Turned on, tuned in, but not dropped out: Enhancing the student experience using popular social media platforms

Conference paper


Berger, D. and Wild, Charles 2015. Turned on, tuned in, but not dropped out: Enhancing the student experience using popular social media platforms. BILETA 30th Annual Conference 2015, Conference Theme: Sustainability: Securing Regulation, Education and Technology for the Future. University of the West of England, Bristol 08 - 10 Apr 2015 British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association.
AuthorsBerger, D. and Wild, Charles
TypeConference paper
Abstract

The days of the static school noticeboard are over. There is no longer a need or desire for
small groups of students to hover around a central location, discussing past happenings and
future advertised events printed onto dog-eared paper flyers, posted onto a framed set of wallmounted
cork floor tiles in the lobby of the admin office. However, the need and desire to
stay plugged into the student social community has not disappeared, but has been transformed
by modern developments in the way students interact with each other.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and non-proprietary online blogs, are an
inherent part of the modern student’s life, and the apps which provide the link between these
parent sites and the student’s mobile phones, tablets and laptops create an unprecedented
immediacy in the way that messages are communicated between users.
Until now, social media has been primarily used as a separate entity, albeit importantly, to the
‘at university’/offline student experience – perhaps as a means of promoting special events,
such as social activities or extra-curricular lectures, or to raise general awareness for a type of
regular practice – such as creating specialist groups for online discussions of certain aspects
of university life, but we see this as a missed opportunity.
The problem is that university branded and run online social media groups have tended to be
seen by students as a sort of ‘sub-class’ of online social interaction, with many students either
opting-out of receiving regular notifications from these groups – thereby negating the benefits
of compiling a seemingly large membership – or allowing regular notifications, but having
their effect minimised as students become inured to the constant stream of information which
education providers deem potentially useful, but which the student acknowledges is not
personally targeted and therefore easy and beneficial to mentally filter-out completely.
However, with some modification to the way that educational online communities are created
and administered, it has been proved that the ‘grey area’ between total immersion and total
denial of university-led social media can be achieved, to enhance learning, improve social
interaction between students in all programmes and years of study, and create healthy, largely
unregulated communities aimed at improving the student experience.

Year2015
ConferenceBILETA 30th Annual Conference 2015, Conference Theme: Sustainability: Securing Regulation, Education and Technology for the Future
PublisherBritish and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Publication dates
Print10 Apr 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jan 2017
Web address (URL)http://www.bileta.ac.uk/Conference%20Papers/30th%20Annual%20Conference%202015
Additional information

© The authors.

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