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ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY Abbey Soldner, Jen Johnson, Lauren Krznarich & Kaelyn Friese StudentAffairs.com 2012 Case Study Competition Social Media in Higher Education: An In-Depth #MiddleCollege
Welcome! Welcome, Middle College Social Media Committee Members! Our mission today is to educate you on the cutting edge and effective uses of social media in higher education, as well as possible concerns, and suggestions for implementing a social media policy at our college. Today’s Agenda: Defining Social Media Pervasiveness of Social Media Utilizing Social Media in Higher Education Applying Theories of Student Development to Social Media: Kolb & Chickering Concerns Regarding Social Media How-To’s for Creating and Implementing a Social Media Policy on Campus
Socialized to Social Media Defining the Medium: “Social Media is a 21 st century term used to broadly define a variety of network tools or technologies that emphasize the social aspects of the internet as a channel for communication, collaboration, and creative expression, and is often interchangeable with the terms Web 2.0 and social software” (Dabbah & Kitsantas, 2012, p. 3). “Social media are a collection of websites, services, and activities that engage users through collaboration, sharing, and democratization of roles and responsibilities. They encompass a major shift in focus from the first iteration of the Web because they allow for increased participation, connection, and interactivity” (Junco & Chickering, 2010, p. 12).
Social Media At-Large Image obtained from
Pervasiveness of Social Media 93 % of adult Internet users in the United States are on Facebook. One out of every eight minutes of time spent online is now spent on Facebook. The average Facebook user now logs between 11 and 17 hours per month. There are 70 million WordPress blogs worldwide. There are 39 million Tumblr blogs worldwide. 4 out of 5 internet users visit social networks and blogs. Statistics obtained from Meloy, 2011, p. 16
Pervasiveness of Social Media On average in one year, each person will share 415 pieces of content on Facebook, will spend about 23 minutes a day on Twitter, tweeting a total of 15,795 tweets, will check in 563 times on Foursquare, upload 196 hours of video on YouTube, and send countless s. Social networking is still the fastest-growing active social media behavior online, increasing from 36% of global Internet users to 59% managing their profile on a monthly basis in There are now over 2.8 billion social media profiles, representing around half of all internet users worldwide. Statistics obtained from
Image obtained from
Why Social Media? As seen in the previous slides, social media is exponentially growing at a rapid rate—in fact, Facebook is the world’s most populated “country”. Our students have already invaded the world of social media, it is time for us to jump on board! This will allow us to fully engage and connect with our students at Middle College. Image obtained from
Utilizing Social Media in Higher Education In order to be purposeful and intentional in implementing social media at Middle College, it is essential to use student development theory as our guide. Kolb and Chickering are two theories which offer insights that are beneficial in the integration of social media in higher education. Now a brief overview of what these two theories encompass and their relationships with social media.
Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning David Kolb examined the different learning styles used by college students and ways for educators to enhance development through challenge and support (Evans et al., 2010). Through research, Kolb identified a four-step cycle of learning: Concrete Experience Reflective Observation Abstract Conceptualization Active Experimentation
Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning Kolb defined learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38, as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 139) Concrete experience Full and unbiased involvement in learning experiences Learning from specific experiences and relating to people Reflective observation Contemplation of one’s experiences from various perspectives Observing before making judgments by viewing the environment from different perspectives Abstract conceptualization Idea formulation and integration Logical analysis of ideas and acting on intellectual understanding of a situation Active experimentation Incorporation of new ideas into action Ability to get things done by influencing people and events through action
Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning Through the cycle of learning, Kolb identified four learning styles (Kolb, 1984, as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 140): Accommodator Action oriented, at ease with people, trial and error problem solving Strengths in carrying out plans, openness to new experiences, and adapting to change Diverger People and feeling oriented Strengths in imaginative ability, awareness of meaning and values, and generating and analyzing alternatives Converger Prefers technical tasks over social/interpersonal settings Strengths in problem solving, decision making, and practical application Assimilator Emphasizes ideas rather than people Strengths in inductive reasoning, creating theoretical models, and integrating observations Concrete Experience Feeling Active Experimentation Doing Abstract Conceptualization Thinking Reflective Observation Watching Image obtained from Kolb, 1984, as cited in Evans et al., 2010, p. 140
Applying Kolb’s Model & Social Media Kolb’s theory of learning combined with social media presents many opportunities for student development, specifically the themes of: Experiential/Interactive Learning-Using the world as a classroom through making meaning of direct experiences to enhance what students learn in textbooks (Rinaldo, Tapp, & Laverie, 2011). Self-Regulated/Personal Learning Environments-A pedagogical approach that utilizes both formal and informal learning (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2011). Learning-by-doing is considered the most effective approach to learning. Emerging social media technologies make it possible to offer students authentic learning experiences ranging from experimentation to real-world problem solving.
