Social Networks as Teaching Tools

14 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2013 Last revised: 13 Feb 2013

See all articles by Roberto Farneti

Roberto Farneti

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano - Faculty of Economics and Management


This paperdraws from a pilot project at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano consisting in using an electronic forum in a political science class. Students were challenged to respond to a ‘prompt’ from the instructor on some topical issues in EU politics and to engage in informed discussion on topics addressed in class. I argue that beyond the content-specific elements involved, the forum was designed to train students in such practices as discussing and debating issues that feature prominently in current EU politics. The forum prescribes a method of discussion and critique and presents itself as a miniature of the democratic ‘public sphere.’ This paper refers to Jürgen Habermas’s seminal studies on the notion of ‘public sphere’ and shows how the EU public sphere is largely shaped by the new electronic media.

Suggested Citation

Farneti, Roberto, Social Networks as Teaching Tools. APSA 2013 Teaching and Learning Conference Paper, Available at SSRN:

Roberto Farneti (Contact Author)

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano - Faculty of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Sernesi 1
39100 Bozen-Bolzano (BZ), Bozen 39100

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