Facebook can help students connect better

New York, April 28 : Not just connecting you with friends, interaction with fellow students on social networking website can help you focus and study better, say researchers.

Developers of open online courses may want to take a page from Facebook to keep more students engaged and enrolled.

“Current open course platforms do not include collaborative features for students to work together, or good conversation channels between students and between students and teachers. Social media may provide another communication channel for the students,” said Saijing Zheng, former doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University.

The researchers found that open course students were more engaged on Facebook groups and preferred interacting more on the social media site than through the course tools.

“We found that social media tools may be one way to keep students engaged in a open course,” said Zheng, currently research scientist at Microsoft.

One of the advantages of Facebook groups is that users tend to sign up with their real names while students can create fake personas on course message boards and forums.

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