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Identifying Social Presence in Student Discussions on Facebook and Canvas

  • Monica Johannesen
  • Louise MifsudEmail author
  • Leikny Øgrim
Original research

Abstract

This study examines student discussion fora in a Master’s programme. Previous student evaluations of the course highlighted the students’ dissatisfaction with the technology chosen for communication and recommended the use of Facebook instead. In this article, we raise the following question: ‘How do various digital discussion fora engage students in academic discussions?’ The collected data material consists of student evaluation reports and dialogues on Facebook and Canvas. The data were gathered from two courses that used Facebook or Canvas as their primary communication technology. In analysing these interactions, we identified several categories: social issues, academic discussions, practical issues, information flow, teacher information, and crossover discussions. The findings, which address the interplay between the social and the material nature of communication in academic discussions, are analysed from a sociomaterial perspective. Our conclusions indicate that the sociomaterial nature of the various discussion fora influences the students’ social presences, which consequently influence the academic discussions.

Keywords

Facebook Canvas Social presence Sociomaterial Dialogic learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan UniversityOsloNorway

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