How to Use Your #1 Study Tool… With Facebook

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities | 5 comments

Use Facebook as your study tool (the right way!). You never know what you'll get!

(Happy Monday, all! I’m blogging on a slightly different day and a slightly different schedule this week. It’s a big announcement week for me! After today, I’m going to be taking you on a journey with me. Curious enough? First, I know many of you are moving into M.S.T.: Major Study Time and finals. This seems like the right time to get a little academic and talk about study tips, which I haven’t discussed much in this blog. One of my degrees is in Post-Secondary Ed, so I’ll draw on that a bit as I offer up some possibly unconventional advice.)


Did you know that your single best study tool is one that you may be overlooking?

(And no, it isn’t Facebook… but I’ll get to that. I promise!)

It’s your mouth!

(Stay with me here).

Here’s my moment where I get a little academic on you: One of the things I learned in my Post-Secondary Ed degree was Caine and Caine’s brain-based learning theory of “immersion.” The theory is so crazily simple: When we adults read about something, then write about that something, and do something with that… well, something, we “immerse” ourselves in the experience and have a greater possibility for connection and retention of the material.

For this reason, I have always wanted my students talking, talking, talking about what they are studying as much as possible, and in as many ways as possible.

Want to hear something else pretty insane? All of my quizzes are open book, open notes, and open friend.

That’s right! These are formative quizzes leading up to a departmental case study exam (which is not open book/notes/friend, just to be clear). I know if my students are hunting for the answers, then talking about them a bunch, and processing that information in cognitive and performance-based ways (so, thinking and doing), then they are making those deep brain-based connections.

Where does Facebook come into the picture? Well, I’m trying to be realistic. In the year that I’ve been using Facebook, I see that people use it. A lot. So I was trying to think of how you could use Facebook, which is something that you may like to do… and use it to do some talking about your studying… which is something I want you to do… all at the same time!

So what’s the communication lesson here… on Facebook? (but you can do these tips off Facebook, too)

1.  Post what you intend to study before you study it.
If you can post about the movie you’re going to see and the sushi you plan to eat, there is no reason you can’t update your status about what you’re going to study. It will keep you accountable to say, “I’m about to study ________ for the next two hours. More updates to come.” I bet you’ll get a bunch of encouragement!

2. During your study time, post status updates about what you’re actually working on.
You have choices here: You can either tag a few pre-established friends and ask them if they can keep tabs on you throughout the process or you can just update to your whole population, if you are comfortable with that. Hey, think about the status updates others post (“Ugh! I’m soooooooo bored!”). You will actually be teaching people something! Go, you!

The key here is that you have to be very specific with your updates, “I just came up with a way to remember ___________ for my exam” or “Did you know that ___________?” That’s right… you’re going to be teaching your friends and family something new while they’re supporting your study session. And, again, you’ll be talking about your learning–making that brain-based connection for yourself!

3. We can’t overlook the obvious: Try a Facebook study session.
As long as you stay on track, there’s no reason Facebook can’t be used with other colleagues. You can either update with those who are actually in your class, or you can find a group of students in other classes who also need to study and do checks. You can take virtual breaks every hour and do something fun as a reward. Be sure to meet IRL, too, and celebrate your successes after the fact.

4. Remember to shout out for help on Facebook, too!
Your prof is your first line for assistance with classwork. You knew I was going to say that. But let’s move beyond that. If you need someone to quiz you, keep you accountable, help you come up with notes, or figure out that horrible equation, etc., then say, “Hey, is anyone out there available? I need a call/an hour at a coffee shop/a minute to help me with ___________.” My sister-in-law brilliantly posted a plea when she needed help with her kids’ faulty Wii. She had a friend over in a snap. Why in the heck not use your friend pool and their friend pool for study help?

5. Think about what you will post later to get you through the now.
This suggestion is a personal one: If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I’m a back-of-the-pack runner. I’m prepping for three 1/2 marathons in a row (this next one will be #10). Due to some metabolic changes, my running is sucking big time lately. But I’m still plodding along. I don’t tend to post a lot on Facebook, but many of my friends who run post about their runs. I really love it/need it because their updates inspire me. The only thing pushing me through a few runs of late is the *idea* of saying “I did it” on Facebook (there are times I do, but often when I get home, there are kids all over me).So, when you don’t think you can focus for one more minute, picture yourself posting, “I just studied Poly Sci for a total of two and a half hours today and I know I’m ready for my exam on Tuesday” and inspire yourself to get through. I bet you’re going to motivate a few others to do something they’re struggling with, too!
How can you use Facebook for your studying? Give some ideas or share your successes. I’d love to know!


  1. Great post! Check out http://Hoot.Me and let me know what you think. It is a Facebook app that allows for students to collaborate and do work together. I need to do a little more research, but I think it is going to be a really powerful tool.

    • Eric,
      I’m going to TOTALLY check that out! Love it! I’m going to tweet about it, too! Thank you!!!

  2. My mouth usually gets ME in trouble!

    • But I bet you’d use it to study the right way, Bruce… wouldn’t you? Maybe your son could try it out :-) . Hey, maybe he could tell you about what he’s studying on FB! Ooh, would that be way, way uncool? Is it uncool that I’m saying uncool? Ack. Ellen

  3. - If I win, I will be forced too learn how to manage money.
    But tthe carrier’s home page ( can help you finnd it
    in a flash. This will increase your streaming speed as well aas your normal surfing ability.


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