Facilitating Research Methods Pedagogy through Facebook: Addressing the Challenge of Alternate Learning Styles

By Steve Page and Paul Webb.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The full-time international postgraduate taught programmes at the University of Chester Business School in the UK attract students from a range of different cultural backgrounds. This presents the teaching staff with a number of difficulties, and indeed due to the heterogeneity of the cohort's learning styles, it provides the students with some obstacles as well. Over the last few years, the researchers have noticed that many international students on the programmes find the dissertation stage (in particular the research methods element) of their postgraduate degree very challenging. The researchers wish to find ways of engaging the students in the whole dissertation process, through encouraging them to share ideas and work together on research methods training activities and dissertation related issues and problems. In this research the researchers are particularly interested in discovering if, and how, social networking tools -- especially Facebook (which all the students on the taught masters programmes use already) can be used to facilitate learning; thereby increasing the success rate on the dissertation stage of the programmes for full-time international postgraduate taught students. The results of this study demonstrate that Facebook can be an effective teaching tool for research methods. It can enhance the student’s learning experience and improve their understanging, resulting in an overall improvement in students’ dissertation grades.”

Keywords: Learning styles, International Postgraduate Taught Students, Research Methods Training, Masters Dissertation, Social Networking Tools, Facebook

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp.125-139. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 555.200KB).

Steve Page

Senior Lecturer, Business, University of Chester, Chester, Cheshire, UK

Steven Page is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester Business School in the UK. He has been researching the human aspects of information systems for 20 years and has presented his work in learned journals and conferences in Asia, Europe, and the USA. Steve is an associate editor for a number of journals, has chaired a conference on ‘‘Ethics, ICT and social exclusion’’, and sits on the organizing committee for a number of international conferences. His current research interests are in the areas of higher education management pedagogy and aligning information strategy with business strategy. This latter area builds on his research degree work in the area of ‘‘Impact of IT on the Workforce’’.

Paul Webb

Senior Lecturer, Chester Business School, University of Chester, Chester, Cheshire, UK

Paul Webb is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester Business School in the UK. Paul’s current research interests are in the areas of Higher Education Management Pedagogy (in particular the impact of cultural diversity amongst virtual learning communities) and issues relating to housing associations & social housing policy and strategy in the UK. He has published a number of journal articles relating to marketing & higher education and has presented his work at conferences and workshops across the UK.


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