Social Media in Higher Education conference (26th June 2012)

A/Professor Adam Brigman, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Science University of Sydney

  • Adopted a social media approach that sent all of their announcements via RSS to Twitter, Facebook, etc
  • Reduced Absent Fails by about 40% by adopting this strategy.
  • Discussion boards advantages: teacher replies once for benefit of all, more structured easier to manage, teacher can moderate peer conversation, build sense of community
  • Student driven Facebook groups tend to work better than staff driven Facebook group, sense of community amongst students who hadn’t even met. Setup a meeting at end of semester!
  • Runs virtual field trip/quiz facilitated through social media, based on topic area quiz, map coordinates, taking a photo of themselves at that place.
  • Group laboratory reports using Googledocs or blogging software or Pebblepad, which actually emulates academic writing in the real world.
  • Upload results to eportfolio, youtube, or the unit Flickr feed.
  • There is a large and growing set of high quality resources available on the web (MOOCs). Academics should be drawing upon their hundreds (or even thousands) of students to help keep track of developments on the web. Good to have people tag the resources based on the topics of the units. Good to have people vote on the resources so that the good ones float to the top and the poor ones sink to the bottom. Can be an ongoing resource beyond the unit. This was home made by Adam. Integrated with Facebook and Twitter.
  • In Chemistry uses social media to add results and aggregates it. Then students study the pooled results and consider ways to visualise and analyse.

Trish Andrews, Senior Lecturer, Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI), the University of Queensland

  • On ALTC Learning and Teaching using ICT experience of tertiary students
  • 90% of UQ students have a laptop, 80% have a smartphone
  • Students should be using Skype to follow experts in their area., for instance, Ken Robertson.

Andrew Maloney, MD, Student Services Australia (private)

  • A large number of students are on http://www.studentservices.com.au/ . Runs a range of accommodation, textbook services etc,
  • Runs a large National Student Survey with fascinating data [get a copy of these slides!!] For instance, 87% of traffic to studentservices website is off an iOS device.
  • Near Field Communication – communication between mobile devices and .
  • Chinese students do not use Facebook (or admit it) because it is not approved by Government (fear).
  • Lots of work on mapping campuses, adding detailed info and social component.
  • When unis launch apps on appstore and students don’t like, the feedback is unreserved.

Alwyn Collison, Creator, @RealTimeWWII, United Kingdom

  • Uses Twitter to teach WWII. Makes a post of WWII events on Twitter, posts 10-30 posts a day, with facts and figures. Around 250000 followers. Posts photos etc.
  • [Me: Interesting idea would be to get students to do it, and to accelerate the timeline to one month = one day, giving students a separate area to cover, either location based, or domain based  such as equipment, battles, politics, logistics, socio-economic etc.].
  • Can add such a personal touch – followers creating profiles
  • Uses retweets as a metric to gauge the quality of posts – avoids repeating or becoming dull
  • Provides sense of being there because it unfolds in real-time – encourages students to drill down into events.
  • Four principles to develop a community: i) have an elevator pitch, ii) be endlessly fascinating, iii) be remixable, iv) create investment (potentially emotional)
  • What your followers can do for you: provide publicity, crowd sourcing, researching, innovations, processing, funding, feedback

Peter Black, Senior Lecturer, QUT

  • Used http://app.gosoapbox.com, with accesscode smhe to facilitate discussion
  • Tumbler allows Q&A
  • [Me: education is a competitive environment, we need to make it rewarding]

Professor Tod Walker, DVC Learning and Quality (University of Ballarat)

  • Steven Schwartz is actually Australia’s most active VC twitterer.
  • Presentation provided a list of Social Media analytic tools, including Klut, Postrank, Twentyfeet, Peerindex

About matthewbower

Associate Professor at Macquarie University.
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