ETEC-642 Facebook as a Research Tool

Facebook is probably the best-known Social Network in the world. It is has millions of active users and offers a great social networking experience. My use of Facebook is multifaceted and ever expanding. For my dissertation research project, I’m using a Facebook page as the online Community of Practice (CoP) for my Mobile Device Based Learning Environment (MDBLE).

The instructional design for the “GitShed Guitar Learning Community” is using the CoP learning theory, flipped education, game infused education with badging, integrated into the MDBLE. Using only mobile devices participants in the research project will attempt to learn to play “Basic Guitar”. The Design-Based Research (DBR) methodology allows me, in my roll as researcher, to actively interact with, and investigate the participant’s, to learn about their experiences in, and perceptions of the MDBLEs design and effectiveness.

Using Facebook enables me to use it’s curating and longitudinal research capabilities to promote community development and the data collection required for my research. The communication, video posting and file sharing functions along with the Time Line feature allows me to track development and data collect.

The way we have used Facebook in ETEC-642 is a great example of the educational power that the social network provides. In addition to the way we answered course questions in ETEC-642, participants of the community can:

  • Ask questions
  • Post updates on their learning progress
  • Share YouTube videos of lessons, or artist they like
  • Start a discussion
  • Challenge another participant to a learning competition
  • Find participants and Develop Learning Collaboration Bands

Data form these and other social networking research constructs will be analyzed using Social Network Analysis. Facebook in combination with the “WordPress” Course Management System (CMS) also provides a vehicle for obtaining the qualitative and quantitative data related to the participant’s experiences in, and perception of the my design for the MDBLE. Facebook also provides a DBR opportunity, as a vehicle for collecting design recommendations from participants. The design-based research methodology implemented in my dissertation research project, is also used to observer and measure, the instructional design, and effectiveness of the eight (8) game infused basic guitar lessons. Using Facebook as the CoP, along with the WordPress CMS, as “Online Social Media Tools” for my MDBLE is an effective way to observe participants.

Please visit and “Like” If you know of adults interested in learning to play Basic Guitar please share this blog post and aske them to contact me using the Facebook Page messaging or Twitter hashtag #GitShed.

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