Moran, M, Seaman, J, Tinti-Kane, H. (2012). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and Facebook: How today’s higher education faculty use social media. Pearson Learning Solutions and Babson Survey Research Group.

A new report was recently released by Pearson and Babson Survey Research group which examines the personal, professional, and instructional uses of social media by more than 4,000 college faculty of varying age groups. 

Who participated in this survey?

  • 4,534 faculty members 
  • 75% of respondents teach full-time
  • 25% of respondents teach online
  • slightly over 50% of respondents are female
  • over 1/3 of respondents have been teaching for 20 years or more

Some key findings, cited in the press release, include:

  • 64.4 percent of faculty use social media for their personal lives, 33.8 percent use it for teaching
  • 41 percent for those under age 35 compared to 30 percent for those over age 55 reported using social media in their teaching
  • Faculty in the Humanities and Arts, Professions and Applied Sciences, and the Social Sciences use social media at higher rates than those in Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Blogs and wikis are preferred for teaching, while Facebook or LinkedIn are used more for social and professional connections
  • 88 percent of faculty, regardless of discipline, reported using online video in the classroom

Some additional interesting observations include:

  • Only 14.4% of faculty use blogs or wikis in teaching to “post or create” 
  • Twitter is used by only 7.9% of faculty for “personal use” but isn’t even included in category of tools used by professors to “connect professionally”
  • While LinkedIn surpassed Facebook as the #1 tool used by professors to “connect professionally,” it is still used by less than 25% of faculty for this purpose
  • 33.8% of faculty create their own videos
  • All perceived barriers to using social media have decreased

The survey and infographic(s) are available for download online after you submit your name, email address, institution, and title.  The infographics are embedded withing a PDF document. 

Thanks for the great info Pearson and Babson.  One thought…it would be quite nice if the format of this survey was more “social” and akin to sharing, keeping in line with its topic. 

Also, some additional topics that I’d personall love to see would be data about *why* faculty use social media in their teaching.  That is, what is that drives them to integrate tools outside of the learning management systems that their institutions pay so much money for, when there are so many widespread barriers.  And how are institutions responding to this shift?  Are we seeing a shift to enterprise-wide adoption of social media tools? Who pays for the tools that are not free?  What is the breakdown between 4-year and 2-year institutions and full-time vs. part-time instructors? 

Thanks for sharing!

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