The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Profs on Facebook? No Way, Say Students

College students practically live in social media. Accounts are free and new enhancements are added all the time. So doesn’t it make sense that professors should use social media to post course materials and communicate with their classes?

It’s a great idea except for one thing: the horrified reaction of students.

“We asked 236 students in two states if they believe there is a use for these sites in the learning process,” stated the research report by Diana L. Haytko, Florida Gulf Coast University, and R. Stephen Parker, Missouri State University, in the Journal of Instructional Pedagogies. “The answer was a definite NO. Students want to keep their social roles and their student roles separate.”

In response to Haytko’s and Parker’s online survey, 73.2% of students rejected the notion of faculty using Facebook to post course content and class messaging and 84.5% felt the same way about Twitter. Even those who were okay with professors employing social media tools thought it ought to be limited to merely communicating reminders and providing links to content elsewhere. Most students, however, expressed sentiments such as this:
“I don’t think it should be; I think that’s for the college student generation to stay connected, not the entire college faculty and staff. Facebook with the older generation has gotten out of hand in my opinion.”
The researchers also asked students whether it was appropriate for faculty to post course content specifically for access on an iPhone. There the students were divided almost 50-50, with most of the negative response stemming from concern that many students don’t own iPhones and wouldn’t want to be required to purchase one. But otherwise many respondents thought it would be convenient to tap into course materials and recorded lectures via phone while on the go.

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