Social Media Use in Higher Education: Do Members of the Academy Recognize Any Advantages?

Barbara Carrick Coleman, Stacie K Pettit, Megan M Buning

Abstract


Existing research demonstrates that faculty in higher education are gradually relying more on social media to enhance instruction (e.g., Carpenter & Krutka, 2014; Jacquemin, Smelser, & Bernot, 2014). This study built upon this conclusion in two ways.  First, the population of interest was expanded to include not only faculty, but researchers, administrators, and clinicians at a comprehensive university.  Second, the study explored whether respondents perceived any change in student attitude or performance, in addition to advantages and disadvantages of social media use. Results of the study confirmed that, other than Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and online forums, university members (especially researchers and clinicians) were slow to adopt social media for use in the workplace. Teachers and administrators were somewhat more active incorporating social media into their practices. The majority of respondents saw no change either positive or negative in their students’ communication skills. The one positive assessment noted that learner satisfaction and attitudes had slightly improved.


Keywords


social media; higher education; faculty use of social media; effect of social media on learning

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References


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Based at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, USA, The Journal of Social Media in Society is sponsored by the Colleges of Liberal and Fine Arts, Education, Business Administration, and Graduate Studies.