Marklein, M. B. (2009) Social networks could help community college students USA Today, November 16

This is a news report on a study just released by the  Texas-based Center for Community College Student Engagement. The study is based on a survey of more than 400,000 students from 663 institutions that assesses how much effort students invest in their studies, whether they interact with faculty and staff, and whether they are challenged by their academics. Studies show that the more engaged students are in such activities and relationships, the more likely they are to learn, but “colleges are not taking advantage of that particular set of tools for making connections with students to the extent that they could.”

The study found that:

  • 95% of students ages 18 to 24 use social-networking tools, including instant messages and texting, 64% multiple times a day. Yet just 18% do so for schoolwork, and 27% never do. Just 5% never use social networks.
  • Among older students, 68% used social networking, 41% multiple times a day. But just 10% do so for school; 49% never used social networking for school.

The report stops short of suggesting that social networking is the key to engaging all students, but it urges colleges to “find the right match.”


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