BYU academic advisor co-authors article exploring the benefits of social media use in the classroom.
School of Communications academic advisor Emily Emerick co-authored an article in the most recent issue of the College Student Journal titled, “Benefits and Distractions of Social Media as Tools for Undergraduate Student Learning.” The article — which explored the impact of social media on learning in the classroom — was the lead publication in the Fall 2019 issue.
“Initially I thought these findings would show that social media is causing problems for students academically,” Emerick said. “I assumed that the research would indicate it’s difficult to manage frequent social media check-ins; however, I was wrong.”
Emerick and her collaborators discovered that social media is actually potentially beneficial to students and their learning.
“Students could benefit significantly from professors having online forums, Facebook and Instagram accounts for students to ask questions, find answers, interact with others and elicit outside information to add to the course curriculum,” Emerick explained. “Online class forums more naturally encourage students to not only look in textbooks, but also investigate current research and online information, which can serve as a supplement and enrichment to learning.”
The research was conducted through a quantitative survey distributed to students in the School of Communications. The results revealed that students are capable of managing many aspects of their lives.
“If anyone doubts the benefits of having accessibility for a class, this research can be helpful in understanding the data,” said Emerick. “Teachers and professors should understand that they do not always need to be the source. Questions can often be answered by other students. Accuracy of the answers should be checked, but a professor need not have constant access to the group, they need only to provide students with a group. Let students explore the textbook and encourage internet resources for a collaborative and more responsive learning setting.”