Study Explores the Role of Social Media in the College Classroom
Apparently, the answer depends on which particular social networking site is under consideration.
A new study conducted jointly by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson found that college professors seem to be warming up to YouTube, while they remain considerably less enthusiastic about both Facebook and Twitter.
More specifically, nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of the 1,920 college professors surveyed said YouTube is “somewhat or very valuable for classroom use.” Only 15 percent thought the same for Facebook. Twitter came in as the channel with the least perceived value; a measly 9 percent feel Twitter is somewhat or very valuable in the classroom setting.
Interestingly, most of the faculty (80 percent) surveyed said they use social media for some aspect of a course they are teaching. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) use social media within their class sessions, and 30 percent post content for students to view outside of the classroom.
When asked about the barriers to using social media in the classroom, the professors polled ranked lank of confidence with social media, lack of training and time constraints as their top three concerns. (I hear these same barriers mentioned when I talk to C-level executives.)
In addition to responding to questions, survey participants were also invited to enter a YouTube video contest. The assignment was to create a video describing how they use social media in teaching. Krista Jackman from the University of New Hampshire submitted the winning entry, Twitter in the Freshman Composition Classroom, below. She says she uses Twitter in her classroom for two main purposes. She asks students to use Twitter to get to know one another, and then once they are familiar with its use, she asks them to write a critical analysis of their social media experiences.