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First-of-its-Kind Survey Finds College Faculty Increasingly Using Social Media

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More than 80 percent of college faculty are using social media, with more than half using these tools as part of their teaching, according to a first-of-its-kind survey, "Social Media in Higher Education." The survey was conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group in collaboration with New Marketing Labs and Pearson, a global leader in education, technology and services.


  •     Nearly 1,000 faculty from across the nation participated in the survey.
  •     Most faculty respondents (59%) have more than one social network account; nearly 25 percent have accounts on four or more social networks.
  •     More than 30 percent use social networks to communicate with students; nearly 1/3 use social networks to communicate with peers.
  •     A majority (52%) report using video, podcasts, blogs and wikis as part of their classes.
  •     Watching a video or listening to a podcast is the most common activity for both faculty personal use (72%) and for use within a class (46%).
  •     Social media use is higher among faculty in the Humanities and Social Sciences than those in Mathematics, Science, Business and Economics.
  •     Faculty teaching online courses are more likely to have social network accounts and to use them to communicate with fellow educators and with students.
  •     Older faculty (those teaching more than 20 years) make substantial use of social networks; in fact, older faculty's use of social media is only slightly lower than that of their younger peers.

To view a presentation of the results of the Pearson Social Media in Higher Education Survey, visit:

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"College faculty have embraced social media and a majority have integrated some form of these tools into their teaching," said Jeff Seaman, Ph.D., co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group. "While some faculty remain skeptical, the overall opinion is quite positive, with faculty reporting that social media has value for teaching by over a four to one margin."

"These results are compelling since there is little customer-based research into social media adoption, and there is a lack of formal qualitative research of social media usage broken down by a specific profession," said Justin Levy, Director of Business Development, Corporate Strategy & Client Services for New Marketing Labs, LLC, a social media marketing firm that consulted on the project.

"Educators have a responsibility to broaden the perspective of their students, regardless of the content matter," said survey participant Dr. Maria Claver, assistant professor of Gerontology at California State University, Long Beach. "Without the inclusion of social media in our hybrid course, we would not be able to both expose students to aging issues around the world and provide students with a forum in which they can learn about global aging issues by partnering with gerontology faculty from other countries."

"Pearson supported this pioneering research in order to better understand the use of social media in higher education," said Hester Tinti-Kane, Director of Online Marketing and Research at Pearson Learning Solutions, who led the project.

About Pearson Learning Solutions
Pearson Learning Solutions (PLS) is a business unit within Pearson, a global leader in education, technology and services. As an education partner and consultant to higher education institutions, PLS is committed to designing complete, client-driven education solutions. We are a team of world-class education experts, instructional designers, curriculum development experts, education course writers, development editors and experienced textbook publishers. We tailor solutions to each institution's individual needs whether that is for off-the-shelf online, in the classroom or blended courses or fully customized curriculum development. We also provide a wide range of tools to help students, faculty and institutions succeed.

Media Contact: Susan Aspey, Susan(dot)aspey(at)pearson(dot)com or (800) 745-8489

About Babson Survey Research Group
The Babson Survey Research Group in the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurial Research at Babson College conducts regional, national and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity checking, statistical analyses and reporting.

Michael J. Chmura
Director of Public Relations
(781) 239-4549

About New Marketing Labs
New Marketing Labs is a premier social and digital marketing firm headed by Chris Brogan. New Marketing Labs helps large and mid-sized businesses understand how to use the digital channel to build relationships and drive business value. New Marketing Labs' partners include: Citrix Online, SAS, Pearson Education, Molson Coors, Cisco, Microsoft, Sony, and other best-in-class organizations.
The New Marketing Labs team's creative and digital media experience stretches back over a decade to when our principals designed groundbreaking interactive campaigns, used early journaling software to communicate, and further back to when bulletin board services were still the primary online experience. The principals each have extensive experience in leveraging social media for their own brands and sites, as well as consulting for leading enterprises throughout the world and sitting on various advisory boards.

Justin Levy
Director of Business Development, Corporate Strategy & Client Services New Marketing Labs, LLC
phone: 781.821.6750 | cell: 617.365.6462
twitter: @justinlevy


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