Perception of social networking benefits in the support of a PBL module according to students’ performance levels

Sophapun Ekarattanawong, Amornnat Thuppia, Pholasit Chamod, Pattharawin Pattharanitima, Nuchanart Suealek, Panadda Rojpibulstit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The use of social networking to all levels of medical teaching as a communication tool between instructors and students has drawn much interest and increased usage. As Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites among students, a Facebook page has been used in the Genitourinary System problem-based learning (PBL) course at the Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University in the year 2014. Objective: The objective of this work is to study the perception of using a Facebook page to support PBL in an integrated preclinical year course. Material and Method: The Genitourinary System course committee introduced Facebook page to the 2nd year medical students who enrolled and instructors involved in the course. At the beginning of the course, the objectives of Facebook page setting were informed as follows: 1) public relations, 2) channel for questions and responses to address curiosities between students and instructors, 3) learning stimulation and 4) supporting good relationship between course coordinators and students. The participants consisted of 177 students who voluntarily allowed their opinion to be used in analysis and dissemination after completing a questionnaire about using the Facebook page in PBL at the end. A Likert scale was used to determine satisfaction scores for nine questions. Finally, the mean satisfaction was compared for each question and for students with different academic performances (great, good, fine, weak). Results: The students liked the page (averaged satisfaction score 4.64) and wanted it to continue to be used in coursework (4.63), especially for students at mid-level when compared to students with great performances (p<0.05). It was beneficial in allowing questions to be directed to instructors, both in lecture learning (4.54) and SDL (4.35), and lessened the time it took to understand content in SDL (4.03). However, although it did not create stress (2.10), students had not made full use of it, as much as they could (3.25), as they were not able study all posts in detail (3.68). Therefore, if the Facebook pages were developed for students to study in more detail, it would enhance its benefits as SDL stimulus (4.09). Conclusion: Using social networking, particularly Facebook pages, achieved all the four the stated objectives. Since this was the first time social networking was applied, some of faculty members had concern that their personal information would be disseminated to the public. Moreover, there was still minimal knowledge of sharing among students. The Facebook “closed group” with a good protective system may be an interesting option to enhance effectiveness in integrated PBL-styled courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S77-S83
JournalJournal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook page
  • Medical education
  • PBL
  • Social media
  • Social networking


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