Pharmacy students' attitudes about social media use at five schools of pharmacy

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Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning


Objective: Several studies have examined the utility of using social media websites for educational purposes in pharmacy curricula; however, few studies have been published that examine students' independent use of social media websites inside the classroom. The purpose of this research was to examine the use of social media websites utilized by students at five pharmacy schools. Methods: A 19-question survey was administered to students at five pharmacy schools in the Midwestern region of the United States. This survey contained four demographic questions [gender, age, year in school, and grade point average (GPA)] as well as 15-survey questions pertaining to students' use of and attitude toward social media websites. Data from the surveys were entered into a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet for analysis. Results: Over a four-month period, 948 surveys were completed by students and returned for analysis. Facebook® was among the most commonly used social media website, followed by Youtube®. There were 284 students (31.6% of all students who completed the survey) who reported that they use social media websites for longer than two hours each day. The average amount of time students reported spending on social media websites during a 50-minute class period was 9.3 minutes. Additionally, 99.5% of students reported observing other students using social media websites during class on a daily basis. Conclusion: Self-reported use of social media websites inside and outside the classroom is high among pharmacy students. Discussion may be warranted among educators concerning the feasibility of deterring students from using social media websites in the classroom.

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