Ryerson Faculty Conference: Students’ View on Academic Social Media Use Panel

Some notes from the panel, which consisted of three presenters/moderators and a group of 5 students.

Some Statistics on Technology Use Among RU Students

  • 42% smartphone users used their devices for academics
  • 78% own smartphone
  • 20% integrated seamlessly into classroom environment
  • 50% institution uses technology effective
  • 39% institution needs more technology

Above averages over all students in survey (except the last, which is below).

What Social Media Do You Use for Class Work?

The theme seemed to be convenience in many comments:

  • Use Facebook for IM + file exchange
  • always there, goes straight to smartphone
  • In FB, easy to separate people into groups
  • use Google Apps for docs, calendar, etc.
  • Twitter more convenient than email
  • email is the easiest way to submit assignments

Why do you prefer Social Media outlets instead of the CMS?

  • doesn’t crash
  • user friendly
  • more real world
  • connect outside of classroom
  • inconsistent look and functions e.g. discussion not always enabled
  • habit – already using Twitter/FB before entering university

What Changes Would You Like To See?

  • more consistent use of CMS
  • possible integration into social media
  • possible notifications (though some consider it to just add to the “noise”)
  • automated audio/video capture to be posted for later reference

Faculty also expressed concerns not only on the time commitment needed in an attempt to engage students with different social media outlets, but also privacy. Students, however, said they were more likely to use the CMS if it was more user friendly, had more options, more consistently used, and most importantly, that expectations were clearly outlined.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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