These images show two examples of the use of a Social Networking Application in courses in the College of Business.
The image above shows a Facebook page that is used for informal communication among the students and instructor in the course. In this case, the students are added to a secret group in Facebook, so the interactions are private on not seen by the students Facebook friends, and the students are not required to “friend” the other students in the course, or the instructor. Participation via Facebook is optional, and students also have the option of communicating via the course website in Illinois Compass. The instructor initiates and participates in many Facebook conversations in this course, but it could also be used as just a “Student Lounge” space if the instructor chooses not to participate. Clearly, the advantage of using Facebook for this purpose is the fact that most students already have a Facebook account and use it regularly.
This image shows a Ning site for a course. This site was used as the course website, and Ning was chosen over Illinois Compass because it provided tools to create more of a “community” in this heavily discussion based course. Again, the space was private to the students and instructor in the course.