In 2009, Time published an article
about a study conducted by a then-doctoral candidate from Ohio State University who said excessive Facebook use by students was to blame for low grades and Grade Point Averages (GPA's). However, a new and recent study says this is all a misconception. In fact, Facebook can sometimes raise GPA's.
The author of the study, Reynol Junco, is a professor at the Pennsylvania Lock Haven University and published the study in Computers in Human Behavior
about two weeks ago. A survey was conducted with 1,839 college students, which analyzed actual GPA's of students through college records as well as previous high school GPA's on top of daily Facebook use.
Things that were taken into consideration were how long the average student spent on Facebook (roughly 106 minutes daily) and what exactly students are doing on Facebook. As stated by Mashable
, the study revealed students who use the chat feature and post constant status updates actually had a pattern of lower GPA's compared to students who used Facebook mostly to read up on what friends have been up to and share informational links.
This means, in theory, students who actively seek out information and share it with their friends could see a rise in their GPA. But, in the same vein, a student who is constantly distracted by the chat function and only updating their statuses could see a decline.
However, the study did discover any Facebook use above 106 minutes does start to negatively effect a student's GPA, regardless of how Facebook is used, mostly due to cutting into study and homework time. According to the study, an increase of 93 minutes after 106 minutes means a drop of .12 points for a GPA. This decline is nowhere near as malicious as the 2009 study discovered, though.
Regardless, Junco is a firm believer that Facebook use is different for every student and the social network with over 500 million active users can be used as an aid in education. He utilizes Facebook to interact with students and oftentimes creates groups on Facebook for students to discuss class and keep in touch.
Facebook caters well to its college-aged demographic with education-related apps, such as buying and selling textbooks
through Facebook or even releasing thousands of digital textbooks
and mock quizzes to help students.