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Philip Griffiths & Tony Wall - The Use of Social Networking Sites As an Aid To Communication with Students
 

Philip Griffiths & Tony Wall - The Use of Social Networking Sites As an Aid To Communication with Students

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The two speakers will outline their different experiences of using the Bebo social networking site as a means of communication with students. The School of the Built Environment used the site as a way ...

The two speakers will outline their different experiences of using the Bebo social networking site as a means of communication with students. The School of the Built Environment used the site as a way of promoting one of its courses, whereas the Department of Accounting wanted to get students on their two main undergraduate degrees interacting as soon as possible. Both encountered different sets of problems but are generally happy with the way that the initiatives worked. The way in which the sites were created is explained and some pointers to those wishing to try similar schemes are provided. The way forward for both speakers will then be outlined.

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    Philip Griffiths & Tony Wall - The Use of Social Networking Sites As an Aid To Communication with Students Philip Griffiths & Tony Wall - The Use of Social Networking Sites As an Aid To Communication with Students Presentation Transcript

    • The Use of Social Networking Sites: Two Practical Examples Tony Wall & Philip Griffiths University of Ulster Supporting the iGeneration
    • Overview
      • Social Networking Sites – the Theory
      • School of the Built Environment
        • Rationale for use
        • Experience
      • Department of Accounting
        • Rational for use
        • Experience
      • Conclusions and Recommendations
    • Social Networking Sites – The Theory
      • Definition of a Social Networking Site (SNS) – a web-based service that allows an individual to:
        • Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system;
        • Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection; and
        • View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system
        • Source - boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication , 13 (1)
      • First recognisable SNS launched in 1997
      • Well known SNSs
        • MySpace
        • Facebook
        • MSN
        • Friendster
        • Bebo
        • LinkedIn
      • Variety of access protocols
      • Having joined a SNS the user is encouraged to identify others with whom they have a relationship – known variously as ‘friends’, ‘contacts’, or ‘fans’
      • Advantages of SNSs
        • Communication and connections
        • Sharing
        • Self promotion
        • Educational benefits – 21 st Century skills
      • Disadvantages of SNSs
        • Safety and security issues
        • ‘ Fakesters’
        • Destructive phenomena (e.g. happy slapping)
        • Just another form of infotainment?
    • The School of the Built Environment
      • Rationale for using a SNS
        • Improve recruitment
          • Turn applications into conditional firm offers (CFs)
          • Provide a base for offering A-level help
          • Keep in touch with applicants
    •  
      • Experience
        • Requires constant interaction / updating
        • Material out there to start you off:
          • You Tube links
          • Added our own video
        • Some interaction
        • Handed over the running of the site to the Class Reps
          • Increased usage
        • Was BEBO the right choice?
    •  
    • The Department of Accounting
      • Rationale for using a SNS
        • Feeling that students were not connecting with either the university or one another
        • Students can feel isolated due to limited opportunities to interact with others
        • Attempt to get students communicating with one another prior to arriving at Ulster
        • One of a number of initiatives introduced to try and improve student retention
        • Use of a communication medium they are familiar with
      • Experience
        • Needed to involve various parties in the construction of the site
        • Informing the students of the SNS
        • Accounting Bebo site attracted 33 users (32%), whereas Business Studies Bebo site attracted 15 users (11%)
        • Students tended initially to self promote rather than communicate
        • No real interest in communicating with the university
        • Feedback fairly limited but generally positive
    • Conclusions and Recommendations
      • The use of SNSs has grown exponentially in recent years
      • It was felt that the university needed to communicate with students or potential students in their own language
      • The School of the Built Environment needed a way of communicating with potential students
      • The Department of Accounting wanted students to begin interacting with one another before arriving at university
      • The creation of an SNS requires a lot of planning and assistance from several departments
      • Widespread dissemination of the site is essential
      • Informative content necessary, but a lot could end up being wasted
      • Very difficult (initially) to mould usage of SNS
      • Must be constantly aware of generation gap
      • Requires constant attention, even more than WebCT!
    • ? – The Future
      • Could SNSs be the future method of communication between students via mobile applications?
      • A move from SNSs to actual networking?