Studying the possible uses of Facebook in individual classroom settings and then presenting those findings to a world conference earned Bainbridge College Associate Professor Tatyana Pashnyak a scholarship from the Bainbridge College Foundation.
Pashnyak presented her findings to the E-Learn 2011 World Conference in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education last October in Hawaii, which the scholarship from the foundation partially funded her expenses to attend the conference.
The associate professor Business and Medical Administrative Technology in the college’s Technical Studies Division said there were 50 students enrolled in several sections of an Electronic Communication Applications course, and they were asked to update their course status once a week on Facebook .
“After the first week of required posts, students became increasingly more active while still posting academic-related updates,” Pashnyak said. “Students were reminding each other of upcoming deadlines, discussion requirements for various projects, shared ideas and even supported struggling classmates by posting positive comments.”
By the end of the semester, Pashnyak said both Facebook groups became virtual communities of practice, and she said the transformation process as well as content of status updates posted throughout the semester was analyzed and discussed in her paper.
The BC Foundation’s scholarship to a member of the faculty represents its commitment to reinforce institutional recognition of quality teaching and learning, and the foundation regards exemplary teaching and learning demonstrated in the college’s climate as the return on the educational investment, said Dale Fuller, the college’s executive director of institutional advancement.