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The Student Perspective


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Slides from talk by Tom Milburn on "Blogs and Social Networks: The Student Perspective" at UKOLN's workshop on "Exploiting The Potenial Of Blogs and Social Networks" on 26 Nov 2007.

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The Student Perspective

  1. 1. Blogs & Social Networks – “The Students Perspective” Tom Milburn – VP Education
  2. 2. <ul><li>General use of social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to use social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Problems that can arise </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>Content
  3. 3. Social Networks <ul><li>Social Networks such as MySpace and particularly Facebook have been adopted by students at a phenomenal rate. </li></ul><ul><li>It appears to be a national feature that sets us apart from our European counterparts. </li></ul><ul><li>25 million people are a member of a social network site, make an average of 23.3 visits per month and spend 11 minutes a day on such sites ( The Times ). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Potential <ul><li>These networks offer huge potential because of the frequency of visits and high retention rates of users. </li></ul><ul><li>They are also a limitless resource that are used by all ages, classes, genders etc. </li></ul><ul><li>This gives any user the chance to reach a huge audience that is not constrained to any particular demographic. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Students’ Use and Perspective
  6. 6. Peer to Peer Support
  7. 7. Benefits <ul><li>Social networks can provide students with the support of their cohort in a structured environment. </li></ul><ul><li>It can also provide constant support that is not bound by office hours. </li></ul><ul><li>This can ease pressure on staff with older students helping to ‘teach’ younger students. </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion boards are used by students to set the topic of a discussion and are valued by students to focus any discussions. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Student Feedback
  9. 9. Benefits <ul><li>Social networks can provide an excellent centre for any Staff/Student Liaison Committees. </li></ul><ul><li>They provide an open forum that is easily accessible to students. </li></ul><ul><li>Students have commented how easy it is to voice opinion, view what is going on and to have open communication channels with staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff can also easily run things past students and gauge opinion. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Multimedia <ul><li>Learning and teaching can often be enhanced by being offered in various formats. </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks allow flexible use of images and videos that can help deliver material to students. </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaires can be linked to Facebook, which can aid research for students’ projects. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Problems for Staff and Students
  12. 12. Network Problems <ul><li>They can be perceived as closed communication channels. </li></ul><ul><li>The consequences of actions can become distant as social networks can be turned off. </li></ul><ul><li>The need for a username and password can give a false sense of security. </li></ul><ul><li>There can be a lack of clarity from Universities on what the consequences of actions on social networks can be. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Advice Statements <ul><li>Universities and Students’ Unions are now producing advice statements. </li></ul><ul><li>These often detail what students should be wary of when using social network sites. </li></ul><ul><li>At Bath these were delivered as ‘Flyers’ on Facebook. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Flyers…
  15. 15. Student Views on Blogs
  16. 16. Blogs <ul><li>Blogs can be an excellent way to keep students up to date with developments at University. </li></ul><ul><li>However they usually suffer from: </li></ul><ul><li>Being hard to find </li></ul><ul><li>Not being updated regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Not being used by students themselves </li></ul>
  17. 17. Summary <ul><li>There is great potential for social networks to be used to engage students and enhance their experience of university life. </li></ul><ul><li>It will depend on how much effort staff put in and the culture of students on various courses. </li></ul><ul><li>They can be of great value to any institution. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Any Questions?