Social Media in Medical Education


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Slides from presentation to University of Utah School of Medicine faculty on the usefulness of social media in medical education.

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  • Self-intro, & topic intro.
  • ObjectivesDefinitions and fast factsExamplesDrawbacksParticipation and ProfessionalismResources
  • Is it useful? If it can be used to bring down a government in Egypt, shouldn’t we be able to use it positively in medical education?Recent research by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the European Commission Joint Research Centre indicates that social media offers new educationalopportunities.“IPTS research suggests that social media can contribute to enhancing and innovating learning and teaching opportunities by supporting learning and professional development in a lifelong learning continuum; by contributing to equity and inclusion; and by improving the quality and availability of their learning material. Social media furthermore encourage more active and pro-active approaches to learning; open up new sources for information; and support collaboration between learners and teachers.”
  • I would like to share with you four areas where learning can benefit from including social media, and some learning objectives for use in those areas.Access to content: social networking & media have worldwide reach, allowing for an exchange of ideas across groups, continents, etc.New opportunities for creation: allows instructor to create a “situated learning” environment for students, with the potential for more wholistic, “big picture” learning. It puts students under a true, real-world learning situation: many patients communicate via social media; what if you had to do a client visit via video chat, and you only had 10 minutes to review the information beforehand and 15 minutes with the client?New ways of connecting: these are competencies future professionals will need; also allows for sharing learning across the globe.Collaboration learning allows students to work with:Peers and colleagues, here and elsewherePracticing physiciansFaculty and staff in their discipline, and across disciplines.
  • While the terms “social media” and “social networking” are often used interchangeably, for our purposes today I want to draw a slight distinction between them.Social media are web based, bi-directional, low-cost or free communication tools.Social networking tools are social media that also allow individuals and groups to build communities and relationships at low or no-cost. Sign up, create your profile, select the desired services within a particular tool, and begin connecting with others.
  • Since learning about these software tools in grad school a few years ago, then number of specialized applications has grown almost exponentially.
  • Here are a list of some of the most well-known and popular social media and social networking sites. Since our time is limited, let’s look at some “fast facts” about four of them:
  • Blog is short for “weblog”, which is a website that is an online journal or news source with content arranged in reverse-chronological order.It can include links to external sources, as well as multimedia content (images, movies, audio, etc.).It is hosted externally, either online by a service such as Blogger, or on a local server, such as Wordpress.It is organized by the use of categories and “tags” – one or more words describing the content.Read onsite or subscribe and read using 3rd-party software called a feed reader.Dialog occurs via comment spaces at the end of each posting. This can be moderated or unmoderated.
  • Here is an example of Women in Medicine and Science blog.
  • Facebook now has over 600 million active users, and is growing at a rate of 3.5% per month. Estimated revenues from advertising of over $2 billion for 2010.Use it by creating a profile, and you can customize the privacy settings of your profile with a great deal of granularity, even to the point of removing yourself from search results. 2 kinds of accounts:Personal: Add friends, indicate that you “like” pages, groups, or even individual comments.Business profile: Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests. You cannot have both a business account and a personal account, per Fb.Create groups and pages:Pages are for organizations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information in an official, public manner to people who choose to connect with them. Groups have administrators that manage the group, approve applicants or invite others to join. They are similar to clubs, and are either open to anyone, closed (where users must get administrator approval to join) or secret (invite only).It includes a chat feature, mail for private communication, and a “wall” where users can post public content about anything.
  • EHSL’s Facebook page.
  • Twitter is a social networking and “micro-blogging” service. Writing for Twitter is in the form of “tweets” which are short messages of up to 140 characters. Users can post to Twitter from their computer, phone, or other mobile device.Twitter pages:Can have followers, or follow others.Send messages to others by putting the “@” symbol in front of your posting.Can create new topics or contribute to existing ones using the hash tag, also known as the pound symbol.Posts can link to other content via link shorteners.To “re-tweet” is to repost or pass-on another’s tweet.Free
  • Describe parts of page:TweetsEtc.
  • Wikis are an easy-to-use website creation tool designed for collaboration. They can be open or closed, and include a discussion area where contributors can dialog about their work.Like all web pages, wiki pages can contain all kinds of media – images, video, audio, etc.When any portion of a site is updated and saved, the previous version is kept and easily reverted to.
  • When a professional organization I belong to sought to reorganize their website, we used this wiki to help enhance our ability to collaborate.
