Denver, CO, April 11, 2011 — College faculty are twice as likely as other workers to be using social media as part of their job, and more than 80 percent of faculty are using some form of social media in their teaching, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson. The results were presented during Cite 2011, Pearson’s 12th annual higher education technology conference.
The survey of nearly 2,000 faculty found that more than 90 percent of college faculty use social media in the workplace, compared to 47 percent of employees in other industries. In the classroom, 80 percent of respondents report using social media for some aspect of their course. Of those, nearly two-thirds use social media within their class session, and 30 percent post content for students to view outside of class.
"Faculty are big users of and believers in social media nearly 80 percent use at least one online social media site to support their professional career activities. More than three-quarters have visited a social media site within the past month for personal use, with half of them posting content," said Jeff Seaman, Ph.D., co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
More than 40 percent of faculty say they require students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment, and 20 percent assign students to comment or post to social media sites. Almost half of faculty use video and other sites in their teaching, with another one-third using video only.
"My students need to leave their university experience engaged, informed and ethical twenty-first-century citizens," said Krista Jackman, Lecturer of English at the University of New Hampshire. "Social media in the university classroom can foster a blending of scholarship with the incredible power of social networking to ultimately help students maneuver responsibly through an ever more technology centered world."
Faculty using social media to support professional career activities has the greatest number using YouTube, Facebook and blogs. Facebook daily use at 11 percent exceeds all other sites. The majority of faculty report visiting more than one social media site for personal use, and nearly 30 percent visit three or more sites. Facebook and YouTube are the sites most visited for personal use.
In addition, faculty say concerns about privacy, the integrity of students’ submissions and the time required of faculty are important or very important barriers to social media use. Still, the overwhelming majority believe there is value in social media for teaching, with YouTube, other online video and podcasts seen as the most valuable for class use, followed by blogs.
"The survey provides valuable insight into how faculty are embracing social media in all aspects of their lives, including the classroom, and underscores the importance of investing in these tools to enhance students’ learning," said Don Kilburn, CEO of Pearson Learning Solutions. "This is exactly the strategy we are pursuing at Pearson, as evidenced by our partnership with Columbia University to design an innovative online learning program that leverages Pearson’s social technology platform to support cooperative learning."
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has global-reach and market leading businesses in education, business and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO).
Susan Aspey, susan.aspey(at)pearson(dot)com or (800) 745-8489
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The Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College conducts regional, national, and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting.