laurie about her experience, just leave them here and she’ll respond.

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5 Comments

  1. Helena Merriam
    Helena Merriam03-07-2011

    I have a Facebook group for alumni as well, but I find I do most of the posting. What’s your secret to get alumni to post also, to each other?

    • Laurie Logan
      Laurie Logan03-10-2011

      That is terrific news that you are also using facebook with your Alumni Helena! I have been fortunate in the sense that many of our SME Alumni go on to start up businesses, so they will contribute postings as a way to advertise their venture and continually share their business success. A suggestion would be to try sending out an email to the entire group, bi-weekly or once a month, looking for comments on a ‘cool’ video that you posted and also request that they share a video of interest as well.

      In a short time, I will be trying out themes for two days of the week to all encourage Alumni to get in the habit of continually visiting the group page for the latest and greatest and posting comments i.e. words of wisdom Wednesday’s and useful facts Friday’s. Also, plan on featuring one student a month – Star Graduate. Stay tuned… I will let you know how this goes!

  2. David Haley
    David Haley03-08-2011

    Sounds exciting!
    I’d als be quite interested to know how this improved your class attendance, assignment submission, term test results and overall student success.
    I’d also be interested to know how many extra hours you received on your SWF for this work.

    • Laurie Logan
      Laurie Logan03-10-2011

      Thank you David for your recent post. To date, I have not assessed if facebook has improved my class attendance and nor do I use it currently for assignment submission. My thoughts and feelings are that students are more engaged when we take time to review the postings and videos in the classroom, which ultimately helps with learning outcomes being met and potential for higher student success.

      I have not received, nor asked for any additional hours on my SWF. I do this on my own time (during work hours mainly) and it has become a habit and fun hobby for continued learning.

  3. Mike Downey
    Mike Downey03-10-2011

    This is a very good way to get students involved. Granted, some will always be distracted by other happenings in Facebook, but that’s a chance worth taking, I think.

    Also, since you can link a Facebook group page to a Twitter account, then have status updates go to a Twitter widget in Blackboard, this can create a really fast and simple way to update information in Blackboard, through this widget connection.

    I’m working on a handout describing the process of adding the Twitter widget to Blackboard, if anyone’s interested.

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