Exploring Learners’ Attitude toward Facebook as a Medium of Learners’ Engagement during Covid-19 Quarantine

Meisam Moghadam, Habibeh Shamsi


The rapid transition to online teaching because of the global disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic exclaimed all the educators on finding the most efficient ways to teach in the presence of all rampant limitations caused in both social and academic lives. Facebook, as one of the favorite social networks, having hundreds of millions of users, is an enticing way for the teachers and students to form an online community. With this regard, the purpose of the present study is to explore the attitude and viewpoints of language learners toward implementing Facebook as a peripheral medium, besides the formal e-learning platform used in the classroom, to engage learners in language learning and explore its effectiveness in the process of teaching. Moreover, this study aims to explore learners’ attitudes through the lens of the sociocultural theory. To this end, participants were chosen based on availability sampling, and the online versions of two surveys, Facebook Online Survey and Usefulness and Effectiveness Survey were shared with them through Facebook wall posts and Google Drive. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of their responses are examined and the results are analyzed based on the sociocultural perspective. This study implied that Facebook can be employed as a motivating technology to engage learners and an effective tool besides the other online medium used during the global lockdown.


Facebook; learners’ attitude; sociocultural theory; web 2.0 technology; engagement; language learning

Full Text:



Abbasi, S., Ayoob, T., Malik, A., & Iqbal Memon, S. (2020). Perceptions of students regarding E-learning during Covid-19 at a private medical college. Pakistan Journal of Medical Science, 36, 57-61.

Akbari, E., Eghtesad, S., & Simons, R. J. (2012). Students' Attitudes Towards the Use of Social Networks for Learning the English Language. International Conference ICT for Language Learning, 5th Edition. http://conference.pixel-online.net/ICT4LL2012/common/download/Paper_pdf/357-IBT70FP-Akbari-ICT2012.pdf

Akbari, E., Naderi, A., Simons, R. J. & Pilot, A. (2016). Student engagement and foreign language learning through online social networks. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 1(4). https://doi/10.1186/s40862-016-0006-7

Al-Qaysi, N., Mohamad-Nordin, N. & Al-Emran, M. (2019). What leads to social learning? Students’ attitudes towards using social media applications in Omani higher education. Education and Information Technologies, 25, 2157–2174. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10074-6

Al-Shehri, S. (2011). Context in our pockets: Mobile phones and social networking as tools of contextualizing language learning, presented at 10th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning at Beijing, China.

Amry, A. B. (2014). The Impact of Whatsapp Mobile Social Learning on The Achievement and Attitudes of Female Students Compared with Face-to-Face Learning in The Classroom. European Scientific Journal, 10(22), 116-136.

Anca, P. & Cosmina, M. (2015). Students' Perception on Using eLearning Technologies. Procedia Soc Behav Sci., 180, 1514–1519. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.02.300

Annetta, L.A., Minogue, J., Holmes, S.Y., & Cheng, M.T. (2009). Investigating the impact of video games on high school students’ engagement and learning about genetics. Computers & Education, 53, 74–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2008.12.020

Antenos-Conforti, E. (2009). Microblogging on Twitter: Social networking in intermediate Italian classes. In L. Lomicka & G. Lord (Eds.), The next generation: Social networking and online collaboration in foreign language learning (pp. 59-90). CALICO.

Baloran, E. T. (2020). Knowledge, Attitudes, Anxiety, and Coping Strategies of Students during COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 25(8), 635-642. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2020.1769300

Block, D. (2003). The Social Turn in Second Language Acquisition. Georgetown University Press.

Bonk, C. J., & Cunningham, D. J. (1998). Searching for learner-centered, constructivist, and sociocultural components of collaborative educational learning tools. In C. J. Bonk, & K. S. King (Eds.), Electronic collaborators: Learner-centered technologies for literacy, apprenticeship, and discourse (pp. 25-50). Erlbaum.

Bosch, T. E. (2009). Using on-line social networking for teaching and learning: Facebook use at the University of Cape Town. Communication Theory and Research, 35(20), 185.

Bsharah, M., Gasaymeh, A. M., & Abdelrahman, M. B. (2014). The Relationship between the Use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) and Perceived Level of Social Intelligence among Jordanian University Students: The Case of Facebook. International Journal of Psychological Studies, 6(3), 1-12.

Chen, M. M. (2018). Students’ perceptions of the educational usage of a Facebook group. Journal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism, 18(4), 1–17.

Chen, P. S. D., Lambert, A.D., & Guidry, K. R. (2010). Engaging online learners: the impact of web-based learning technology on college student engagement. Computers & Education, 54(5), 1222–1232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2009.11.008

Cheon, H. (2008). Sociocultural Theory and Computer-Mediated communication-based Language Learning. Teachers College, Columbia University. Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, (8)1, 1-3.

Cheta, W. & Yinka, R. (2016). Undergraduates’ Attitude towards the use of Social Media for Learning Purposes. Research Journal of Mass Communication and Information Technology, 2(2), 51-60.

Connolly, T., Willis, J., & Lloyd, M. (2019). Evaluating teacher and learner readiness to use Facebook in an Australian vocational setting. Studies in Continuing Education, 41(1), 61–75.

Dippold, D. (2009). Peer feedback through blogs: Student and teacher perceptions in an advanced German class. ReCALL, 21(1), 18-36.

Donato, R. (1994). Collective scaffolding in second language learning. In J. P. Lantolf, & G. Appel (Eds.), Vygostkian approaches to second language research (pp. 33-56). Ablex.

