Integrating Facebook into a University cohort to enhance student sense of belonging: a pilot program in Sport and Exercise Science.

Teneale Alyce McGuckin, Rebecca Maree Sealey


University initiatives that enhance a students’ sense of belonging may increase student retention and the overall student experience. Previous initiatives have largely focussed on face-to-face interactions however with the high usage of social networking, an online initiative may prove beneficial. The aim of this study was to establish a Facebook account for a University cohort aimed at enhancing student sense of belonging. A Facebook account was established for students enrolled in Sport and Exercise Science degrees at a regional University. Ten weeks after account creation, students were invited to complete an online survey irrespective of whether or not they used Facebook. Fifty-five responses were collected. Most respondents (67.6 to 94.6%) agreed/strongly agreed that the account gave them the opportunity to engage with peers and the Sport and Exercise community and contributed positively to their University experience. Suggestions for improvement included more frequent status and information updates.


Facebook; university; student experience; sense of belonging


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