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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Social Sites Serve as Academic Media, Too

Even though most higher education institutions have learning management systems that are intended to provide each class with a platform for communication and content sharing, some students and faculty members are tapping into social media for those purposes.

In the January 2018 Student Panel Survey fielded by NACS OnCampus Research, 69% of the student respondents said they had personally used social media for some type of academic purpose (such as sharing notes or asking questions) and 38% indicated at least one of their professors had incorporated social media into a course (creating a community or posting content, for example).

When asked which social media sites they had accessed for academic reasons, 53% of students named Facebook, followed by YouTube (30%), Snapchat (23%), LinkedIn and Instagram (12% each), Twitter (11%), Pinterest (6%), and “other” (5%), which were mainly document-sharing and messenging platforms.

Facebook probably received the most use because more students have accounts there (89%) compared to YouTube (75%), Instagram (74%), or Snapchat (72%), but it’s not the most popular site with college students. Asked to pick their favorite social media (up to three), more students chose Instagram (51%) and Snapchat (50%) over Facebook (42%), despite fewer students having an account with Instagram or Snapchat.

Facebook could lose more ground with collegians. OnCampus Research data show student accounts with Facebook have remained relatively static since 2015, while other sites have enjoyed substantial growth. For example, just 49% of students had Snapchat accounts in 2015.

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