That's what friends are for: Creating an online community of, and for, first year students to increase retention

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ASCILITE 2011 - The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, 2011, pp. 1032 - 1038
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Research has demonstrated that involvement in learning communities is important for student engagement and retention (Bailey and Alfonso 2005). This paper describes the use of Facebook to create an online community for first year students in a Journalism course that had recently increased in size and in terms of student diversity. A Facebook group was set up one month before the beginning of semester. New students were invited to join the group, which was supported by the subject coordinator and student peer mentors. Students participated throughout the semester and showed very high levels of peer interaction and engagement. The paper describes the outcomes for students, including a substantial improvement in student retention. © 2011 Jenna Price.
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