Academic Facebook groups promote productivity, not procrastination

Sophomore+Meera+Karthik+provides+helpful+links+to+review+before+a+biology+assessment.+Students+used+class+Facebook+groups+to+share+resources+with+and+ask+questions+to+their+peers.+Screenshot+by+Alina+Abidi.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Academic Facebook groups promote productivity, not procrastination

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

Alina Abidi

Social studying improves communication and provides clarity between classmates.

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

Sophomore Meera Karthik provides helpful links to review before a biology assessment. Students used class Facebook groups to share resources with and ask questions to their peers. Screenshot by Alina Abidi.

 

On more than one occasion, I have felt the heart-sinking realization that I did not write down the day’s homework and more than a few times I have felt the panic that comes from finding a blank answer on a study guide the night before a test. Long gone are the days of calling a friend’s house and praying they pick up — and hopefully avoiding awkward conversation with their parents. Now, there is an easy solution that allows me to talk to enough students at once that I am bound to get answers to my questions within minutes.

Facebook groups have evolved from pages with funny and relatable titles — thousands of which I “liked” in seventh grade — to pages for almost every academic class. While Facebook can be a distraction for some, its ability to improve communication makes it a viable study tool for students.

Students might be accustomed to the use of Facebook groups for clubs, sports and requests for phone numbers, but as students transition into high school and harder classes, groups related to specific courses are used more often. Though scrolling through pictures and status updates can be distracting when it is time to work, the use of academic groups for collaborative studying provides more help than harm. Posts in these groups typically vary from clarifications on assignment details to dates of upcoming tests, but there are posters who go above and beyond.

Last year, the 2016 Homework group was known for making 10-page Google Doc study guides and mock tests for biology that classmates, myself included, utilized. After popular demand, creators added answer keys and responded to any questions or concerns expressed on the Facebook post. The class page was especially visited during the pig practical unit, in which students were graded in part by how well their group members did. Students had to ensure that their partners studied effectively, and the Facebook group provided a convenient platform for sharing resources. Freshmen teachers encouraged students to chat with their classmates and review the material, and the page was a helpful tool as opposed to emailing or calling them one at a time.

If students are vehemently opposed to getting information from peers but like the ease of Facebook groups, AP Chemistry teacher Kavita Gupta offers a solution. Gupta advises students to join her Facebook group and checks it daily, responding to questions and clarifying information. Direct responses from a teacher guarantee accuracy, and some students say that using a Facebook group is more fun and collaborative than private emails.

Fellow students cannot always provide perfect information, but a second opinion can be helpful. Consulting with peers often results in clearer concepts, but if Facebook groups lead to procrastination rather than productivity, there is always the “Leave group” button.