While discussing the nuances of regression analysis, I saw some of my students smiling. It wasn’t a smile of understanding; it was a response to seeing a Facebook comment on their smart phone. I later learned that 99% of the students in the research method class were Facebook users, routinely checking for updates 10-20 times a day. I asked them to refrain checking their phones during class.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
students and social networking
Nearly 85% of faculty have a Facebook account, two-thirds are on LinkedIn, and 50% are on Twitter according to research from Faculty Focus. But, professors’ use of social media shows we are behind the relationship curve when it comes to connecting with students. Only 32% have friended undergrad students and about half (55%) connect with some students after graduation.
Whether it’s the professor who creates Twitter backchannels in his courses, the admissions counselor who uses Facebook to engage prospective students, or the librarian who tweets about available resources in the library, higher education professionals have come up with a variety of creative ways to use social media both in and outside of the classroom.
With interest in Twitter on the rise, many instructors continue to grapple with the question of whether it has a place in the college classroom. And, if it does, what is the best, most effective way to use it? So perhaps it comes as no surprise that we’re starting to see studies on the use of Twitter in both traditional and online courses.
If you are part of a social network, you may have already had this experience: a current or former student attempts to “friend” you online.