Document Type : Regular articles

Authors

University College Dublin

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to report an action research that examined the potential of social media as a tool for knowledge transfer in agricultural extension. The research focused on developing group Facebook pages that were designed for adult farmers. A total of 49 participants who were already members of four separate discussion groups were instructed on the practical aspects of using Facebook. Their participation in the Facebook pages was monitored for the duration of the experiment (from February 2013 to January 2014) by examining the frequency with which they logged into their accounts and the nature of their contributions. The participants’ level of uptake of social media was measured and their experience with using social media was evaluated by administering a questionnaire to all 49 participants. The majority of the participants had a positive experience when using social media for knowledge transfer purposes. The research found no association between age and social media usage; however, computer skills were significantly and positively associated with social media usage. Internet access was also associated with usage – those with wireless broadband internet connections in their family homes had the highest usage levels. The research presented in this paper illustrates that social media can be an effective tool for knowledge transfer in agricultural extension.

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