The Facebook Phenomenon for Collaborative Learning for University Studies

Open access


This article defines the shift in the concept and conditions of collaborative learning for university studies using the social networking tool Facebook and discusses the collaborative learning effect in terms of using Open Educational Resources (OER), creating learning artefacts and new generic competence development. In order to evaluate students’ learning through collaboration in Facebook, qualitative research method and survey of generic competencies based on the Tuning project framework (2003) were used. The data was collected through focus group interviews and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. The qualitative research method was chosen because it provides information of how students collaborate and what experience they gained during the activities. First, Facebook online groups have been identified at three different levels at VMU. The Facebook first level group was the social networking of Vytautas Magnus University’s students and academic staff. The second level group was created for the department dealing with social sciences, and is called “Department of Social Science”. The third level group is “Education Service Management” within the Department of Education. The research was done at the third level group with the students of the “Education Service Management” study programme. As research results show, Facebook as a social network has been changing communication between students, by facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge. The research analyses Facebook in the context of undergraduate university studies, based upon the experience of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) for using Facebook for university studies. It could be concluded that learning is about developing capabilities to think and to act. Learners using social networking tools for collaborative learning, act, provide feedback and peer-review, asses and rate information. Openness is based on the idea that knowledge is disseminated and shared freely for the benefit of society as a whole. University students collaborate online and learn by using and exchanging OER, as well as developing them as the artefacts of online collaborative learning. They influence task design by creating “educational resources” themselves.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Arends R. (1998). Mokomės mokytis. Vilnius: Margi raštai.

  • Akins D. E. Brown J. S. & Hammond A. L. (2007). A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements Challenges and New Opportunities. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Bennet B. Rolheser-Bennet C. & Stevahn L. (2000). Mokymasis bendradarbiaujant. Vilnius: Margi raštai.

  • Biocca F. Burgoon J. Harms Ch. & Stoner M. (2006). Criteria and scope conditions for a theory and measure of social presence. Media interface and network design Labs. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Dillendbourg P. Baker M. Blaye A. O'Malley C. (1996) The evolution of research on collaborative learning. In E. Spada & P. Reiman (Eds.). Learning in Humans and Machine: Towards an interdisciplinary learning science. (pp. 189- 211). Oxford: Elsevier.

  • Downes S. (2006). Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources. National Research Council Canada. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Tuning Educational Structures in Europe (2003). Final Report Phase One Ed. Julia Gonzalez; Robert Wagenaar. University of Deusto. University of Groningen.

  • Fullan M. (1993). Change Forces. London: Falmer Press.

  • Galbraith M. (1995). Community-based organization and the delivery of lifelong learning opportunities. Washington DC: SPONS AGENCY National Inst on Postsecondary Education Libraries and Lifelong Learning (ED/OERI)

  • OECD (2007). Giving Knowledge for Free: the Emergence of Open Educational Resources. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Hiltz S. R. (1998). Collaborative learning is asynchronous learning networks: Building learning. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Holland D. Skinner D. Lachicotte Jr. & Cain C. (1998). Identity and agency in cultural worlds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Johnson D. Johnson R. & Smith K. (1991). Cooperative Learning : Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 4 Washington D. C.: George Washington University.

  • Johnson D. W. & Johnson F. P. (1987). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (3rd edition). Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  • Johnson D. W. & Johnson R. T. (1987). Research Shows the benefits of adult cooperation. Educational Leadership 45(3) 27-30.

  • Johnstone S. (2005). Open educational resources serve the World. Educause Quarterly 28(3) 15-18.

  • Kagan S. (1988). Cooperative learning: Resources for Teachers. Riverside CA: University of California.

  • Kalz M. Specht M. Nadolski R. Bastiaens Y. Leirs N. & Pawlowski J. (2010). OpenScout: Competence based management education with community-improved open educational resources. In: Halley et al. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 17th EDINEB Conference. Crossing Borders in Education and work-based learning (pp. 137- 146). Maastricht: FEBA ERD Press.

  • Leclercq D. Poumay M. (2005). The 8 Learning Events Model and its principles. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Ocker R. J. & Yaverbaum G. (1999). Asynchronous computer-mediated communication versus face to face collaboration: Results on student learning quality and satisfaction. Group Decision and Negotiation 8 427-440.

  • Panitz T. (1997). The Case for Student Centred Instruction Via Collaborative Learning Paradigms. Available at (Retrieved on 22/06/2015).

  • Redecker Ch. Ala-Mutka K. Bacigalupo M. Ferrari A. & Punie Y. (2009). Learning 2.0: The Impact of Web 2.0 Innovations on Education and Training in Europe. Final Report. JRS Scientific and Technical Report.

  • Slavin R. E. (1991). Are cooperative learning and untracking harmful to the gifted? Response to Allan. Educational Leadership 48(6) 68-71.

  • Smith B. L. & MacGregor J.T. (1992). Collaborative Learning: A Sourcebook for Higher Education. Washington DC: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching Learning and Assessment University Park PA.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 383 182 3
PDF Downloads 168 108 1