Study shows students' attitudes to academic use of social media

Posted by er134 at Apr 29, 2013 04:35 PM |
A University of Leicester-led study shows students display “Visitor” and “Resident” characteristics when using social media for learning
Study shows students' attitudes to academic use of social media

Network visualization diagrams of Google+ networks. Each dot is a person and each line represents an online connection between them.

University of Leicester-led research has shown that university students behave very differently when using social media as part of their academic learning and fall into a Vistors and Residents model for online engangement.

Visitors and Residents: mapping student attitudes to academic use of social networks, published in the journal Learning, Media and Technology, was conducted by Fiona Wright, a graduate of the University’s School of Biosciences.

For the study, all 257 undergraduate students in the University’s School of Biological Sciences were asked to use the social media site Google+ as part of a key IT and numeracy skills module. The students were able to discuss parts of the module on the site.

They found that there were significant differences between students’ use of social media – and individual participants displayed “Visitor” and “Resident” characteristics.

“Residents” happily use social networking to share information about their course with their peers, in a similar way to how they might talk to friends on Facebook.

“Visitors” are much more targeted in their use of online tools – and will only log on to get the information they need, when they need it.