Social Media Bridging the Distance in Online Education
Abstract: Few would argue against the idea that distance education has become an explosive ripple within our educational norm. Students are seeking and taking more online courses than ever before. There has been much research conducted to investigate the quality of online education verses face-to-face traditional classes. Several important beliefs have come from the available body of research. Among those are the belief that online students experience a feeling of isolation, disconnect with their institution, and overall, have a diminished educational experience. The purpose of this study was to explore if using the social media site, Facebook, helps reduce the feeling of isolation within the distance education student population, if the use of Facebook increases student engagement in online higher education, if the use of Facebook increases student connectedness, and if the use of Facebook increases the feeling of overall satisfaction in the educational experience of online higher education students. The ultimate goal is to find ways to reverse the current trend of rising attrition rates among online programs. This study sought to provide much needed analysis and added to the small body of literature that currently exists.
Presider: Stephanie Taitano, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania