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Education Featured Article

April 12, 2011

Social Media Gain More Relevance in Education: Pearson and Babson Survey

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor


A new survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson finds that more than 30 percent of college faculty use social media at workplace, in which more than 80 percent use some of them in their teaching.

The number of college faculty using social media is twice than that of employees in other industries, according to the survey.

Of the 80 percent who use social media for teaching, nearly two thirds use them within their class session, and 30 percent post content for students to view outside of their class, said Jeff Seaman, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.


Of the 2000 participants, 40 percent say they require students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment, and 20 percent assign students to comment or post to social media sites.

The most popular social media tools used by faculty for teaching include YouTube, Facebook (News - Alert) and blogs. The daily use of Facebook is higher than all other sites. The majority of the faculty also visits these sites for personal use. Nearly 30 percent of them visit other minor social media sites. 

The top concerns that are viewed as barriers to social media use are privacy, the integrity of students' submissions and the time required of faculty. However, an overwhelming majority of the participants believe there is value in social media for teaching, with YouTube (News - Alert), other online video and podcasts seen as the most valuable for class use, followed by blogs.

“The survey provides valuable insight into how faculty are embracing social media in all aspects of their lives, including the classroom, and underscores the importance of investing in these tools to enhance students' learning,” said Don Kilburn, CEO of Pearson Learning Solutions, in a statement.

“This is exactly the strategy we are pursuing at Pearson, as evidenced by our partnership with Columbia University to design an innovative online learning program that leverages Pearson's social technology platform to support cooperative learning,” Kilburn added.

Pearson is hosting the 12th annual higher education technology conference, Cite 2011. The research results are announced at this conference.


Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee


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