Applying Kolb’s Model & Social Media Social media can take students to higher cognitive processing levels via social interactions both in and out of the classroom. Applying Kolb’s Model to demonstrate how blogs can enhance students career goals: Kolb’s model incorporates experiential learning. Using the world as a classroom provides students with first-hand experiences that are applicable to life. Incorporating a blog into a course provides an avenue for students to reflect on direct experiences in an environment where students can share responses and opinions regarding their shared experiences (Moody, 2010).
Applying Kolb’s Model & Social Media Applying Kolb’s Model to demonstrate how instructors can incorporate social media into the classroom to incorporate different learning styles: Kolb’s model lists four learning styles. Incorporating short video clips to break up class lectures can appeal to divergers and assimilators. Having students apply learning through discussion posts or PowerPoints provides convergers and accommodators time for application and reflection, as well as preparing students for future jobs. (Moody, 2010) Applying Kolb’s Model to demonstrate Twitter’s role in student involvement: Kolb’s model involves interaction between the person and the environment to generate learning. Twitter can be used to generate interaction in an online course or used to supplement a face-to-face course (Rinaldo, Tapp, & Laverie, 2011).
Applying Kolb’s Model & Social Media Implementing Kolb’s Model incorporates both interactive learning for students to take charge of the learning process, as well as accommodating different learning styles (Rinaldo, Tapp, & Laverie, 2011). Concrete Experience Professor at Middle College introduces a topic in class. Students can think about the topic and see examples—graphs, charts, and direct modeling; then they are able to experience the concrete and tangible. (Evans et al., 2010) Reflective Observation Class discussion to generate multiple perspectives and ideas. Students can look into other sources of information for increased understanding. (Evans et al., 2010)
Applying Kolb’s Model & Social Media Abstract Conceptualization Students use a form of social media to interact with peers and the course instructor to form their own ideas about the topic. This will provide students a chance to create their own learning environments. Students can tweet responses including different articles or information to demonstrate understanding; then apply what they have learned to their own experiences. (Evans et al., 2010) Active Experimentation Students actively incorporate learning into their everyday life through direct experiences. (Evans et al., 2010)
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development Arthur Chickering’s theory details seven vectors of development that are related to identity formation. Students experience the vectors throughout their college experience in multiple situations and contexts. The seven vectors are: 1.Developing Competence6. Developing Purpose 2.Managing Emotions7. Developing Integrity 3.Moving through Autonomy Toward Interdependence 4.Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships 5.Establishing Identity The vectors are not considered to occur in a linear fashion. They are cyclical in nature and students will often cycle through the different vectors multiple times and also will likely experience multiple vectors at the same time. (Evans et al., 2010)
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 1, Developing Competence: Acquiring and enhancing intellectual, physical and manual skill, and interpersonal competence Social media can help ease the transition and increase connection to the college by students supporting each other through information exchange and collaborative learning. Students are able to create connections before coming to college and sustain connections once they are on campus. (DeAndrea et al., 2012; Stoller, 2011; Woodley & Meredith, 2011) Middle College could implement a university Facebook group or fan page for new and current students. Students can use this platform to create connections with each other before coming to the college and engage one another by asking questions and receiving feedback from each other. The opportunity for student engagement without even stepping foot on campus brings new opportunities for commuting, out-of-state, and international students, both before beginning their college career and after they have arrived.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 2, Managing Emotions: Ability to recognize, accept, and appropriately respond to emotions The interactions that students engage in via social media allows them to find other sources of information and assists them in responding appropriately to their peers. Students are also able to give each other feedback based on responses they have received. This exchange will allow students to grow in how they give and receive feedback and interact with each other. (DeAndrea et al., 2012; Woodley & Meredith, 2011) Through the Facebook page, students can take an active approach to their education by seeking answers to their questions and answering each others questions. Students will learn how to effectively give and receive feedback, especially when needing to learn how to communicate with those with differing viewpoints.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 3, Moving Through Autonomy Toward Interdependence: Learning to function with relative self- sufficiency; requiring both independence and recognition of interdependence on others Students are already using social media. They are different from learners in the past in that they take an active approach to what they do and are considered active learners that expect to be connected and instantaneously receive information at all times (Beja, 2009; Ratliff, 2011; Sabado, Gallardo, & Lubach, 2011). Connecting with students at Middle College through Facebook meets them where they are already at developmentally. Our students are active learners and expect to be connected and receive information instantaneously at all times. By meeting our students where they are, we have the opportunity to help them grow and develop from that point forward.