  • When considering these tools for educational use, it helps to know which can be used “live” versus over time.Because they are asynchronous, blogs and wikis allow for thoughtful, extended interaction and discussions, while Twitter and Facebook are more spontaneous. Wikis can be used to develop something – a process, product, project, etc.Some studies have shown that international students are more comfortable with reading and writing than speaking. These tools could be used to help bridge such gaps.
  • But we are all too busy already, how can we manage these tools effectively?While you can set these social media & networking sites to email updates, there are better tools available:RSS feed readers: Google Reader, or built-in tools in IE, FFx can help you track updates to social media you are following – blogs, TwitterMobile apps for Apple, Android and other devices can let you see at-a-glance what is being said on a blog or Twitter feed, or what has been changed/updated on a wiki.Using 3rd-party applications you can create a single blog posting and have it feed automatically to your Facebook & Twitter accounts.
  • Examples:During the earthquake disaster in Haiti, the Haiti Nursing Foundation was able to obtain information about its nursing school in Leogane, Haiti, and the well-being of its students and faculty because of Twitter. Nurses searched for the word “Leogane”, pulling posts with information about the extent of the devastation and injuries.At one medical institution, “Once a week, staff development educators offer a ‘tweet challenge.’ The tweet reads, “Share your kudos story of the week (HIPAA).’ This give those who are following the Twitter feed the opportunity to share a positive story. HIPAA is mentioned to remind employees about the importance of privacy.“When staff educators noticed marked attrition a month or two after the beginning a nursing residency program, they started a Twiiter feed @nursresgrad as a means of building community. They posted tips for graduates of the program related to everything from job satisfaction, to teamwork, to technical skills. The new nurses could subscribe via mobile phone and receive these tweets as text messages a couple of times a week.Faculty at a school of nursing ask students to post at least 3 comments to Twitter in class with a specific hashtag. One comment needs to be a question. Later, students, in small groups, write a test question based on the Twitter feed for that class.
  • Mayo Clinic’s medical school uses Facebook to cut orientation costs, as explained in this video.
  • Using any technology in the classroom has its drawbacks, and social media/social networking is no exception.In 2009 EHSL surveyed grad students in the 4 schools, and over 92% of respondents used text messaging on their mobile phone. Other studies I’ve seen put that figure as high as 98%. In 2010 we survey faculty and staff, and 85% used text messaging.Even with that as a baseline, there is still a wide variety of skill levels and enthusiasm when it comes to technology.Using technology in the classroom can be distracting and unreliable.Social media is 100% public unless steps are taken to restrict access, and if it’s public, it is permanent.How do we judge academic rigor in these contexts? And even if it is used rigorously, how do we get it accepted by established groups and institutions?Using social media requires creating policies and guidelines for use and grading.
  • Now it’s your turn.Using the worksheet “Developing a Social Networking/Social Media Activity” handout, try to brainstorm at least one activity that you can use in or out of class.Make sure your activity has a clear learning objective: what should your students be able to do upon completion?Possible examples:Writing group for junior faculty on Google Docs, where they can post what they hope to publish and get feedback, either synchronously or asynchronously.Facebook group to network & support subgroups within a profession or institution, such as the Women in Medicine and Science group.Can it be used for feedback? If you have an administrative assistant, have them set up a private Twitter feed, blog, etc. Students would create an alias account, and the admin assistant can invite them to join, acting as a privacy screen.
  • For grading, here is an example of a rubric developed for secondary and undergraduate level education in using social media.
  • As the struggles of Labor and its supporters in Wisconsin and other mid-western states continues, an assistant attorney general in Indiana was fired recently for tweeting that “live ammunition” should be used on the demonstrators. Recent research has shown that posting of unprofessional content is common among medical students, residents, and other healthcare providers. This may be due to 3 factorsProfessionals may not realize that pictures of off-duty drinking on a social media site may cause public concern.Online, people feel more anonymous & detached, and may say/do things they would not otherwise say/do in person.Online slips can have a far greater impact than one made over lunch with a colleague, and if it’s on the Web, it’s permanent.(Greysen, S. R., Kind, T., & Chretien, K. C. (2010). Online professionalism and the mirror of social media. Journal of general internal medicine, 25(11), 1227-1229. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1447-1 )
  • As of March 31, 2010, a site-by-website survey of all 132 US Medical Schools accredited by the “Liaison Committee on Medical Education” was conducted to determine their presence on Facebook & Twitter, and whether or not they had guidelines for their use:Only 13 had guidelines mentioning social mediaOnly 5 had statements that defined what is forbidden, inappropriate, or impermissible under any circumstances, or mentioned strongly discouraged online behaviors.UUHSC currently has its own internal guidelines, contact the Public Affairs & Marketing department for more information. Prior to knowing this existed, our library’s Web Team created one for our own use.
