My name is Beth McGough, I am the Social Media Manager at ProQuest. Today I will be talking about engaging university students through social media.
I will introduce you to the study which the information in the presentation is derived.Then look at how students are using social media generally and for research, and how they have been trained on incorporating social media in research activities.I’ll conclude by providing some top level recommendations for engaging with university students through social media.
The survey was conducted in August 2012Reached 600 students at degree-granting universities, large and small, representing a broad mix of academic disciplines.Approximately 300 students each were enrolled in US and Canadian institutions.Nearly equal mix of undergraduate and graduate students.
Virtually all students, graduate and undergraduate use Facebook. Half of undergraduates, and fewer graduate students use Twitter.Graduate students are more likely to use LinkedIn and Google+.In the other category, there were a handful of responses that mention specific sites for file-sharing, or public or school-hosted sites devoted to academics.About 2/3 of students visit social media sites more than 4 times a day
The use of social media sites for specific tasks provides libraries direction for where to focus social media efforts.Social media channels are most likely used for contacting and sharing information with peers. Other likely uses include collaborating or organizing research. These are ideal activities for the library to help students with.Social media is less likely to be used actual research and for reaching faculty, instructors and librarians. Although later in the presentation you will see students are open to connecting with the library through social media.
61% of students said they do not use social media for research purposes. But, the rest of the study’s findings reveal higher use than indicated here when more specific questions were asked. It appears the responses to this question were highly dependent on how one defines “research or study purposes” and what services constitute “social media.”If a respondent took the question to mean “do you cite Facebook as source” the answer would be no. But when students were asked about specific research and study related activities a different picture emerged. While students clearly don’t consider social media a source for research, they are already using it to communicate and collaborate. This is an opportunity for librarians to make the connection for students that the social sites they use throughout the day can be incorporated into their study life too.
When students were asked if they’d received training in the use of social media for research purposes the majority had not received training, also the majority did not know where to find training resources.This is an opportunity for librarians to close an information gap through information literacy instruction.By connecting the social media sites students use everyday to research activities and showing students new ways of using familiar tools, and introducing new tools that will feel familiar librarians can make the research process feel easier for students.
Students were asked to indicate their interest in library services delivered through social media. Undergraduates were generally more interested than graduate students, but both groups express at least some interest.With the ubiquitous of social media in students’ lives and their openness to connecting with the library through social media indicates this is a medium that the library should be exploring if not already.
Because use of social media is so high among students and it is where they are communicating personally, and are likely be participating in research-related activities, the library should consider establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter if it has not already.First the library needs to connect with students through Facebook, Twitter, and possibly other sites. Once that online relationship is established the library can become a part of a student’s daily life online.To help build a following libraries should consider developing reciprocal relationships with other university organizations so they will share the library posts to their networks.
To serve graduate students librarians should consider setting up a presence on the sites graduate students are active. Creating library moderated LinkedIn groups would provide a space for graduate students to ask and discuss research-related questions. Similarly, groups could be set up on Google+.The library can also provide or connect students with collaborative tools for organizing research, managing citations, and sharing research, if it doesn’t already.
Through information literacy instruction librarians can make the connection between a student’s online life and scholarly life. The library can then uncover social tools for students that will make them better researchers and scholars.The social media features of databases and research tools can be discussed.Students can be shown how to connect with librarians through social media.Also, students can be shown how to connect with researchers in their discipline through social media. For example, teaching students how to participate in a Twitter chat.Graduate students can be introduced to other sites with discipline-specific communities, like Quora or Wikipedia.Librarians can also introduce other tools to help students collaborate and share research such as Dropbox or Google Drive. This is also an opportunity to highlight services offered by the library or school.
If you’d like to explore this topic further you will find a whitepaper and infographic on ProQuest’s SlideShare site via the links above.
Charleston Conference 2013 session: Engaging Students through Social Media
THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Charleston Conference 2013
Engaging Students through Social Media
Beth McGough, ProQuest
Danielle Salomon, UCLA
Use of social media
Social media for study and research
Training in the use of social media
Students use social media to seek out,
collaborate and obtain information from
classmates and academic peers
Even if they are not interacting with the library
they are open to doing so
Enabling and fostering the use of social media
for organizing and sharing research is an ideal
role for libraries
However, the study revealed students do not
consider social media an appropriate
information source for research
USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Among graduate and undergraduate students
Recommendations: Use of social media
• Consider establishing a presence on Facebook
and Twitter if you have not already
• Post regular library-related updates
• “Follow” or “Like” prominent individuals and
academic/student organizations, encourage
them to share library posts with their networks
Recommendations: Current and likely use of social media
• Set up LinkedIn groups, specific to academic disciplines
for access by graduate students in particular
• Secondarily, establish a page on Google+ and create
groups specific to academic disciplines
• Create community pages or sites for specific academic
disciplines, hosted by the library
• Provide online tools for organizing research, managing
citations, sharing and collaboration, such as RefWorks
Flow or Mendeley
Recommendations: Training in the use of social media
• Expand information-literacy instruction to include social media
• Teach students about the social media features of online
databases and research tools
• Show students how to connect with librarians through
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn
• Teach students to connect with researchers in their discipline
through social media, such as how to participate in a Twitter
• Introduce and inform graduate students about other sites with
discipline-specific communities, such as Quora and the editing
side of Wikipedia
• Consider including tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and
school services such as an intranet or Blackboard/Moodle in
Whitepaper, Student Use of Social Media, http://prq.st/1ca9AcB
Infographic, Student Use of Social Media, http://prq.st/1b8pgYw