As someone who spends longer in a VLE than can possibly be healthy, I see the appeal of FB as being that it works reliably, is familiar, easily navigable, has fantastic mobile support (on iOS at least) and updates you instantly when there’s something new to see. Facebook is great for asking questions, discussing issues, working around problems. It’s not ideal for organising lots of static resources.

Asking students to organise resources in the VLE won’t fix this. VLEs offer at best inelegant solutions to document organising problems (no tagging, search tools that work poorly if at all leading to guesswork at which folder contains what). As a student, I’d rather use Google Docs for this type of thing, but this would strip out the narrative joining documents which places them in context.

I work in distance learning and while I’m sure students wouldn’t organise materials themselves all the time as part of making sense of them, I don’t think they’d welcome the idea that they do this instead of academics. This is something which is best done iteratively, if not actually after reading and is precisely the kind of thing that students like to be done for them to enable meaningful access in my opinion.

This said, I’m sure that for some students on some courses, managing the VLE – or using an alternative – is a great educational experience.