About reyjunco

  • Website: or email
  • Biography: Rey Junco is an Associate Professor and the Director of Disability Services in the Department of Academic Development and Counseling at Lock Haven University. Rey Junco’s research focuses on using emerging social technologies to help engage and support college students. His books include Connecting to the Net.Generation: What higher education professionals need to know about today’s students and Using emerging technologies to help engage students. As part of the Net.Generation project, Dr. Junco conducted a large multi-institution survey of student technology use. The Using emerging technologies volume explored, in much more detail, research-based topics such as using social networking sites to help engage students, technology to improve student retention, using blogs to improve student’s writing and marketing skills, and how technology can both help and hurt student mental health. This blog is dedicated to issues related to using social media in higher education.

Posts by reyjunco:

1

New Paper: Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance

Posted by reyjunco on January 20, 2015 in Research |
Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance

CC License: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhmarketing/ 8541370656

My newest paper, Student class standing, Facebook use, and academic performance was just published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

In previous work, I’ve discovered that social media use is related to a host of academic and psychosocial outcomes. Most notably, there is a relationship between Facebook use and academic performance and Facebook use and student engagement. When looking at time spent on the site, there is a negative relationship between Facebook use and outcome variables; however, when we parse out different ways of using Facebook, then the relationships become more complex. For instance, what students do on Facebook is more positively predictive of academic and engagement outcomes. My previous research has suggested that using Facebook in certain ways might be driving the negative relationship seen between time spent on Facebook and academic performance. Most notably, using Facebook during class or while studying seemed to explain these negative relationships.

In the current study, I surveyed over 1,600 college students and examined the time they spent on Facebook by splitting that time into two categories: 1) Time spent multitasking (i.e., task switching) with Facebook while studying and 2) “Regular” time spent on Facebook. Based on previous research, my hypothesis was that multitasking would drive the negative relationships seen between Facebook use and grades but that “regular” Facebook use would not. I also examined students at different class ranks (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) to see if there were any differences that might be attributed to academic maturation.

Here are a few highlights of my findings:

  • Seniors spent less time on Facebook than students at other class ranks
  • Seniors also spent less time multitasking with Facebook than students at other class ranks
  • Regular time spent on Facebook (not multitasking) was negatively related to actual GPA for freshmen but not for students at other class ranks
  • Time spent on Facebook multitasking was negatively related to actual GPA for students at all class ranks except for seniors

What does it all mean?

Freshmen need to feel socially integrated into their college or university, for if they don’t, they’re at risk of dropping out. One of the ways that freshmen maintain a connection to previous friends and reach out, engage with, and learn about new friends is through Facebook. Therefore, Facebook plays an important role in helping freshmen adjust to college. However, the ways in which Facebook use are negatively related to grades suggests that freshmen have difficulty regulating their Facebook use in the service of academics. I hypothesize that this isn’t an issue related to Facebook per se, but the relationship between Facebook and grades provides a way of capturing self-regulation skills in freshmen. In other words, the pattern of Facebook use helps us see something about self-regulation we might not otherwise be able to measure. This is also evidenced by how regular use of Facebook for students at other class ranks is not related to academic performance.

Another interesting finding was that seniors did not exhibit a negative relationship between multitasking with Facebook and grades. While this is unexpected given the cognitive science literature on task switching, there have been other studies (including some of my own) that have found that use of certain technologies and use of them in specific ways while engaged in learning tasks do not impact outcomes. This area is ripe for further research and I expect to see more in the coming years elucidating what characteristics of social technologies and of their uses mitigates task-switching detriments in cognitive outcomes.

You can read the full paper here.

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Recruiting Ph.D. students – Come work with me!

Posted by reyjunco on November 5, 2014 in Research |

I’m looking for Ph.D. students who want to come work with me at Iowa State. If you are interested in social technologies and how they impact youth, please apply! This would be a funded position and you would work in my emerging research group that will be composed of Ph.D. and Masters students (and eventually […]

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Looking for a middle school to collaborate on research study

Posted by reyjunco on September 10, 2014 in Research |

Friends and colleagues – Our research team (headed up by me and Nicole Ellison) is engaged in a cool Gates Foundation-funded project to help support college readiness for students who otherwise wouldn’t go to college. This same Gates program funded the development of 19 apps/services/websites to more efficiently help students navigate the college application and […]

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Social Media and Student Identity Development

Posted by reyjunco on July 23, 2014 in Research |

It’s here! The first (free) chapter from my upcoming book, Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence-Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs. The chapter covers how youth’s interactions online help them develop their identity, or a stable sense of self. Download the chapter here. The Kindle version of the entire book is now available on Amazon.com, […]

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Using Social Media in Student Affairs: An Evidence-Based Approach #ACPA14 Slides

Posted by reyjunco on April 3, 2014 in Presentations |

Here are the slides from the talk I gave this past week at the #ACPA14 conference in Indianapolis. The talk is loosely based on a chapter from my upcoming book Engaging Students through Social Media: Evidence Based Practices for Use in Student Affairs Using Social Media in Student Affairs: An Evidence-Based Approach from Rey Junco

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Heading to Iowa

Posted by reyjunco on April 1, 2014 in Commentary |

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I’ve accepted a position as an associate professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University starting this summer. I’ll be teaching and advising students in the Student Affairs graduate program. Many of you who follow this blog know that I started a new position in the Purdue University Libraries […]

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4

Texbook analytics: A new way to do learning analytics

Posted by reyjunco on October 17, 2013 in Research |

Today at the EDUCAUSE 2013 conference in Anaheim, I unveiled new research on textbook analytics. Textbook analytics are an emerging subcategory of learning analytics, which is the use of student-generated data to predict learning. These predictive analytics promise the ability to identify at-risk students and to help faculty adjust their teaching in real-time. However, up […]

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9

Student affairs professionals: Looking for social media examples for my book

Posted by reyjunco on July 11, 2013 in Commentary, Research |

Student affairs professionals: I need your help for my next book, Engaging Students through Social Media: An Evidence-Based Approach for Student Affairs being published by Wiley/Jossey-Bass. I’m looking for examples of how you are using social media in your functional areas. Successes and challenges are both welcome! Feel free to post your story in the […]

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Berkman Center Fellowship

Posted by reyjunco on July 8, 2013 in Commentary, Research |

I am very happy to announce that I’ll be returning to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society this next academic year as a fellow. I am both honored and incredibly excited for this opportunity to continue to engage and collaborate with the Berkman community, especially the Youth and Media team. I had such a blast this last […]

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11

New position at Purdue University

Posted by reyjunco on February 11, 2013 in Commentary |

I am delighted to announce that later this semester, I will be joining the faculty of the Purdue University Libraries as an associate professor. At Purdue, I will focus on emerging technologies in education with a special focus on the first year experience. If you don’t already know about the great work happening in educational […]

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