Monday, April 13, 2009

Researchers find students who spend a lot of time on Facebook have significantly lower grades, or not.

The London Times, oddly enough, is reporting on a new studyby U.S. researchers who polled 219 undergraduate and graduate students about their Facebook habits. Not so surprisingly, the study found that the more time students spend on Facebook, the less time they spend studying. 

The . . . report shows that students who used Facebook had a 'significantly' lower grade point average . . . than those who did not use the site. 'It is the equivalent of the difference between getting an A and a B,' said [one of the researchers] who will present her findings this week to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Just after reporting this story that appeared today in Inside Higher Ed., my inbox was hit with the following story by the Chronicle of Higher Ed.'s Wired Campus blog which reports that the study's author, Aryn C. Karpinski, "said in an interview with [it] that she does not have enough data to determine whether Facebook use causes students to do poorly in their studies, despite a string of media reports that she says overstate her findings."

As one astute researcher noted in another blog, "correlation does not imply causation."  This commentator "noted that in her own study in 2007 of more than 1,000 first-year students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she found no correlation between Facebook use and student grades."

So there you have it - right back were we started from - utter confusion and uncertainty.

Hat tips to Inside Higher Ed. and The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2009/04/researchers-find-students-who-spend-a-lot-of-time-on-facebook-have-significantly-lower-grades-1.html

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