Survey: Professors Tepid on Social Media Tools

Most higher ed faculty do not use the current wave of social networking and Web 2.0 tools in their own research and are split on whether the technologies have the potential to change the way students learn, according to a recent survey by academic publisher Thomson Learning.

Thompson said the survey was conducted over a five-week period starting Feb. 6. The survey pool included 677 professors, most of whom had been teaching for more than 10 years.

The survey found that:
  • The majority of faculty surveyed did not use social networking; those who did use the sites used them for both personal and work purposes.
  • About 10 percent of faculty members surveyed indicated they have their own blogs.
  • Nearly 50 percent of faculty who are familiar with social networking sites said they felt the sites have changed or will change the way students learn.
  • Most professors (90 percent) who are familiar with social networking sites said they were aware of sites that allow students to grade or rate professors; 67 percent of those professors have checked to see whether they've been graded.
  • Nearly 35 percent said they viewed podcasting as a valuable tool to reach students.
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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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