Using social media as a strategy to address 'sophomore slump' in second year nursing students: a qualitative study

Tower, Marion, Blacklock, Eddie, Watson, Bernadette, Heffernan, Catherine and Tronoff, Glenyss (2015) Using social media as a strategy to address 'sophomore slump' in second year nursing students: a qualitative study. Nurse Education Today, 35 11: 1130-1134. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2015.06.011

Author Tower, Marion
Blacklock, Eddie
Watson, Bernadette
Heffernan, Catherine
Tronoff, Glenyss
Title Using social media as a strategy to address 'sophomore slump' in second year nursing students: a qualitative study
Journal name Nurse Education Today   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1532-2793
Publication date 2015-06-26
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.nedt.2015.06.011
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 35
Issue 11
Start page 1130
End page 1134
Total pages 5
Place of publication Kidlington, United Kingdom
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction:  An important contributing factor to the shortfall in the nursing workforce is the high attrition rate of students from nursing programmes. Recently, researchers have begun to examine the 'sophomore slump' phenomenon, related to students' sense of low self-efficacy associated with learning in their second year of study, that may be related to attrition.

Background:  Academic success is heavily influenced by self-efficacy, or a student's belief in their ability to be successful. Strategies that enhance self-efficacy include peer learning, which increases students' engagement and reinforces self-regulated learning. Social networking sites such as Facebook provide students the opportunity to take part in peer learning and may promote students' self-efficacy.

Aim:  The aim of the study was to develop a Facebook forum that utilised peer learning, to build self-efficacy related to learning, of students commencing into the second year of a three year nursing programme.

Methods:  Students commencing into year two of a Bachelor of Nursing programme were invited to join a Facebook forum to support their study. One hundred and ninety-eight students accepted the invitation. Data was collected over a twelve-week period. Text from the Facebook forum was downloaded and analysed thematically.

Findings:  Analysis suggests that Facebook forums may be a useful peer learning strategy to build students' self-efficacy related to study in the second year of nursing study. Students shared mastery experiences, provided modelling experiences, and used verbal persuasion to reframe problems which suggested that it helped build students' self-efficacy, and alleviated some of the physiological response associated with stress.

Conclusion:  The findings suggest that social media platforms are important tools by which students can engage in peer learning to build self-efficacy around their nursing studies. This may in part help address the 'sophomore slump' phenomenon, enhance students' learning experiences more widely, and impact on students' decisions to remain in nursing programmes.
Keyword Nursing student retention
Peer learning
Self-efficacy in learning
Social media for learning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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