Ducate, C. L., & Lomicka, L. L. (2005). Exploring the blogosphere: Use of Web logs in the foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 38(3), 410-421.

Dunne, E., Wren, J., & Janes, A. (2012). Using Video and Wiki Technology to Increase Student Engagement with Learning in Large International Cohorts in UK. Higher Education, 6(Part A), 165–194.

Elverici, S. E. & Karadeniz, Ş. (2018). The effects of social media on social presence in teaching a foreign language. The Journal of International Lingual, Social and Educational Sciences, 4(2), 174-185.

Eren, Ö. (2012). Students’ Attitudes towards Using Social Networking in Foreign Language Classes: A Facebook Example. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(20), 288-294.

Firth, A., & Wagner, J. (1997). On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA Research. Modern Language Journal, 81, 286–300.

Goel, D. & Singh, M. (2016). Impact of students’ attitudes towards social media use in education on their academic performance. AIMA Journal of Management & Research, 10(2), 1-14.

Junco, R. (2012). The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Computers & Education, 58, 162–171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2011.08.004

Kessler, G. (2009). Student-initiated attention to form in wiki-based collaborative writing. Language Learning & Technology, 13(1), 79–95.

Lantolf, J. P. & Thorne, S. L. (2005). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development. Oxford University Press.

Lantolf, J. P. (2000). Introducing sociocultural theory. In: J. P. Lantolf (ed.), Sociocultural theory and second language learning (pp. 1-26). Oxford University Press.

Lessila, S. & Kairikko, A. (2020). Teachers’ perceptions of working and teaching online during COVID-19. https://esignals.fi/en/2020/06/15/teachers-perceptions-of-working-and-teaching-online-during-covid-19/#5d47515b.

Li, C. & Lalani, F. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-education-global-covid19-online-digital-learning/

Maniar, A. & Modi, A. (2014). Educating WhatsApp generation through "WhatsApp". ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 4(8), 23-38.

Mazer, J. P., Murphy, R. E., & Simonds, C. J. (2007). I'll see you on “Facebook”: The effects of computer-mediated teacher self-disclosure on student motivation, affective learning, and classroom climate. Communication Education, 56(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/ 10.1080/03634520601009710

McCarthy, J., (2010). Blended learning environment: using social networking sites to enhance the first-year experience. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), 729-740. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1039

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Sage Publications.

Mills, N. (2011). Situated learning through social networking communities: The development of joint enterprise, mutual engagement and a shared repertoire. CALICO Journal, 28(2), 345-368.

Nadeak, B. (2020). The Effectiveness of Distance Learning Using Social Media during the Pandemic Period of COVID-19: A Case in Universitas Kristen Indonesia. International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology, 29(7), 1764-1772.

Nadeak, B. & Naibaho, L. (2020). The effectiveness of mastery learning technique on improving students’ ability in completing English national examination. International Journal of Research, 2(2), 57-62.

Naibaho, L. (2019). The integration of group discussion method using audio visual learning media toward students’ learning achievement on listening. International Journal of Research, 7(8), 438-445.

Patera, M., Draper, S., & Naef, M. (2008). Exploring Magic Cottage: A virtual reality environment for stimulating children’s imaginative writing. Interactive Learning Environments, 16, 245–263. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820802114093

Resta, P. & Laferriere, T. (2007). Technology in support of collaborative learning. Educational Psychology Review, 19(1), 65-83. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-007-9042-7

Roblyer, M. D., McDaniel, M., Webb, M., Herman, J., Witty, J.V. (2010). Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses and perceptions of social networking sites. Internet and Higher Education, 13, 134-140. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2010.03.002

Rosenshine, B. (1982). Teaching functions in instructional programs. Washington: Paper presented at the National Institute of Education’s National Invitational Conference on Research on ‘reaching: Implications for Practice.

Ryan, T. & Xenos, S. (2011). Who Uses Facebook? An Investigation into the Relationship between the Big Five, Shyness, Narcissism, Loneliness, and Facebook Usage. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 1658-1664. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2011.02.004.

Stevenson, M. P. & Liu, M. (2010). Learning a Language with Web 2.0: Exploring the Use of Social Networking Features of Foreign Language Learning Websites. CALICO Journal, 27(2), 233-259.

Sun, P. C., Tsai, R. J., Finger, G., Chen, Y. Y., & Yeh, D. (2008). What drives a successful e-Learning? An empirical investigation of the critical factors influencing learner satisfaction. Computers & Education, 50(4), 1183-1202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2006.11.007

Tu, C., Blocher, M., & Roberts, G. (2008). Constructs for Web 2.0 learning environments: A theatrical metaphor. Educational Media International, 45(4), 253–269.

VanDoorn, G. & Eklund, A. A. (2013). Face to Facebook: Social media and the learning and teaching potential of symmetrical, synchronous communication. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 10(1), 1-14.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

Wang, S. & Vásquez, C. (2012). Web 2.0 and second language learning: What does the research tell us? CALICO Journal, 29(3), 412-430.

Williams, C. & Adesope, R. A. (2017). Undergraduates’ attitude towards the use of social media for learning purposes. World Journal of Education, 7(6), 90-95.

Woo, Y., Herrington, J. A., Agostinho, S. & Reeves, T. C. (2007). Implementing authentic tasks in web-based learning environments. Educause Quarterly, 30(3), 36-43.

Yu, A. Y., Tian, S. W., Vogel, D., & Kwok, R. C. (2010). Can learning be virtually boosted? An investigation of online social networking impacts. Computers & Education, 55(4), 1494-1503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.06.015

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.13.1.1163


  • There are currently no refbacks.