  • A recent article in the Journal of Surgical Education offers some “Personal guidelines:”Monitor: Google yourself regularly, and correct any misinformation you may find.Learn the privacy settings of social media sites you use, which can change without prior notice, and set them to maximum privacy.Keep your audience in mind, for they will view your content and make judgments about you and the institutions you serve.What’s put online, stays online. The Library of Congress, for instance, is archiving all tweets. Not to mention the power of search engines such as Google.Set & maintain personal boundaries
  • As an example, do we add students as “friends” on Facebook?Let them ask you, do not seek them out.Once asked, a “friending” invitation will allow you access to their site and profile before you say yes. Scan their pictures and recent postings for negative or unprofessional content.Create a separate friends list for students, set it to “private”. If their behavior in class or otherwise warrants, don’t be afraid to un-friend anyone.
  • Want to use social media but would like some help? In addition to faculty and staff at University Libraries, the U also offers these services to assist you in finding and integrating technology successfully into the curriculum.Or, invite an undergraduate pre-med, pre-pharm, etc. student to assist you. Through the USET program at CTLE, this two semester paid program for undergraduate students allows an undergrad and a faculty sponsor to work together on pedagogical research or a teaching activity directed at University of Utah credit-bearing courses or programs in the student's major or minor. Details are available on the CTLE website, and applications are due April 29th.
  • Additional Resources:Google Reader how-to-videoFaculty of 1000 is a website that “identifies and evaluates the most important articles in biology and medical research publications. The selection process comprises a peer-nominated global 'Faculty' of the world's leading scientists and clinicians who rate the best of the articles they read and explain their importance.”
  • And my colleague at CTLE asked me to point out some upcoming events they are sponsoring.
  • Thank you for your time!
  • Social Media in Medical Education

    1. 1. Social Media in Medical Education<br />Is it useful?<br />Todd Vandenbark, Web Services Librarian<br />Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />Learning Objectives & Potential Benefits<br />Definitions and fast facts<br />Examples<br />Drawbacks<br />Participation and Professionalism<br />Resources<br />
    3. 3. Useful?<br />E.C.’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies1:<br /><ul><li>Supports lifelong learning & professional development
    4. 4. Contributes to equity and inclusion
    5. 5. New sources of information
    6. 6. Supports collaboration</li></ul>1. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. (2010, March 2010). Learning 2.0 - The Impact of Social Media on Learning in Europe. (Policy Brief) Retrieved March 6, 2011, from<br />
    7. 7. Learning Benefits &Potential Objectives2<br />Content<br />Access to diversity and <br />Diverse content<br />Creation<br />Leverages situated learning<br />Allows for holistic learning<br />Authentic learning contexts<br />Connecting<br />Develops key 21st century competencies<br />Disseminates learning world-wide<br />Collaboration Learning<br />With students<br />Non-students<br />Faculty<br />2. Source: Adapted from JRC European Commission 2010, Learning 2.0 – The Impact of Social Media on Learning in Europe [Adapted by Darrell Coleman, Associate Director of CTLE, University of Utah]<br />
    8. 8. Definitions<br />Social Media (“Web 2.0”)<br />Platform: the Web instead of the desktop computer<br />2-way communication<br />FREE or at minimal cost<br />Social Networking<br />Usually Web-based<br />Focused on building social relations or networks between people of shared interests or activities.<br />Consists of a user profile, his/her social links, and additional services.<br />
    9. 9. Solis, B. (2008). The Conversation Prism Retrieved February 28, 2011, from<br />
    10. 10. Popular<br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />IM/texting<br />Blogs<br />Wikis<br />YouTube<br />Flickr<br />Linkedin<br />
    11. 11. FAST FACTS<br />Web journal or news source<br />Most recent content 1st<br />Multimedia content<br />Resides externally<br />Categories & tags<br />Subscribe<br />Dialog via comments<br />Blogs and blogging<br />
    12. 12.
