A new study that is available online first in the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning looks at the social and psychological factors that lead to different types of Facebook use revolving around organizing collaborative classroom activities among college students. We identified two types of collaboration: positive collaboration (e.g., using Facebook to arrange face-to-face study groups, discuss classes or schoolwork) and negative collaboration (e.g., using Facebook to share answers from a quiz or test with someone who has yet to take it, sharing homework answers in a way the instructor would not approve of). Here are some of the more interesting findings:
What predicts negative collaboration?
- Grades did not predict anything! So being a bad/good student in terms of grades did not have an association with whether or not you used Facebook to collaborate negatively.
- Students with high self-esteem are less likely to collaborate negatively (students with low self-esteem are more likely to collaborate negatively). Seems intuitive, but it tells us how important psychological well-being is.
- Students who have confidence about their knowledge of finding information related to their interest on Facebook are less likely to collaborate negatively.
What predicts positive collaboration?
- Students who have more confidence about their knowledge of privacy settings on Facebook are more likely to collaborate positively using Facebook
- Women are more likely to use Facebook for positively collaboration than men.
- Students who are more likely to initiate new relationships on Facebook are more likely to collaborate positively/negatively via Facebook
- Students who use Facebook to look up information about people they know are less likely to collaborate positively/negatively via Facebook. This could mean that students who perceive Facebook as a place for “social” interaction are less likely to use it for “work” purposes.
- Students who were more likely to ask their TA for help via Facebook were more likely to collaborate positively/negatively.