Can learning be virtually boosted? An investigation of online social networking impacts

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1494-1503
Journal / PublicationComputers and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


Online social networking has deeply penetrated university campuses, influencing multiple aspects of student life. We investigate the impacts of individual online social networking engagement (e.g., on Facebook) from a pedagogical standpoint. Based on social learning theory, we argue that two socialization processes, social acceptance and acculturation, bridge individual online social networking engagement with three domains of social learning outcomes. Results from a survey accompanied by focus group discussions demonstrate the substantial impacts of university student online social networking engagement on social learning processes and outcomes. Online social networking not only directly influences university students' learning outcomes, but also helps the students attain social acceptance from others and adapt to university culture, both of which play prominent roles in improving their learning outcomes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • e-Learning, Learning outcomes, Social network, Socialization