    13. 13. FAST FACTS<br />Over 600 million users3<br />Free<br />Create a profile, & tailor to privacy desires<br />Add “friends”<br />“Like” pages, groups, etc.<br />Create pages or groups<br />Facebook<br />3. Carlson, N. (2011). Facebook Has More Than 600 Million Users, Goldman Tells Clients. Business Insider Retrieved February 25, 2011, from<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. FAST FACTS<br />Social networking and “micro-blogging” service<br />“Tweets”: 140 characters<br />Post via web, texting, external apps<br />Messages: @name<br />Follow others; followers<br />Topics begin with the hash tag, “#”; can create own.<br />Link shorteners<br />Re-tweet: pass on a tweet<br />Free<br />Twitter<br />
    16. 16.
    17. 17. FAST FACTS<br />Collaboration tool<br />Simple website creation and design<br />Open or closed<br />Discussion area<br />Add multimedia content<br />Revert to earlier version<br />Wikis<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19. By Use<br />Asynchronous: allows for more time and thought, extended discussion.<br />Synchronous: allows for more spontaneous interaction, in-class activity.<br />
    20. 20. Managing<br />RSS readers<br />Definition: “Really Simple Syndication”<br />Google Reader<br />Web browser tools<br />Mobile applications<br />Mobile RSS Free<br />Cross-posting<br />Twitterfeed<br />
    21. 21. Examples<br />Nursing & Twitter4<br />During disasters: Leogane, Haiti<br />“Share your kudos story of the week (HIPAA)”<br />Attrition prevention: @nursresgrad<br />Turn posted comments into test questions<br />4. Bristol, T. J. (2010). Twitter: consider the possibilities for continuing nursing education. J ContinEducNurs, 41(5), 199-200. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20100423-09<br />
    22. 22. Examples<br />Aase, L. (2009). Facebook Cuts Mayo Medical School Orientation Costs. Mayo Clinic News Retrieved February 14, 2011, from<br />
    23. 23. Potential Drawbacks5<br />Technology skills<br />Technology in the classroom<br />Very public<br />Appropriate rigor<br />Setting of policies and development of guidelines<br />Networking etiquette<br />Grading<br />5. Coleman, D. Social Networking Sites: Best practices in and out of the classroom. (PowerPoint presentation)<br />
    24. 24. Activity<br />Created by Darrell Coleman, Associate Director, Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE), University of Utah<br />
    25. 25. Evaluation<br />Social Networking Rubric:<br /><br />
    26. 26. Participation & Professionalism<br />Online professionalism and the mirror of social media6<br />Inappropriate content is common:<br />Lack of awareness<br />Online dis-inhibition<br />Potential impact greater<br />5. Greysen, S. R., Kind, T., & Chretien, K. C. (2010). Online professionalism and the mirror of social media. Journal of general internal medicine, 25(11), 1227-1229. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1447-1<br />
    27. 27. Policies for Social Media<br />At 132 accredited US medical schools7:<br />Guidelines mentioning social media: 13<br />Statements defining forbidden, inappropriate or impermissible behavior, etc: 5<br />7. Kind, T., Genrich, G., Sodhi, A., & Chretien, K. C. (2010). Social media policies at US medical schools. Medical education online, 15. doi: 10.3402/meo.v15i0.5324<br />
    28. 28. Personal Guidelines8<br />Monitor your online reputation.<br />Understand the privacy settings of the sites you use.<br />Remember your audience (intended & unintended).<br />Be aware of the permanence of online content.<br />Maintain professional boundaries.<br />8. Landman, M. P., Shelton, J., Kauffmann, R. M., & Dattilo, J. B. (2010). Guidelines for maintaining a professional compass in the era of social networking. Journal of Surgical Education, 67(6), 381-386. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2010.07.006<br />
    29. 29. Professional Boundaries<br />Facebook: To “friend” a student or not?<br />Wait to be asked.<br />Scan their profile 1st<br />Use friends lists & privacy settings.<br />Un-friend as needed<br />
    30. 30. University Resources<br />University of Utah:<br />Technology Assisted Curriculum Center (TACC): for help finding & selecting applicable technology.<br />New Media through Marketing & Communications<br />Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE): assistance integrating technology into your curriculum.<br />Individual consultation and workshops (request)<br />Undergraduate Student Experts on Teaching (USET)<br />
    31. 31. Additional Resources<br />Google Reader how-to video<br />Faculty of 1000 Post-publication peer-review site (<br />
    32. 32. Upcoming Events<br />CTLE 6000 & 6590: Best Practices in Teaching<br />Transformative Teaching Summit by MUSE (April 1)<br />CTLE Individual Consultation and Department Workshops (upon request)<br />Managing Diversity in the Classroom - Demographic & Academic (April 8)<br />
    33. 33. Thank you<br />