Faculty Implements Social Media in Teaching –

Recently college-bound students have indicated they’d prefer prospective colleges and universities to have a social media presence, and with the increasing number of social media sites and social media usage, those students may get their wish.

Findings from 2012’s social media survey, released today by Pearson and Babson Survey Research Group, indicate that faculty members at institutions of higher education are not only using social media for personal use, but using it as part of their teaching practices. The report explores how college faculty uses social media.

While the report finds a majority of respondents, 64.4%, used social media within the past month for personal use, only 45% reported using social media in the past month for professional use—on the job, but not while teaching—and 33.8% reported using social media in their teaching practices.

It probably comes as no surprise that younger professors use social media in their teaching more than older professors—41% younger than 35 compared to 30% older than 55. Additionally, the most-used type of social media site for teaching is blogs and wikis, with 21.6% of faculty members using them monthly. Twenty-two percent of respondents who teach an online or blended course used blogs and wikis, compared to 17% who did not teach an online or blended course. Podcasts is the second most-used social media site for teaching.

In reference to how faculty is using various social media in teaching, the study finds use of podcasts is mostly passive – with faculty asking students to listen and sometimes comment, but rarely post or create new podcast content. Faculty members have their students use blogs and wikis passively, but a significant number also ask their students to comment and post or create new content on blogs and wikis.

As was the case in last year’s social media survey, privacy and the integrity of student submissions were reported as the two biggest concerns for using social media in teaching. More than 70% report “lack of integrity of student submissions” as important or very important and more than 60% report privacy concerns as important or very important.

The report includes online survey responses of 3,875 faculty members from U.S. colleges and universities.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN