Beyond friending: Psychosocial engagement on Facebook and its implications for academic success

Catherine McLoughlin, Mark J. W. Lee

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


As Web 2.0 brings a new wave of interaction, connectivity and communication, educators continue to ask how and how and why popular social networking tools can be used to support learning. The emerging literature on "the Facebook generation" indicates that there is a global surge in the uptake of social networking tools that enable students to connect and collaborate with each other in variety of ways. Evidence suggests in Australia, the UK and USA many students at university and at high school are using an array of Web 2.0 applications to socialise, share information and establish networks. The affordances of social software tools such as Facebook hold particular promise for the creation of learning settings that can interest and motivate learners and support their engagement, while at the same time addressing the social and affective elements of interactive, constructive learning. While there is a burgeoning of research relating to the role of participatory media in supporting learning, there is also is also a lacuna of how participation in Facebook enables relational, psychosocial processes that underpin successful learning. The chapter applies the theoretical lenses of social capital, social presence and learning communities to investigate these dimensions. The chapter concludes by proposing a number of pedagogical approaches to integrating Facebook into the learning experience to enrich the student learning experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn education in facebook?
Subtitle of host publicationHigher education and the world's largest social network
EditorsMike Kent, Tama Leaver
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315883458
ISBN (Print)9780415713191, 9780415713177
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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