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As young people migrate their identities, social networks and the search for information online, so too must those who wish to communicate with them. Tertiary institutes are one such group heading online to get social with students.
Recently, a team of researchers sought to discern best practices by universities seeking to connect with students through social media. The aim was to identify how a university could best make use of online social media to engage with students.
To do this, a survey was used to collect information about student preferences, tendencies and experiences with social media. The collected data was then examined against gender, course of study, stage of study and participation levels in certain university activities.
Findings included the following:
It is interesting to note that students are much more likely to learn about new courses communicated within social media when that communication comes directly from the instructor. Fuller and Pittarese suggest the following strategies to effectively engage students through social media platforms:
While these findings are limited to self-reported information, the growth and significant impact of social media is undeniable. Insight into youth attitudes, intentions and preferences for technology adoption for study illuminates the current flowing beneath what may otherwise appear still waters.
Effectively Communicating with University Students Using Social Media: A Study of Social media Usage Patterns, 2012, Fuller, M. & Pittarese, T., Proceedings of the 2012 ASCUE Summer Conference, 45th Annual Conference, pp. 46-58