I see a number of articles about a recent study of Social Networking usage and grades (pdf) performed by a class at The Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Other studies have found likewise, while at least one study has shown that Facebook use leads to lower grades. So what is the answer? I don’t know, but my guess is that it isn’t that significant. Students either try hard to get good grades or they don’t and using social media has nothing to do with that decision.
The UNH study does not go into much detail about how it was performed, so it is hard to draw many conclusions, but it is interesting that some of the results (no grade difference, types of majors more likely to use social media) conflict with the Ohio State study by Aryn Karpinski that found a grade difference in Facebook users. Maybe the school has more to do with thing than one would think? Maybe this is all just media hype?
Some takeaways from the UNH study:
- 96% of students used facebook. 84% used YouTube/ Only 12% used MySpace.
- More students increased Social Media usage on weekends then decreased (I bet this is opposite for professionals)
- 26% of students used Social Media for Educational reasons and 16% for professional ones
I think academic libraries should look at that 26% number as a sign that they should be involved in these spaces. I don’t mean going out and friending all of the students at your college, but make resources available to students in faculty in these arenas.