Thursday, March 10, 2011

So far, so good

It's the first week and so far I'm happy with the group Facebook page and the way students are interacting with it. We met in a computer lab on Monday so I had everyone join during class and complete the pre-survey. I've posted several documents since -- the course info sheet, some readings, and two videos relating to the readings -- and have been happily surprised at student responses so far. Several students went on the site, watched the videos, and commented on them that afternoon without having been asked to do so and it really helped get the conversation going during our Wednesday class. I have since posted our first informal writing assignment, giving them a deadline of noon on Sunday to contribute. The two responses posted so far are thoughtful and pretty fully fleshed out, which is also a nice surprise. I was afraid that using Facebook might put students in "social networking" mode, as opposed to "school" mode, and lead to less-academic writing (abbreviations, lack of full sentences, etc.). So far, that hasn't happened. Just the fact that students have gone to the site to "like" things, even if they don't comment, is encouraging. It shows me that they're engaged in and thinking about what the class is doing even when they're not in the classroom.


  1. Hey Michelle-- I have been checking your group every so often, and it seems to work really well for the types of thinking you want students to do--perfect match for thinking/discussing poetry, for example.

    I'm glad that FB so far has been painless!

  2. Michelle,
    I had/have that same fear. I can't seem to get past the concept that students use facebook (as do I, by the way)to message meaningless comments rather than to share heartfelt literary views. I'm trying to overcome my feelings, but have used/continue to use non-facebook social media because of my bias.

  3. It's a common fear, Linda, but I have to say FB's been working really well so far. Five students have posted their responses to the first informal writing prompt and they are all coherent, well thought through, and written in complete words and sentences (I had warned them to avoid LOLs and OMGs and the like). The added bonus is that I feel like I'm getting to know my students a bit better as individuals. I hope they're getting to know each other a bit better, too, creating a stronger sense of community overall. Since you're still shopping around for a format, you might want to consider it.