Using a social networking site such as Facebook, to enhance the feeling of belonging, within a first year nursing cohort of a large university

Howard, Christine (2009) Using a social networking site such as Facebook, to enhance the feeling of belonging, within a first year nursing cohort of a large university. In 12th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference : Preparing for Tomorrow Today : The First Year Experience as Foundation, 29 June - 1 July 2009, Townsville, Queensland. (Unpublished)

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Recently I asked a first year student how he was coping with the transition from high school to university. The young fellow looked at me and said, “Man, everything is so different!” I smiled and said “like what?” with which he seriously replied, “Well for one thing, no one tells you that you have to wear a hat at lunch time.” I have to admit I was a little amused and surprised by this student’s response, as so often the focus, is placed on getting first year students to engage academically, when it is obvious at times, that even the mere transition in to university life and the culture itself, can be a hurdle. While teaching, within a large first year unit for over 10 years, it has become apparent that students want more connection with not only the peers that they study with, but also with the University as a whole. Dr Krause pointed out in her keynote paper, On Being Strategic about the First Year (2006), that this “sense of belonging is conducive to enhancing engagement, satisfaction with learning and commitment to study”. It has also become evident, that the way in which students want to be able to communicate has changed, with the advent of capabilities such as Instant Messaging via a network and Short Message Service SMS texting via their hand held mobile phones. To be able to chat and feel connected on social networking sites such as Bebo, Facebook and Twitter is not only a way of the future, it is here now and it is here to stay.

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ID Code: 41805
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: engagement, first year experience, facebook, social network technology, nursing, tertiary education, social connection
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Christine Howard
Deposited On: 25 May 2011 21:59
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2014 03:44

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