25% of medical students use Facebook for education - with mixed success

This Australian study aimed to evaluate how effectively medical students may be using Facebook for education.

Researchers surveyed 759 medical students at one Melbourne university, and explored the design and conduct of 4 Facebook study groups.

25.5% of students reported using Facebook for education-related reasons and another 50.0% said they were open to doing so.

The case studies showed conservative approaches in students' efforts to support their development of medical knowledge and mixed successes.

The study authors concluded that Facebook as part of learning and teaching is as much of a challenge for many students as it may be for most educators.

Medical students' use of Facebook to support learning: Insights from four case studies. Gray K, Annabell L, Kennedy G. Med Teach. 2010;32(12):971-6.
Assistant professor uses Twitter to teach students dental anatomy at Ohio State University - 113 of 200 students signed up, 56% http://goo.gl/jvyq7


  1. "university students are interested and active in supporting their learning by using Facebook"

    facebook as an educational environment? "education related reasons" includes also chatting on FB with a classmate? I would not stretch too much the "facebook obsession". Certainly FB is a tool. It can be used for sure also for educational purposes. But facebook doesn't embrace the whole web, especially when it comes to academic resources.


  2. Facebook "doesn't embrace the whole web" but many people never leave Facebook. They read updates there, watch videos, see photos, and blog, yes, they blog daily inside the service.

    You have to try to reach learners where they are, and they are on Facebook as of now. Where they will in 2014 nobody knows.

  3. Blogs are best for medical education:

    - you can expand beyond 140 characters

    - there are no constraints on the format as is the case with Facebook

    - you can embed videos - just try this with Twitter

    - your blog is your own, it does not belong to Facebook

    - you can actually track the conversation on a blog with open comments - much better than the scattered approach to replies employed by Twitter

  4. Nice one, but again, who uses Facebook for medical education?

    Very few, would be my guess.