COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, was deemed a pandemic during mid-March 2020. In response, lockdowns were imposed for an indefinite period world-wide. Academic institutions were no exception. Continuing meetings of academic groups consequently necessitated online communication. Various platforms were available from which to choose to encourage digital literacy. Despite alternatives, the almost overnight closure of all non-essential services at one post-secondary institution resulted in the selection of Zoom as the preferred platform for meetings until social distancing ended. In contrast, the facilitator of a unique, health-related, narrative research group at the institution—a group tailored to critical thought, communication, cooperation and creativity—considered a hybrid format private Facebook group likely to provide a more appropriate and satisfying group experience than possible with synchronous Zoom meetings. Pros and cons of both online platforms are presented along with the conditions under which each one is preferable. Positive results were evident in promoting digital literacy for this particular academic group using the hybrid format of a private Facebook group. As such, private Facebook groups hold promise in supporting digital literacy for collaborative online health-related group meetings. Unique in examining and evaluating private Facebook groups, this report holds significance for digital literacy regarding academic meetings.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited