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New literacy practice in a facebook group: The case of a residential learning community

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Computers & Education Volume 134, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


To explore how an online platform provides opportunities for new literacy practices to members of a learning community to connect and collaborate with one another within a participatory culture in supporting the learning experience in the physical space of a dormitory, we used the six-year Facebook (FB) public group data of a university residential program as an open laboratory. A total of 7396 postings by 764 authors were retrieved using a computational approach (a total of 1572 members participated in these posts). For the purposes of this study, the “Likes” received by each posting were considered an indication of the level of approval of others' viewpoints or appreciation for the information shared by other participants. The 311 posts (4%) that received more than 41 Likes represented 19,451 Likes (21.6%) expressed by the group members. We selected and examined them in depth using qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis. Finally, the 122 authors of the 311 entries were clustered into three profiles and analyzed to determine the patterns of “magnet” participants or opinion leaders. Overall, this study provided a vehicle to determine the ways by which the characteristics of new literacy practices, especially “collective intelligence,” “appropriation,” and “fun,” are applied in the context of a FB group, which functions as an informal learning environment in a formal learning setting. The study also identified the content, format, peer interactions, and student-teacher interactions of a student-managed and residential teacher-facilitated, technology-enhanced learning environment in support of the mission of the residential program. The study's findings demonstrate how an online platform played a significant role in supporting the learning experience occurring in a dormitory and the face-to-face activities of the participants. Such a platform has the advantages of involving more people and supplementing the college students' process of striving for social and intellectual development by allowing them to state opinions, negotiate meanings, address confrontation, articulate reasoning, and consider options. The platform also facilitates the equally important process of emotional development, as it provides the students with a sense of belonging, allows them to enjoy shared moments, and enhances their perceptions of being able to contribute to a common goal.


Chen, S.Y., Kuo, H.Y. & Hsieh, T.C. (2019). New literacy practice in a facebook group: The case of a residential learning community. Computers & Education, 134(1), 119-131. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 18, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on March 15, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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