Social media is not the sole
responsibility of any one team at our
university.
In order to avoid duplication of work we
wa...
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The SHU Social Media Colab ECSM2014 poster

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The SHU Social Media Colab: Developing a Social Media Strategy Through Open Dialogue and Collaborative Guidance
This poster shares how we have approached the education and guidance of staff and students in their use of social media. Our approach has a strong emphasis on collaborative relationships and includes the use of 'CoLab' sessions which involve a variety of colleagues across different areas of the institution.

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The SHU Social Media Colab ECSM2014 poster

  1. 1. Social media is not the sole responsibility of any one team at our university. In order to avoid duplication of work we watch out for other departments with an active interest in SM. We raise awareness of our work, and suggest collaboration when an overlap or a common interest is apparent. We use our networks to increase communication and collaboration We are interested in the ‘conversation’ and believe that collaboration ensures high quality SM guidance. Helping colleagues and students understand that the affordances of new technology and in particular social media is ‘not peripheral but fundamental to all aspects of scholarship’ (Weller 2011:173). This works best where authentic and contextualised examples are shared. Establish the boundaries of your responsibility. As three staff with TEL roles, our primary concern is the effective use of SM in LTA, however we saw the need to informally extend our roles in order to collaborate and have a meaningful institution-wide impact. Students need to understand their responsibilities to themselves and the institution, to develop sustainable strategies for using social media (SM) to enhance their learning and to develop their employability skills as future graduates. They need to place value in the development of a professional online presence, appreciate the difference between their personal and professional uses of SM tools, and understand the impact that one can have on the other. Staff want to feel confident in the application of authentic SM learning activities. They need to see the value of SM competence in graduates within their disciplines, and easily access shared practice and guidance. To facilitate such learning activities they also need to understand and consider aspects such as online safety professional impact and configuration. Prioritise We believe that guidance should be inclusive. Our approach should enable any of our users to access or locate guidance elsewhere, no matter what their starting point. In the SM field the digital divide can be stark, - those with confidence and a vision may find it easy to develop a teaching approach with embedded SM, while others need to know the absolute basics before starting. We identified the greatest need within our primary scope, considered resources and potential impact. Ongoing, we write guidance selectively, preferring to utilise existing materials where possible, and use SHU perspective sparingly, while be as complete as possible. Listen In addition to the CoLab sessions being a space for sharing ideas and practice, we used them to listen to staff and students as they explored their thoughts, concerns and ideas about SM. Through this we could identify key themes and define priorities. We shared these back with staff from other areas (IT support, Library services, Secretariat) so that the conversations could be heard more widely. We acknowledge that TEL and SM constantly evolve. The ecosystem of connective media in a growing culture of connectivity (van Dijck 2013) will continue to present new considerations, meaning that guidance should be reviewed regularly for changes in trends, behaviours and functionality. However, there is a ‘line’. We are only able to pay attention to the big themes, and must develop an effective model of presenting guidance - while cultivating users' skills in seeking and finding specific guidance. Question Promote Authenticity Collaborate Define scope We aim to build shared understanding, and where there is evidence, quash the myths behind SM in HE. Social and digital media present the very tools to open a forum for discussion, but should not be used exclusively. Encouraging questions is important and so is looking to provide different approaches and spaces to do so. The challenges include:  Disparity in staff/student digital literacies  University departments looking at SM from different angles  Making sense of the breadth of opportunity offered by SM  The ever shifting TEL and learning landscape  University resources for support vs. guidance  Consideration of personal and professional identities  Challenging myths Evolve The SHU Social Media CoLab: Developing a Social Media Strategy -Through Open Dialogue and Collaborative Guidance Student Guidance promoting responsible behaviour & awareness of the (positive & negative) potential of SM Staff Guidance on supporting students and embedding SM in practice Case studies illustrating Good practice Social CoLab events for discovery & ideas generation, and Hands-on sessions A university-wide working group This poster shares how we have approached the education and guidance of staff and students in their use of social media. Our approach has a strong emphasis on collaborative relationships and includes the use of ‘CoLab’ sessions which involve a variety of colleagues across different areas of the institution. We will show how our work is informed by the needs and priorities of our staff and students in order to be fit for purpose. Be inclusive Sue Beckingham, Alison Purvis, Helen Rodger. Sheffield Hallam University 2014

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