What Do Students Think of Social Media in the Classroom?

designer-in-action-93129-mIt may not come as much of a shock to hear that young adults go on social media the most. According to Pew Research Center’s , 87% of Facebook users are between 18 and 29. As social media has become more popular, educators have jumped on board as well. A 2013 study done by Pearson Learning Solutions and the Babson Survey Research Group found that of the 8,000 faculty surveyed, 41% used social media as a teaching tool. But just how useful do students actually find social media in the classroom? Stacy Neier and Linda Tuncay Zayer explore this topic in their article “Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Social Media in Higher Education” from Journal of Marketing Education.

The abstract:

Recent research has discussed the opportunities associated with the use of social media tools in the classroom, but has JME(D)_72ppiRGB_powerpointnot examined the perceptions students themselves hold about its usefulness in enhancing their educational experience. This research explores students’ perceptions of social media as an effective pedagogical tool. Undergraduate students in a midsized, private university taking a marketing course were surveyed about their social media usage and preferences as well as their perceptions regarding the use of social media in higher education. Additional qualitative data collection with students probed into motivations for social media use in education as well as instructor and university perceptions. Findings reveal openness to using social media in education, uncover interactive and information motives for its use, and offer theoretical and pedagogical implications. Importantly, we offer insights into how educators can strategically incorporate social media tools into the classroom as well as how the use of social media can potentially affect students’ views of the instructor and the university.

Click here to read “Students’ Perceptions and Experiences of Social Media in Higher Education” from Journal of Marketing Education. Want to have all the latest research like this sent directly to your inbox? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

What Makes Students Want To Learn?

sboyerEditor’s note: We are pleased to welcome Stefanie L. Boyer of Bryant University. Her paper, “Self-Directed Learning: A Tool for Lifelong Learning,” co-authored by Diane R. Edmondson, Andrew B. Artis and David Fleming, is forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Education and now available in OnlineFirst.

pqAs academics, our livelihood is based on how well we educate our students and ourselves. The conventional approach to learning and teaching is good and has worked for years, but we were on a quest to find a novel approach to train people that had the potential to change the paradigm of learning-to change the way we learn and teach.  The area of self-directed learning (SDL) piqued our interest because so much research has been conducted in the area over several decades. The initial results seemed favorable, so we quantified the entire stream of SDL data with a meta-analysis.

JME(D)_72ppiRGB_150pixwThe findings from the meta-analysis amazed us. We knew self-directed learning (SDL) was different, but we didn’t grasp the true impact it would have on performance outcomes. It almost seemed as if it was too good to be true. Once we began implementing SDL in the classroom, we knew that we had stumbled upon something that really could revolutionize teaching and learning. Not only did student learning outcomes improve, but their appreciation for learning and their motivation to learn shot through the roof. We were surprised at how much more students could learn when they used self-directed learning.

We are already implementing self-directed learning in the classroom and in our own learning because we see how much is motivates and engages us and our students. In moving forward, there are so many questions to answer about how to train people most effectively using this method, and how to select learners who will benefit the most. We plan to continue working in the area, but there is so much to learn about self-directed learning that we need more research partners to help us uncover valuable insights from this bountiful learning and training method.

Read the paper, “Self-Directed Learning: A Tool for Lifelong Learning,” online in the Journal of Marketing Education.

Stefanie L. Boyer is an Assistant Professor at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Her research stream seeks to improve sales training and development and extend the self-directed learning paradigm.

Texting In Class: Hazardous To Your Grades?

Students do it on the sly. Instructors, in general, despise it. But texting has become a way of life–with studies revealing that young people spend 15% of their waking life doing it–and it’s bound to happen in the marketing education classroom. How does it impact students’ GPAs and what, if anything, can instructors do about it? A new study, published in the Journal of Marketing Education by Dennis E. Clayson of the University of Northern Iowa and Debra A. Haley of Southeastern Oklahoma University, offers some interesting findings and practical solutions:


This exploratory study looks at the phenomena of texting in a marketing education context. It outlines the difficulties of multitasking within two metacognitive models of learning and sets the stage for further research on the effects of texting within class. Students in marketing classes in two different universities were surveyed. They received an average of 37 texts per day and initiated about 16. More than 90% of the respondents reported receiving texts while in class and 86% reported texting someone from class. Even though students believed they could follow a lecture and text at the same time, respondents who did text within marketing classes received lower grades. Contrary to other research, texting frequency was generally unrelated to GPA. Implications for both pedagogical issues and research in marketing education are discussed.

Read the complete article here, and learn more about the Journal of Marketing Education by clicking here. You can also sign up for e-alerts from the journal to be notified about the latest techniques in marketing education, emphasizing new course content and effective teaching methods.