USF teacher uses Facebook in class
What may be used for entertainment during one student's spare time is a learning tool for another.
USF graduate student Alessandro Cesarano uses Facebook for homework assignments and class discussions in lieu of Blackboard, the University student database used for coursework.
Cesarano, who teaches a Beginning Spanish I class, programmed the class' Facebook group to be completely in Spanish and students must comment on posted material.
"I like the Facebook page better than Blackboard because students have more access to authentic cultural material, and I don't have to waste class time teaching them how to use a new program because many of them already use Facebook," he said.
This is Cesarano's second class to use this method.
He said it provides three advantages: collaboration, facilitating communication and increased student engagement outside of class.
For Cesarano, a Ph.D student in USF's Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technologies program, the integration of Facebook into the classroom is a social media experiment that will serve as his dissertation.
Students are given a survey at the end of the semester to rate their experience.
So far, it's been successful, said Cesarano, who came up with the idea while he attended the University of Virginia last year.
"The students are interested and happy to be using Facebook," he said. "It's something they know and are comfortable using."
But this method has been met with concerns.
Cesarano said some "traditionalist instructors" can't "see the potential of the new social media."
Some of the criticism received, he said, focused on the possibility that students are easily distracted from schoolwork while on the site and that privacy issues could arise between student and instructor.
However, Cesarano encouraged students to create a profile separate from their personal ones to protect their privacy.
At the beginning of the semester, students were given a user sign form that listed a set of guidelines for using the Facebook page and a grading rubric, Cesarano said.
The guidelines state that students can only accept those in the student's specific class as friends and students cannot promote or share inappropriate content in any way.
Patrizia La Trecchia, director of USF's Italian program, said Facebook creates a "sense of community" in the classroom.
"To learn a language is not just to learn a new set of grammatical rules, it is to learn a new set of cultural parameters, an aspect that is crucial to our global world and multicultural society," she said.
She said social media is a new way of interacting with others and is the "human embodiment of globalization" that is creating new ways people learn and interact.
"The bottom line is this: there is plenty of authentic cultural material on Facebook about the target language we study throughout the course," Cesarano said. "Facebook is an interesting way to enhance the students' cultural exposure of the language they're learning in ways that the textbook can't."
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Weist named interim coach as USF begins search for replacement
- For USF football, losing Willie Taggart hits hard
- Bucs' Winston, USF players react to Taggart's departure
- Taggart leaving USF for Oregon coaching job
- Quinton Flowers wins AAC Offensive Player of the Year
- BOT formally approves Genshaft bonus
- Top 10 moments of the fall semester
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Chiropractic Care Now Covered By Most Insurance Plans
- Foodies Flock to Greater Fort Lauderdale's Dining...
- Yes, Olivia, There Is a Santa, and He's Calling You
- Got Tech Neck? Here's Some Advice.
- Three Simple Swaps for a Healthier Lunch
- Epilepsy Awareness Day 2016 Largest Turnout Ever
- Give the Gift of Connectivity, Without the Stress
- New Cancer Treatment Continues to Progress By Filing for...
- How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Doctor of...
- Many Working Mothers Can't Afford Their Health Insurance...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- MAX FROST RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR INFECTIOUS TRACK "ADDERALL"
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates
- National Meningitis Association Urges Students to take Pledge2Prevent
- American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation Award Grants to Help 20 Colleges and Universities Go Tobacco-Free in Largest Initiative of Its Kind