Guiding Social Media at Our Institutions [ARTICLE]

Remember last fall when Tanya Joosten (@tjoosten), Lindsey Harness (@LindseyHarness) and I asked for your input on how your institution guides social media? No? Too long ago to remember? 🙂 Well regardless, we appreciated those who could respond as it helped us gather information on what we are (or are not) doing to direct social media use in higher education.

The results from the research are in, and published! Here is the recently published, peer-reviewed article for the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).

Access the article in PDF form here.

This article expands on Chapter 6 from Social Media for Educators to understand HOW higher education is guiding social media use. Through our open-ended questions, we learned more about how instituions are supporting and guiding social media. Often we see social media used a broadcast medium and there has also been a shift to designate new roles or responsibilities to support its use on campus.

Thanks to the SCUP Change-Disruption Mojo for featuring some of the findings as this week’s topic, specifically to Alexandria Stankovich (@thinkstank) for sharing both sides of the issue:

  • Concerns: monitoring online behavior, identity thief, privacy, FERPA/FIPPA, maintaining university image, control, ownership, required trainings

  • Benefits: interaction and engagement beyond the formal learning environment

Want to learn more about the research and/or article findings? Take a gander at the SCUP Google+ Hangout interview with Dr. Tanya Joosten, who shares her own insights and research highlights from this study.

Key takeaways:

  • Social media is often used as a “broadcast channel”
  • We should engage and develop a culture through the use of social media tools
  • Institutions need fluid access to information regardless of the technology
  • Simplicity principle to build capacity for the social web
  • We need to develop models of effective practice for LEARNING!
  • Trust the faculty you hire – they have some great ideas
  • Recognize that learners are MORE than sponges
  • Match technology with task & building digital literacy opportunities
  • Is social media in your strategic plan? Is social media or technologies part of your learning outcomes on campus? THIS is where your efforts need to be
  • Institutional encouragement is needed for collaboration ON YOUR CAMPUS to identify how to best guide social media models & effective practices
“The pedagogical benefit of social media use beyond its application as a motivational technique continues to be unaddressed by many universities.”

This study was just the tip of the iceberg. There is definitely more research on learning, social media use, and higher education to be done. Time to get at it (says my faculty advisor @drjeffallen)! Back to the dissertation proposal grind…

Reference:

Joosten, T., Pasquini, L. A., & Harness, L. (2013). Guiding social media at our institutions. Society for College and University Planners – Integrated Planning for Higher Education, 41(2), 1-11.

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