Researchers at Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX, found that text messages can help student learning. The study focused on communication formats used by students as a way to get them to learn outside the classroom setting, according to a report in eClassroom News.
“A text from a friend saying ‘LOL’ isn’t on the same level as an email from a professor trying to impart some knowledge necessary for the future,” said Scott Hamm, director of online education at Hardin-Simmons. “It doesn’t matter how important the email is, they won’t pay as much attention to it as a text message.”
Initially, the researchers used texting to assign classwork and to engage with students in real time. Now, they use it to give quizzes, while students complete assignments and have questions answered by the instructor.
“It’s really a personal connection where if I need to get a hold of such-and-such student, this is how I can do it,” said Chuck Ruot, professor of fitness and sports sciences. “It sounds weird, but it builds a rapport with the students.”