Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Emails Can Be a Tough Read

College students know they get emails. The challenge is actually getting them to read messages, according to a study from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH.

Researchers polled 315 students about their email, social media, and text-messaging habits in the 2015 survey. They found that 85% said they check their university email daily and will open messages that interest them, particularly from faculty.

On the flip side, 72% said they avoid messages from organizations on campus, viewing those emails as spam. The survey also found that 39% of students don’t always read emails from academic advisers and 54% will skip emails from the university or academic departments.

Just over 50% of the students said they used text messaging for most of their communications, followed by social media (35%), and email (12%). Those students most active on social media were least likely to avoid emails.

“Text messaging and many social media tools seem to carry a greater expectation that viewing and responding happen as a real-time conversation,” Bernard R. McCoy, associate professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, said about the BGSU research in a report for Inside Higher Education. “You send a text message, you expect a quick reply. You receive a text message, you expect to read it and reply to it.”

Email gives users the freedom to read and respond or ignore, according to McCoy. Besides, students also know they are getting far more junk emails than junk text messages.

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