Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 19.2 (Fall/Winter 2018) ISBN 978-1-945001-01-7 ISSN 1559-0151
In the face of new technologies, honors faculty and staff should begin understanding the way their students interact with these technologies to apply them appropriately within the honors experience. Social media is a prominent and controversial technology that requires more research on how honors students and students with gifts and talents embrace or reject the trending innovations. Honors pedagogues express some controversy over whether the presence of online technology enhances or decreases the sense of community within their college (Alger; English; Johnson, “Meeting”; Salas), but this issue is moot if honors professionals do not seek understanding about how honors students use the technology before labeling it as right or wrong for continued incorporation in the college. To understand how honors students use social media, I compared the self-reported social media habits of honors and non-honors undergraduate students at Purdue University, a public, land grant institution in the American Midwest, and developed an instrument for examining collegiate social media engagement (CSME), or rather how college students engage with their college online. Once we have greater understanding of the differences, if any exist, between honors students and the average peer population’s use of social media for themselves and for interacting with their colleges, honors faculty and staff can benefit from knowing how to use it with their students without detracting from the community they intend to create.