Improving Student Engagement and Learning Using Social Media Web Connected Minds Conference May 6, 2012: Arlington

, VA Reynol Junco Professor, Academic Development and Counseling Lock Haven University Lab Mentor, Youth and Media Lab Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society I. Student engagement a. Definition: The time and effort students invest in educational activities that are empirically linked to desired college outcomes b. Astin’s (1984) theory of engagement: “the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” c. Both academic and co-curricular engagement are important predictors of student academic outcomes Engagement research a. Academic engagement is related to increased critical thinking, analytic competencies, and intellectual development b. Social engagement is related to increased psychological adjustment and maturity c. Extracurricular engagement is related to increased persistence, educational attainment, nontraditional careers for women, and positive social self-concept Integration a. Academic i. Academic performance ii. Faculty/staff interactions b. Social i. Extracurricular activities ii. Peer group interactions c. Tinto’s (1993) model of student departure – academic and social integration integral to student persistence Facebook and student engagement a. Time spent on Facebook negatively related to scores on 19-item engagement scale based on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) b. Creating and/or RSVPing to events and commenting on content were positively related to engagement c. Playing games and “Facebook stalking” were negatively related to engagement d. Facebook activities were stronger predictors of engagement. In other words, how students used Facebook was most important when looking at outcomes Facebook and academic performance a. Time spent on Facebook was negatively related to overall GPA i. The real-world impact of the relationship is negligible







ii. The negative relationship seems to be fueled by students doing schoolwork while using Facebook (multitasking) b. Posting status updates was negatively related to GPA c. “Facebook stalking” and sharing links were positively related to GPA Twitter research a. Controlled longitudinal experimental study b. Randomly assigned students to use Twitter as part of course or Ning (control condition) c. Results i. Tweet content analysis shows that students discussed course content, spent more time on task, and showed evidence of academic and social integration ii. Students in the Twitter group had significantly increased engagement as compared to the control group over the semester-long study period iii. Students in the Twitter group had significantly higher overall GPA iv. There was a positive relationship between number of tweets sent and overall GPA v. Students in the Twitter group had significantly higher second-year persistence rates vi. Interviews with students showed that the Twitter group had greater academic and social integration. Students who stayed had stronger bonds with peers and faculty than those who left Conclusion a. When used in academically-meaningful ways, social media can be used to improve student educational outcomes b. Use of social media must be tied to course goals. It should be an integral part of the course, not a “gimmick” c. Faculty should engage with students on the platform References

Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 297–308. Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2011). Connection Strategies: Social Capital Implications of Facebook-enabled Communication Practices. New Media & Society. doi:10.1177/1461444810385389 Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The Benefits of Facebook “Friends:” Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-1168. Grosseck, G., & Holotescu, C. (2009) Can we use Twitter for educational activities? Proceedings of the 4th International Scientific Conference: eLearning and Software for Education, Bucharest, Romania. Retrieved April 25, 2012, from Junco, R., Elavsky, C. M., Heiberger, G. (2012). Putting Twitter to the test: assessing outcomes for student collaboration, engagement, and success. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01284.x

Junco, R. & Cotten, S. (2012). No A 4 U: The relationship between multitasking and academic performance. Computers & Education, 59(2), 505–514. Junco, R. (2012). Too much face and not enough books: The relationship between multiple indices of Facebook use and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(1), 187-198. Junco, R. (2012). The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Computers & Education, 58(1), 162-171. Junco, R., Heiberger, G., & Loken, E. (2011). The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 119-132. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How College Affects Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Upcraft, M. L., Gardner, J. N., & Barefoot, B. O. (2005). Challenging and Supporting the FirstYear Student: A handbook for improving the First Year of College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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