80% of College Faculty Use Social Media in Their Teaching

College faculty are twice as likely as other workers to be using social media as part of their job, and more than 80% of faculty are using social media for ‘some aspect of their course,’ according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson.

The survey of nearly 2,000 faculty found that over 90% of college faculty use social media in the workplace, nearly double the 47% of employees in other industries, as reported in the press release. Almost two-thirds of all faculty have used social media in their class session (“I have used in class”), while 30% have posted content for students to view outside of class.

Other highlights:

  • Over 40% of faculty require students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment
  • 20% assign students to comment or post to social media sites
  • Nearly half of faculty use video and other sites in their teaching
  • One-third of the faculty use video only in their teaching
  • Faculty who teach online are more likely to use social media than those who do not teach online, and they are more likely to use multiple types of social media – 59% use social media sites in addition to just video (vs. only 43% for those who do not teach online)

YouTube (and online video) served as the ‘star’ social media education tool.

  • About 73 percent said they thought YouTube videos were either somewhat or very valuable for classroom use
  • 80% of faculty report some form of class use of online video
  • Nearly a third of respondents said they instructed students to watch online videos as homework

Facebook and Twitter lagged far behind, with only 15% of professors viewing Facebook as ‘at least somewhat valuable’ in the classroom, and a mere 2 percent of the professors have used Twitter in class. 53% and 46% of professors, respectively, think that ‘Twitter and Facebook not only lack pedagogical value but in fact harm classroom learning,’ as reported by Inside Higher Ed.

Other forms of social media considered to have some value in the classroom include blogs, podcasts, and wikis.  36% of professors view wikis as having ‘some value’ in the classroom (but did not distinguish between Wikipedia and other types of wikis).

For personal use, the majority of faculty visit more than one social media site, with Facebook and YouTube being the most popular – 11% use Facebook daily.

Faculty also mentioned barriers to social media use:

  • 70% expressed concerns over privacy
  • 80% are concerned about a “lack of integrity of student submissions.”

The study came from a sample of 1,920 teaching faculty from all disciplines in higher education and was selected to be representative of the overall range of faculty teaching in U.S. higher education.  Download the full survey here.