Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media
Moran, Mike; Seaman, Jeff; Tinti-Kane, Hester
Babson Survey Research Group
Faculty are big users of and believers in social media. Virtually all higher education teaching faculty are aware of the major social media sites; more than three-quarters visited a social media site within the past month for their personal use; and nearly one-half posted content. Even more impressive is their rate of adoption of social media in their professional lives: over 90% of all faculty are using social media in courses they’re teaching or for their professional careers outside the classroom. There are big differences, though, among the patterns of use from one social media site to another. For personal use, Facebook is both the most visited site and, by a large margin, the one with the highest rate of postings. YouTube is the second most visited, but posting rates are low. YouTube and Facebook are also the most frequently cited when faculty report on their uses of social media in support of their professional careers. Nearly two-thirds of all faculty have used social media during a class session, and 30% have posted content for students to view or read outside class. Over 40% of faculty have required students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment, and 20% have assigned students to comment on or post to social media sites. Online video is by far the most common type of social media used in class, posted outside class, or assigned to students to view, with 80% of faculty reporting some form of class use of online video. Use of social media is not without its problems; most faculty are concerned with the time it requires. The two most pressing concerns about faculty use of social media are privacy and integrity: 80% report that “lack of integrity of student submissions” is an “important” or “very important” barrier, and over 70% say privacy concerns are an “important” or “very important” barrier. In spite of those concerns, however, faculty believe that social media sites offer value in teaching. An overwhelming majority report that they believe that video, podcasts, and wikis are valuable tools for teaching, and a majority report that social media sites can be valuable tools for collaborative learning. Figures are appended. (Contains 22 figures.) [This paper was a collaborative effort with Pearson Learning Solutions and Converseon.