College Faculty Embrace Social Media in the Workplace

April 15, 2011 ( - College faculty are twice as likely as other workers to use social media as part of their job, according to a new survey from the Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson.

The survey of nearly 2,000 faculty found that more than 90% of college faculty use social media in the workplace, compared to 47% of employees in other industries.  According to a press release, 80% of respondents report using social media for some aspect of their course.  Of those, nearly two-thirds use social media within their class session, and 30% post content for students to view outside of class.    

More than 40% of faculty say they require students to read or view social media as part of a course assignment, and 20% assign students to comment or post to social media sites.  Almost half of faculty use video and other sites in their teaching, with another one-third using video only, the press release said.  

The greatest number of faculty using social media to support professional career activities use YouTube, Facebook and blogs.  Facebook daily use at 11% exceeds all other sites.  The majority of faculty report visiting more than one social media site for personal use, and nearly 30% visit three or more sites. Facebook and YouTube are the sites most visited for personal use.  

In addition, faculty say concerns about privacy, the integrity of students’ submissions and the time required of faculty are important or very important barriers to social media use. Still, the overwhelming majority believe there is value in social media for teaching, with YouTube, other online video and podcasts seen as the most valuable for class use, followed by blogs.