By Frances Mulraney
A study published in Computers in Human Behaviour last week, claims that certain types of Facebook may actually be corelated to higher grades.
Reynol Juncom, a professor in Lock Haven University in Pennysylvania, examined 1,839 college students, taking into account the amount of time they spend on Facebook, their activities on the social network, their college grades and also their high school GPAs. Junco wrote, “Facebook use itself is not detrimental to academic outcome. It depends how it’s used.”
According to the study, the average student in this college spends 106 minutes a day on Facebook. Students spending 93 minutes over this average on Facebook each day saw a 12 point drop in GPA in the surveys results.
Junco claims, however that students would “have to spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook for it to be related to GPA in a way that is shocking.”
The study went on to say that not all activities on Facebook have the same relationship with grades as others. Students who spent most of there time on Facebook on chat or updating their status tended to have a lower GPA than those who used Facebook to share links and to keep in touch with friends. This meant that students who carried out information activities generally fared better than those who used Facebook as a social activity.
The study, however, does not delve into the cause and effects of these Facebook activities and so quitting chat is not going to instantly produce a first-class degree.
Junco also strongly believes that Facebook has the power to be a great academic resource. He creates Facebook groups for his classes so that his students may continue their lecture discussions online. His basis for this, “we’re using a technology students already use”.