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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Utilizing Social Networking Sites for Communication in Higher Education

Utilizing Social Networking Sites for Communication in Higher Education
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Author(s): Jodi Whitehurst (Arkansas State University – Beebe, USA) and Jim Vander Putten (University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 21
Source title: Enriching Collaboration and Communication in Online Learning Communities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Carolyn N. Stevenson (Purdue University Global, USA) and Joanna C. Bauer (Claremont Lincoln University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9814-5.ch011


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This chapter first analyzes the need for communication and collaboration tools to connect units of higher education. It then examines a popular social networking site, Facebook, as a possible platform of communication. This chapter also discusses findings from a phenomenological study that explored rhetorical roles employed by participants on Facebook and then connects findings to current research concerning communication and collaboration in higher education. Data indicated that messages on Facebook were used for cooperation and coordination, but not necessarily collaboration. It also indicated that while participants were audience-minded, they were not necessarily audience-aware, and participants used audience shaping as a coping mechanism. Finally, composers' inclinations to exercise authority over their personal, representational space (Facebook wall) led the researchers to conclude that use of Facebook in higher education may best be achieved by creating a Facebook page or group for specific communicative purposes.

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