Skepticism of Facebook Student Groups grows on college campuses

Most colleges and universities don’t assign an official campus eMail address to an incoming student until weeks before their first semester begins.

“Groups for Schools also does not focus on helping prospects and admits, who often don’t have an .edu eMail,” said Brandon Croke, a community manager for Inigral, a California-based company that helps schools with social media strategy. “While we have communities both for current and admitted students, we’ve seen the highest levels of engagement take place before school even begins.”

Reaction to Facebook Student Groups wasn’t as skeptical on the instructional side of higher education. Twitter and education-technology blogs buzzed with what Student Groups could become once it becomes established on campuses.

Teresa Martinelli-Lee, an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne in California, said she hoped Facebook was moving toward a hybrid learning management system (LMS) with a much more social format than competition in the open source or proprietary spaces.

If Student Groups become a place where students share files, exchange questions with classmates and faculty members, and share resources, Martinelli-Lee said she could envision a time when students maintained two Facebook accounts: their personal pages and an account linked to Student Groups with common interests.

“Students certainly know how to multitask,” she said. “This generation can do quite a few things at the same time … and if they have their Facebook open, they might as well use that format in class.”

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