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 4, Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships: Includes both recognizing and appreciating commonalities and differences of others Engaging with other members of the university community through social media will allow students to interact with many different people and begin to develop effective ways of interacting with people that are different from them (DeAndrea et al., 2012). Facebook is essentially about building relationships with those around you. Beginning to engage with many different students, including students that have differing viewpoints, will help students start the process of building mature relationships. The ability to interact and communicate effectively with those that are different from yourself is essential in today’s world and having the experience of connecting via Facebook is one step that can aid in that process.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 5, Establishing Identity: Comfort with oneself in all aspects of identity including appearance, self- concept, gender, sexual orientation, social/cultural heritage, and lifestyle roles. By having the opportunity to interact with others and to express their understanding of the world through social media, students are able to figure out who they are and what is important to them in various aspects of their life (Woodley & Meredith, 2011). Facebook is a place where you could express yourself in any way that you choose. Our students can begin to figure out what is important to them and how they want to express themselves through their interactions with their peers and the college on Facebook.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 6, Developing Purpose: Establishing meaningful life commitments, interests, relationships, and goals Similar to establishing identity, the interactions between members of the university community via social media can help students discover and solidify their understanding of what they want in life and what is important to them (Woodley & Meredith, 2011). Students at Middle College would have the opportunity through a Facebook page to enhance and solidify their goals in life and how they choose to express that to the world. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is essential for being successful in both personal and professional aspects of life.
Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development & Social Media Vector 7, Developing Integrity: Creating congruence between personal values and commitments Social media can help students figure out who they are inside and outside of the classroom, and how to bring those two aspects together. The ability to be congruent in their actions online and face-to-face will enhance their understanding of themselves. (Woodley & Meredith, 2011) Facebook allows you to present yourself in any way that you choose. Presenting yourself in a consistent manner both online and face-to- face means that you have a clear understanding of your ideals and goals. Students from Middle College should be able to develop this consistency through their college experience and establishing who they are.
Applying Chickering’s Model & Social Media Using Chickering’s Theory of Development with social media provides many opportunities for student development including the themes of: Peer to Peer Learning Interactive Learning Student Engagement Social media can influence students and their experiences with the entire university community. Using social media can help students feel more connected and impact their views of their overall college experience (Chen, Lambert, & Guidry, 2010). Engaging through social media often leads to an increased use of other services, programs, and activities at the university later on (Olson & Martin, 2010). Middle College has the opportunity to use online and face-to-face ways of connecting together in order to engage students in a more effective manner (Ratliff, 2011).
Concerns Regarding Social Media While social media offers many effective and exciting ways to engage students, there are of course concerns regarding the medium. After reviewing recent literature, below are common concerns regarding social media use: Cyberbullying & Online Harassment Communication Barriers & Misunderstandings Privacy Issues Academic & Personal Development Quality of Information
Concerns Regarding Social Media Cyberbullying & Online Harassment While social media has expanded the potential for human interaction, it is not always positive. Cyberbullying is defined as “repeatedly misusing technology to intimidate, harass, terrorize, or bully others” (Franek, 2006, as cited in Accordino & Accordino, 2011, p. 15). The consequences of cyberbullying can be dire. Social media allows for some anonymity or at least a less threatening form of confrontation; therefore students are more likely to engage in cyberbullying and/or harassment than they would in a face-to-face environment (Junco & Chickering, 2010). 32% of online teenagers have experienced cyberbullying (Pew Internet & American Life Survey, as cited in Junco & Chickering, 2010). If bullying is sexual in nature, there is even the possibility of the student having to register as a sex offender (Cyberbullying Statistics).
Communication Barriers & Misunderstandings Through online communication, it is often difficult to identify the tone of the sender/receiver and nonverbal behavior is not visible. This often leads to misunderstandings and escalates situations that may have otherwise been avoidable. (Junco & Chickering, 2010) In fact, a Pew-Family Online study revealed that: 25% of teens have had a face-to-face argument/confrontation that originally stemmed from a social media exchange. 22% of teens claimed to have ended a friendship due to social media. Concerns Regarding Social Media Statistics obtained from civility-on-social-media-sites.ece
Concerns Regarding Social Media Privacy Issues Often college students assume that their activity and images on social media sites are “private”, but this is simply not the case. Social media sites have elaborate service agreements (often unread by users) that disclose the true level of privacy offered (Junco & Chickering, 2010). If something is posted on a site, it will not be leaving the internet anytime soon. A major concern regarding content uploaded on social media sites, is the effect it will have on future employment of students. Middle College prides itself on our job placement rate, so teaching our students how to effectively manage their information on social media sites (and potentially use it to their advantage) is imperative. According to CareerBuilder.com, 45% of employers check out social media profiles of potential candidates (as cited in Junco & Chickering, 2010).
