In April 2019, Facebook introduced a social learning feature for Facebook Groups that allows any group administrator to format the content into structured units so that groups can author and deliver courses to members.
For several years, people have been using Facebook groups as part of their eLearning, but not as an eLearning platform itself. The last time I taught my four-week Social Media Strategy course at Royal Roads University, I asked students to create a private Facebook group to share content and promote discussions. Course developers also publish media such as videos on Facebook groups for their students. Facebook has been observing this uptake in eLearning and has received many suggestions from users about new features they would like to have added to Facebook groups.
Other options on the Group Settings page include a Description of the group (essential!), a geographical location (optional), tags (important for Public groups to help people find your group when they are searching by topic or keywords) and add Apps (not many available yet).
You can also link an existing Facebook page related to the group or create a new Page, select a limited number of colors to use for the group theme (design elements) and select a custom web address so that the URL is more human-readable when you share it.
Facebook Groups has evolved from a lead generation platform and now Facebook Groups have many marketing features that now, I think are underrated. Once in particular is the social learning group which I believe is to be the next LMS inside of Facebook.
Facebook is full of features and is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 1.4 billion users people login in every day to check updates, promote their businesses and share their latest news. It is also a fantastic forum for e-learning.
Many learning management platforms allow the learner to access information and resources online, however the learning itself is not inclusive with a community feel or support, this can be a problem as the participant can feel stressed at home with just their computer.
What is an LMS? Learning Management System is software application for administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.
Facebook groups as a LMS system allows the participants to engage in real time discussions and chats, allowing the participant to ask questions and have access to their trainer at all times. Also getting support from the other participants, providing an inclusive learning environment, similar to the class room learning.
As a Certified trainer and assessor, which my niche being social media education, I have spent many hours developing and using online learning systems. A report from 2004 stated that in Australia, the Australian government invested over 95million dollars into the e-learning sector. There has been a strong need for the educational system to change its delivery and with the growing use of the internet and digital literacy, we have seen many Registered Training Offices use learning management systems online to allow the delivery of their courses to their participants.
With this in mind, we have also see the massive niche of education for non accredited training, you know, these weekly courses that help you learn absolutely everything you need to know, (The Expert Industry) which are totally accessible on website portals like OptimizePress, Kajabi, then came along affordable delivery platforms like Teachable and Thinkific, the online e-learning niche is a multi billion dollar growing industry and we can see why.
For the past 12 months I have been working at a not for profit organization called Envizion, working with Entrepreneurs of the Future, and all of our resources, additional learnings, power hour recordings have been utilized in a private group on Facebook, just this last week I had the opportunity to put together a pitch for the Department of Education and Small Business Training in Brisbane, I flew down from Cairns with the CEO of Envizion to pitch an online course for Assisting Women in Business, some of the criteria to be success in the delivery was to be able to reach women in regional areas, that may have limited connectivity. I created the framework of this course inside of Facebook and used this platform as my Learning Management System. On the flight I realized that many inside the Vocational Education System are not using Facebook and It made me wonder why?
At the moment I believe I am one of the first to inter-grate a paid membership site within Facebook and currently use groups for a number of my e-learning opportunities for my students, some of the ways I have been using Facebook for e-learning:
The only difference I see with Learning Management Platforms and Facebook maybe the interaction of learning materials like quizzes and assessment tools for accredited qualification, however lets chat about bots for a moment, you can integrate a bot with your Facebook and allow the participants to use the bot to score them on a quiz and introduce the assessment tools.
Facebook really offers more than the normal learning management platform, we have the ability to use Live Video, you can integrate your powerpoint presentations or just be live as if you were delivering a lecture, or both. Encouraging questions and feedback from the participants.
A feature many of us may not give credit to is the Auto translate, this accommodates a world wide audience, the group will have the content in its original language with the translation button at the button.
I hope as a business owner, trainer or educator that you have a bigger understanding of how to use Facebook as a Learning Management System for your next e-course, accredited or non-accredited delivery or maybe just as a complimentary tool to your existing platforms. Facebook is for ever evolving and so should we as trainers and educators, giving our participants easy access to the learning resources and materials. Rather than a number of logins to different learning platforms that they have signed up for. As finalist for the 2019 Social Media Marketing Awards here in Australia, in the category of Social Media Educator, I hope that you see this post as an opportunity to stand out from the group and embrace Facebook as your new LMS option!
In April 2019, Facebook Groups announced a social learning tool that allows any group administrator to format information into structured units, allowing them to create and deliver courses to members.
Welcome post for facebook group is important for the new members who join your group. With your welcome video, thank your students for joining and informing them that they've landed at the right place. You can even use a live stream to deliver your greeting and then pin the post in your group. Tell them where they may access the information to direct them to the learning units.
Data collected by EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, sampling 36,950 students from 126 U.S. universities, showed that 97% of students who use Facebook reported actively engaging on the site daily (Smith & Caruso, 2010).Instructors of asynchronous online courses could tap into this pre-established daily interaction and apply continuous and consistent exposure to their content by implementing discussion boards in a Facebook group. Posts and comments made by instructors and student peers are seen every time a student visits their Facebook, with the option of also receiving an immediate notification on their phone after a comment is posted. This results in the students being involved in the discussions and reviewing content more often throughout the day or week. Students who would normally only log into their Blackboard course a few times per week to intentionally check discussion boards can now be connected with the course every time they pick up their phone or tablet. Instructors could also encourage students to use the "like" feature to acknowledge they've read an announcement or to show agreement with a comment.
A private Facebook group is an outstanding tool for coaches who work with groups. Facebook groups can be used as an informal support for group programs and can be used as a discussion space for an online course. In fact, when I ask my coach clients how they're going to make their course interactive, invariably the response is, "Oh! I will start a Facebook group!"
So if you want a dynamic learning environment in a Facebook group as the central part of your online course discussion, you must provide leadership to make it happen. Your students are counting on you to guide them.
If you want student engagement in the conversation, you have to be in there with them. Don't limit yourself to posts you were tagged in or those specifically about the course process. In your responses, challenge students to extend and expand their thinking on the problem. You might also tag others in the group who you know might have insights to respond. Facilitate and grow the discussion.
Tip: Try recording your voice instead of typing feedback. Upload the audio file directly to the Facebook page. Keep it to no more than 2 or 3 minutes. There is something magical about hearing your teacher's voice guiding you on your learning journey. Your students will be totally delighted! (The technical part of this is very easy to do).
Contributing Author: Eileen McGurty, Ph.D. I love working with coaches, yoga teachers and wellness professionals who want to serve their students with the highest quality learning opportunities. Together, we turn your passion, knowledge and desire to serve into a dynamic, interactive and high quality online course.
Instead of a direct messaging platform in the native Facebook app, Facebook Messenger exists as a separate application so users can chat one-on-one or in a private group setting. When using Facebook.com on a desktop computer, the messenger is accessible through the native Facebook website. 2b1af7f3a8