One in four students uses social media to contact university staff

More than a quarter of university students now use social media to contact their lecturers

February 26, 2015

This is according to a survey by the education technology charity Jisc, which found that per cent of students are now using social networking sites to get in touch with their tutors.

Some 500 students took part in the research, which found that among those who do communicate with lecturers online, Facebook is by far the most popular channel (85 per cent). Just over a third (36 per cent) said they used Twitter, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) used the messaging application What’sApp.

The survey also suggested that 32 per cent of students say technology played a part in their choice of university, and that more than a quarter (28 per cent) use their smartphones to edit university essays. Some 20 per cent said they would like to see more mobile devices provided on campus to make studying easier.   

“Our research shows just how important technology is to students,” said Jisc chief executive Martyn Harrow. “Higher education providers need to ensure that they are tech savvy and that education technology is at the very top of their agenda to secure the future of their institution.”

Students were also open to new and innovative ways of learning, the survey found, with more than half (58 per cent) happy to have some of their lectures delivered by robots. More than a third were interested in virtual lectures (37 per cent) and dedicated mobile apps (35 per cent) to help them study.  

The survey was released in the build-up to the Jisc Digital Festival, which takes place in Birmingham on 9 and 10 March and for which Times Higher Education is media partner. Find out here about obtaining a free ticket to attend.

chris.parr@tesglobal.com

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