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


  • Barbara Carrick Coleman Augusta University
  • Stacie K Pettit Augusta University
  • Megan M Buning Augusta University


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


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.

Author Biographies

Barbara Carrick Coleman, Augusta University

I taught in the Hull College of Business at Augusta University for twenty-five years and am a Professor of Marketing, Emerita. I received my PhD. in marketing with additional coursework in psychology in 1993 from the University of Georgia The courses I have taught fall mostly within the marketing discipline but also include some management and international business courses. While teaching is my first love, I am also actively engaged in research. During my twenty-five years of teaching, I have tracked the lifestyle characteristics and personality attributes of young adults. Additional subject areas include the marketing of services and nonprofits, and the effective delivery of gerontology healthcare services. Resultant manuscripts have been published in a number of journals including the Journal of Advertising Research, Health Marketing Quarterly and the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing.

Stacie K Pettit, Augusta University

Dr. Pettit is Assistant Professor and Middle Grades Program Coordinator in the Department of Teaching and Leading in the College of Education at Augusta University.

Megan M Buning, Augusta University

Dr. Buning is an assistant professor of research in the Department of Advanced Studies & Innovation in the College of Education at Augusta University.


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