The mobile learning conscious tutor: Incorporating Facebook in tutorials

  • Diana Nadine Robertson University of Johannesburg
  • Nazreen Dasoo


The 21st-century student is said to be techno-savvy and constantly on their mobile devices. Students make excessive use of social media platforms of which the Facebook application is perceived as the most popular social media network amongst students at higher education institutions. With the rethinking and reinvention of new teaching and learning perspectives in mind, using Facebook as a discussion tool seemed to have the potential to be a very effective tool to create meaningful teaching and learning experiences in an innovative way. Through a case study research design, the researchers focused on both tutors’ and students’ perceptions and questionnaires were used to collect tutors’ and students’ perceptions. Theories of virtual professional communities of practice theory are incorporated, as a critique and a critical analysis of the progressive development of a tutoring system that incorporates mobile devices in the lecture venues are further considered. Findings imply that students respond to discussions quicker and are comfortable enough within the online space to share their information and opinions. The role of students shifted from only receiving knowledge to both searching and sharing their knowledge. The tutors were regarded as their peers and therefore shared the techno-savvy traits that could interpret content to the students on a digital platform in an easier way and in a language that the students understood. Tutors had to further strategies and plan every minute of the tutorial very well, in order to conduct disciplined, well-structured and meaningful tutorials.