Dr. Rey Junco is a professor at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, and when he talks about social media in higher education, we should all listen. He has written several books on the evolving model of higher education, and as he notes in his study on the relationship between students’ grades and Facebook use, social media may not be the demon that we imagine. Instead, perhaps students who are engaged in social media are also engaged in coursework because they enjoy interacting and learning. Additionally, students who procrastinate will do so with or without Facebook. Here is an excerpt from the study:
Because Facebook is intended as a platform for engagement, and because students spend a signiﬁcant amount of time using the site, it makes sense to study the relationship between Facebook use and student engagement (Heiberger & Harper, 2008; Morrin, 2007).
The Heiberger and Harper (2008) and HERI (2007) studies found positive correlations between social networking website use and college student engagement. For instance, a higher percentage of high-frequency users of social networking websites participated in and spent more time in campus organizations than low-frequency users. Additionally, more high-frequency users reported daily interactions ofﬂine with close friends with whom they developed strong connections (HERI, 2007).
Although the study did show that students who excessively use Facebook earned lower grades, the drop was slight. The results of the study are displayed in the infographic below.
This infographic originally appeared on Dr. Rey Junco’s blog. He is one of EdTech’s 50 must-read higher education IT bloggers.