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Social Media, Critical Thinking Development, Business Professors, Media Literacy, Information Literacy
Studies on social media and critical thinking skills have emphasized students’ perspectives. Few researchers have interviewed business professors regarding their perceptions of how students’ critical thinking skills have developed through social media. This hermeneutic, phenomenological study interviewed eight business professors for the purpose of describing the educators’ perceptions of how social media has affected undergraduates’ critical thinking skills and practical job skills. Paul and Elder’s (2014) critical thinking development theory served as the conceptual framework. Data were collected from interviews with business professors primarily in several regions of the United States. Five themes emerged: 1) going across contexts; 2) case method teaching; 3) discussing and collaborating; 4) building information literacy; and 5) learning from experts.
The five themes comprise Critical Thinking Development by Social Media (DSM). Business professors perceive social media as having influenced the critical thinking skills of undergraduates through intentional, industrious learning as represented by DSM. Business professors perceive social media as having influenced the practical job skills of undergraduates through intentional, industrious learning as represented by DSM with emphasis on phases 3) discussing and collaborating, and 5) learning from experts. The implications touch on academic institutions, business schools, business deans, other educators, and employers. Future research may offer case studies of social media and critical thinking projects at higher education institutions.