The development of a small-scale survey instrument of UK teachers to study professional use (and non-use) of and attitudes to social media

Owen, Nathaniel; Fox, Alison and Bird, Terese (2016). The development of a small-scale survey instrument of UK teachers to study professional use (and non-use) of and attitudes to social media. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 39(2) pp. 170–193.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2015.1041491

Abstract

This paper documents the creation, implementation and analysis of a survey instrument designed to reveal patterns of use and attitudes towards the value of social media by UK teachers. The study was motivated to discover which teachers use social media professionally, how they use it (both personally and professionally) and attitudes to social media as a professional tool (for their students' and their own professional use). The instrument was created from verbal data from two focus group discussions regarding the use of social media in education. Attitude statements were included verbatim when practical. This instrument was placed online and practising teachers invited to complete it (n = 216). Exploratory factor analysis and hierarchical clustering identified 9 factors from 54 attitude statements and 5 distinct teacher groups. The rich data allowed each group to be carefully defined, providing potentially invaluable information to school leaders when developing social media projects to recognize and accommodate the full range of teacher concerns and experience. The paper also addresses methodological concerns regarding instrument creation, dealing with missing data and the impact of missing data on subsequent analysis.

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