Concerns Regarding Social Media Academic & Personal Development Studies have shown a “negative association between academic outcomes, such as GPA, and the use of electronic media” (Jacobsen & Forste, 2011, p. 275). Students may spend their spare or leisure time engaging in electronic media use as opposed to interacting with friends face-to-face; this has led to negative social outcomes for some students (Jacobsen & Forste, 2011). Students often form assumptions of their peers based on the information posted on social media sites; this leads to students forming inaccurate social norms. A student may feel pressure to engage in higher risk behaviors based on what they see on social media sites. (Chia & Gunther, 2006) For example, a student notices that many of the photos on a social media site are of students drinking and partying; the student then assumes this is the norm on their campus, even though that may not be the case. Stereotypes are also more likely to be projected when using electronic forms of communication due to the ambiguity and anonymity of the medium (Junco & Chickering, 2010).
Concerns Regarding Social Media Quality of Information There is a world of information at our fingertips and it is available in an instant. However, the quality of information found online varies greatly. An enormous amount of information can be obtained in seconds, but learning how to “sift through the findings and differentiate between legitimate and bogus” information is the true challenge our students face (Junco & Chickering, 2010, p. 17). It is essential that our students learn to think critically, and are skilled at analyzing and evaluating the information they find online.
Short How-To’s for Creating a Social Media Policy After discussing the risks and benefits of social media use, the following slides offer suggestions for creating and implementing the Middle College Social Media Policy. Step 1: Create a taskforce. The taskforce should be comprised of students, staff, faculty, student affairs professionals, and administrators who are relatively technologically savvy and engage in social media regularly. (Junco, 2011) Step 2: Taskforce given a formal charge from the college. (Junco, 2011) Middle College luckily has already been given this charge from our president. We must examine and implement the following: Creation of a website where current students can learn not only about the benefits of using social media in the curriculum and co-curriculum, but also the challenges. Information regarding the potential consequences of posting social or unprofessional comments and images. Creation of a set of guidelines and consequences for our students regarding social media use.
Short How-To’s for Creating a Social Media Policy Step 3: Detailed meeting minutes. Our minutes should be posted in accessible locations to students, faculty, and staff to allow for a transparent process. We should be open to feedback and contributions from people across campus. (Junco, 2011) Step 4: A finalized concise, all-encompassing, accessible, and understandable policy. This needs to reflect that social media can be beneficial for student development. By having a clear policy, students will be provided with freedom to explore their online identity, while also understanding the expectations of their participation in online communities. (Junco, 2011)
Social Media Policy Content The content of our social media policy should include the following: Demonstrate that we care about the development of our students and their experiences with social media in college. Review other policies currently in place at our college that may also apply to the social media policy. Recognize that social media interactions can play an important role in a student’s development. Describe privacy limitations and how to protect oneself online. Explicitly state what we deem unacceptable and accpetable behaviors in terms of social media use and the consequences for inappropriate use. Notify students of the resources available at our campus to assist in handling miscommunications online and conflicts that may arise. Emphasize that this policy is not only intended for students, but for staff and faculty as they model this behavior to our students. (Junco, 2011)
Educating Students on Social Media Use There are several ways to go about educating our campus community, specifically students, on the appropriate use of social media. Have students complete an online education component regarding the social media policy on our campus and acceptable usage. This can be done prior to attending campus or even once they have arrived. This educational component could provide examples of the dangers/concerns over social media use and examples of how to use social media effectively. Incorporate social media use into first-year seminar courses. Social media could be a “themed” first-year seminar course or at least should be incorporated into all first-year courses. Here social media can be used positively and also educate students on the dangers.
Educating Students on Social Media Use Collaborate with Career Services to educate our students on how social media impacts employment. Students can be taught how to “clean-up” their social media pages/sites, so they provide a professional image to employers. Privacy issues can also be discussed, as well as how to use social media to their advantage in the job search/employment process. Collaborate with Residential Life to educate students (and staff) on how to handle conflicts that have started and/or escalated due to social media. Not only could conflict resolution be discussed, but also how to prevent it from occurring. Students should be made aware of the lack of context available when communicating online that often leads to misunderstandings.
Are You On-Board? This ends our educational session for today. Hopefully you agree that it is time for Middle College to jump on the social media bandwagon! Image obtained from Thank You!
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