Survey Says 80 Percent of Faculty Use Social Media in Their Teaching

More than 80 percent of college faculty use some form of social media in their teaching, with online video by far the most popular application, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson. The results were presented early this month during Cite 2011, Pearson’s 12th annual higher education technology conference.

The survey, Teaching, Learning, and Sharing: How Today’s Higher Education Faculty Use Social Media for Work and for Play, sought to learn exactly how higher education faculty use social media and makes distinctions across personal, in class, and professional (on the job but not while teaching) uses. The survey included questions on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIn, SlideShare, and Flickr, as well as blogs, wikis, video (both on YouTube and elsewhere), and podcasts.

Some of the findings of the report include:

  • More than three-quarters of all faculty visited a social media site within the past month for personal use, and nearly one-half posted some content during that period.
  • Faculty with more than 20 years of teaching experience are less likely to visit and less likely to post than are faculty with less than five years of teaching experience.
  • Just over 90 percent of faculty use social media either for professional purposes or in their classes—or both, although in some cases the frequency is only monthly (20 percent) or rarely (19 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds of faculty have used social media in their courses— either during class or as part of an assignment— and those who teach online are more likely to do so.

“My students need to leave their university experience engaged, informed and ethical 21st 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.”

However, despite the broad awareness and varied use of social media, many faculty are unconvinced it has a place in the college classroom and have concerns regarding its instructional value, privacy, and the time commitment.

To access the report, go here »