Saturday, 5 January 2013

Student engagement and social media

Not got a lot to post this week, back to work on Monday so I may get back into the swing of things then. In the meantime - here are some thoughts on the continuing FB group/page experience

Latest reading: http://www.academia.edu/394232/Social_Networking_and_Education_Using_Facebook_as_an_Edusocial_Space 
In the Pamela Pollara article above it was very evident that not all mentors (staff) were fully engaged in the FB group and this had an impact on students' engagement both on and off the page. Mentors worried about privacy and also felt technically incompetent. Where mentors did engage, mentor/mentee relationships were experienced as more positive.

In other news:
A third Facebook group - private, tutor administered, has been established for Social Work students. Early days so far, but level of engagement is low. So far dominated by tutor posts and one particularly media savvy student. A theme has been established around social media and their relevance to students. I suspect the SW team may also want to use this as a medium for supporting NSS uptake.

A couple of students are beginning to exchange information and a desire to work together on a particular issue. Some have also expressed an interest in University events and an external conference which has been plugged by tutors, but this is largely institution driven. I'll probably just maintain a watching brief and see how it develops. One good thing is that there are three active tutors posting, so the burden doesn't rest on just one.

Starting to think about developing a research project - based on in depth interviews with students about engagement, social media and the VLE. With two years of FB student group, 93 students, and a current cohort of 78 first years on the FB page there is a good sized population that should yield useful data.

First though I need to get on with some reading. Here are some articles saved to my "pocket" for reading later:

http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet28/irwin.html
http://jolt.merlot.org/vol4no4/english_1208.htm
http://www.eurodl.org/?article=334

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