Last week I Tweeted that I had created a Facebook fan page for my course blog. (As an aside I run one general info blog for all of my courses and then create individual blogs with students for each course). I created the fan page as a way for students to get course-related information like assignments, outlines, and other materials through Facebook without having to check my blog separately. The information I publish on the fan page is essentially the same as on my blog and often contains links back to my blog. My hope in doing this is that my students will see course reminders when they log into their Facebook accounts. My belief is that students are far more likely to check Facebook throughout their days than they are my course blog. I'm also allowing the parents of my students to access course information in the same way as their children.
Since last week I've had a handful of people ask me how to create a Facebook fan page and or group page. It's kind of too late for me to change now, but if I was looking to make an academic presence on Facebook today, I'd probably go with a group instead of a fan page. A group gives you and your students more options for sharing and gives you more privacy controls for the group.
Below is a simple tutorial on how to create a Facebook community group for your classes. Note: the tutorial assumes that you already have a Facebook account.
Mahalo has a couple of video tutorials for creating groups and fan pages that may also be of interest to you:
How to make a fan page.
How to make a group.