The SHU Social Media CoLab: developing a social media strategy through open dialogue and collaborative guidance

BECKINGHAM, Sue, PURVIS, Alison and RODGER, Helen (2014). The SHU Social Media CoLab: developing a social media strategy through open dialogue and collaborative guidance. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Social Media. Sonning, Wokingham, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited.

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This paper shares the strategy we have developed at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) to educate and guide staff and students in their use of social media. Students need to understand their responsibilities to themselves and the institution, to develop sustainable strategies for using social media 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 social media tools, and understand the impact that one can have on the other. Staff want to feel confident in the application of authentic social media learning activities. They need to see the value of social media 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. We discuss how we developed and are now implementing our strategy; how this features a strong emphasis on collaborative relationships across different areas of the institution; and our recognition that social media guidance is not the sole domain of any one team. It also considers the importance of digital literacy skills, and that care is needed in the management of sometimes conflicting priorities. 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. Our initial findings showed that we must address the constantly evolving nature of social media, and not consider guidance that we develop to be finite - there will always be more to do. In addition, we must acknowledge the significant overlap between personal and professional use of tools, since one might easily have implications for the other (positively or negatively), and people often draw on experiences for different contexts, or allow their future practice to be dictated by them. We will include how we have engaged staff and students to revisit their digital literacy skill set and develop new ways to connect, communicate, collaborate, create and curate. The enablers to achieve these outcomes include a rich collection of resources using different media, the development of a 'Social Media CoLab' and communities of practice exploring, using and evaluating their use of social media; and the support of the university to embed the use of these and other technologies to enhance the learning experience.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: University of Brighton 10-11 July 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: social media, digital literacy, social media CoLab, community of practice
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 20:07

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