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Social media can support students, research finds

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Yingxia Cao, associate professor of decision sciences, delivered her faculty lecture, “From Social Media to Digital Entrepreneurship: A Year of Change and Reflection,” Tuesday via Webex. She was introduced by La Verne Academy member Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management. / photo by Max Sierra

Yingxia Cao, associate professor of decision sciences, delivered her faculty lecture, “From Social Media to Digital Entrepreneurship: A Year of Change and Reflection,” Tuesday via Webex. She was introduced by La Verne Academy member Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management. / photo by Max Sierra

Yingxia Cao, associate professor of decision sciences, presented data on how social media can impact a person’s happiness, with pros and cons of using social media in schools and businesses before an audience of 22 students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday via WebEx.

Cao’s research, presented as part of the weekly faculty lecture series, also looked at social media’s use and effects on personal finance and students’ academic performance.

“Some teachers are happy (with social media) because they can engage their students and interact with them on a new level,” Cao said. 

For her research, Cao looked at the satisfaction, outcome, and integration of social media among other things. She found that students have a higher satisfaction rate and a better learning outcome when teachers incorporate social media into class.

“Faculty considered the benefits (with) external pressure by peers, perceived risks,” Cao said.

For her study of businesses’ use of social media, she looked at similar factors and found similar positive outcomes. 

“When companies have a strategic goal to achieve, they focus on the compatibility between goal and media, just as the teachers did in the first set of data,” said Cao. 

Cao then looked at social media use in the realm of personal finance.

“There are five ways that people are seeking information for their finances: family, friends, colleagues, financial bankers, social media, and mass media,” Cao said.

The data showed links between the financial situation of the individual and the different ways of consulting, Cao said.

“This piqued my interest in social media as an educational tool, which I never really thought of before,” said Al Clark, professor of humanities, who attended the Tuesday talk. “I would use it but I would first need to become more proficient at it.”

–Cheyenne Vargas

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