Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Use Facebook, Lose a Letter Grade

Ah, here's a great piece detailing the academic consequences of Facebook use. Watch out young scholars...your new literacies and/or slacking off could portend poor curricular performance.


jkd said...

"Early findings show that over 85 percent of undergrads use Facebook"

I would be surprised if this sample returned a result that low - our study last fall at UNC found high 90s. This is classic sampling error/self-selecting populations problem.

I'd love to see the full results of the survey - did they ask about intensity of Facebook use, so they could put it on a continuum? I could see a linear relationship maybe emerging there (i.e., lots of FB time/lower grades -> less FB time/higher grades), but again, I'll believe it when I see it.

Michael Parrish said...

Dr. Taylor,

I think the most important phrase of the article is probably "correlation does not equal causation." (After all, it was the first thing I learned in AP Psychology) The article certainly has not told me anything I don't already know, but I hate hear bad things about my favorite social networking site. I've been on Facebook for about two and half years now, and I don't think my grades have suffered the least bit. However, I realize that making a generalization out of my own personal experience is silly (In fact, I'd call it a statistical no-no). Many of my friends do stay on Facebook for hours at a time, but the problem is not Facebook. The problem is their inability to manage their time wisely.

It'd be cool if a graduate student did research on this at Carolina. Sadly, I don't think Carolina would be the optimal place to do it. According to the DTH and the "Newless Record," (The Greensboro News & Record) Carolina would need to deal with its monstrous grade inflation problem first. Apparently, there are too many intelligent "young scholars" with good GPAs on this campus.

I liked this article, thanks for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

I think that time spent on Facebook is a correlation to grade performance. Facebook has been important to me in college because I have been able to keep in touch with friends from back home. Also it is useful when contacting people from your classes. For example, Kelly and I talk on Facebook all the time in order to keep up with what is happening in class. However, Facebook at an excessive amount, like anything, can be bad thing. One of my suite mates is on Facebook for hours at a time. She gets her work done, but she never sleeps, and because of that her test grades suffer. This was an interesting article, but I don't think I agree with all of it.

-Lauren C.