Research reveals sharp rise in the number of students using social media to stay in touch with tutors at college and university

Research has revealed a sharp rise in the number of students using social media to stay in touch with tutors at college and university, with 40% of students now using social as their primary means of communication with lecturers.

Facebook is the most popular form of communication, followed by Twitter and WhatsApp, and a startling 12% of those students using social channels to stay in touch use Snapchat.

Jisc conducted a study into the use of technology in higher and further education to mark the launch of the Jisc Digital Festival, which is helping those delivering education in the UK to be at the forefront of technology practice.

The study also found that more than a quarter (28%) of students use their smartphones to draft essays, while 30% use tablet computers when studying. It also revealed that when it comes to choosing where to study, students are taking technology facilities into account, with 45% of students saying technology played a part in their choice of university.

“With increased fees and greater competition for a job after graduation, students are choosing their Universities very carefully now, and rightly so,”

said Martyn Harrow, Jisc chief executive.

“Institutions need to make sure they’re providing the best possible tech facilities, and communicating with students over channels those students are already using.

At Jisc, we’re helping universities to use the best technology in the most cost effective way, so the UK higher education sector can maintain its reputation as being among the best in the world.”

The Jisc Digital Festival takes place on March 9–10 at the ICC in Birmingham. Attendees will be able to see examples of how new technologies such as augmented reality and 3D animation can be used in the lecture hall or classroom.

There will also be debates on internet security for students, universities and colleges and speakers during the event including internet giant Google.