Please include your name along with your contribution to the wiki.

1.) What are the costs associated with implementing the use of social media for faculty, staff, and students?

Mary Stevens Brigham Young University . . . There are monetary costs in terms of training and recording equipment, computer infrastructure, etc. We employ tutors to act as facilitators for discussion boards and forums with our K-12 learners, so that is an expense. Increasingly we are feeling the pain of NOT having social media available where students or teachers expect/want them. How do we manage safety and privacy concerns in a distributed learning environment?

Jason Thompson - University of Guelph: I believe there is also a personal cost to all involved. Time and commitment to use any introduced social media. In addition, what about the cost of supporting 3rd party software issues with an internal limited staff/budget. Change is something not all of us embrace, there will likely be a need for some Change Management/Leadership as we go forward with introduction of "required" new technologies.

2.) How do we teach students and faculty to use social media appropriately?

Mary Stevens Brigham Young University . . We do post behavioral expectations when social media is a part of a course, which we can then refer back to if there is a need to correct a student. We train our tutor/mentors on these expectations as well so that we are all on the same page and creating a consistent environment for students as they move through various courses.

Jason Thompson - University of Guelph: All I got is the provision of Best Practices and/or Recommended Practices. Pre and Post surveys would provide some benchmarking and movement forward with our learning about effective use of social media in academia.

3.) What concerns should we have about privacy in our use of social media?

Mary Stevens Brigham Young University . .With the university students we are concerned about requiring any student to register for a social networking site. It's one thing if the student is already enrolled in and participating in some sort of social networking, but for a student who has not/does not wish to enroll, do we create a completely different learning experience for them? With high school students we are very concerned about pushing a student into a public environment which might place them at risk.

Jason Thompson - University of Guelph: Search-ability is one concern I see. We have several members of our community that request to have their personal info, email etc. excluded from the campus directory...for what ever reason they have. Use of external social media tools could compromise this privacy measure. Embedding of media may eliminate this in some situations - to maintain the password protected environment and LDAP database query.

4.) How do we evaluate the impact of social media?

Mary Stevens Brigham Young University . Some of the designer/instructors introducing new media into their courses are using PollDaddy to gather information about how students feel about the specific activities which may require social media participation within a course. We are also looking at completion rates and student satisfaction surveys to see if the use of social media in a course has any impact on these factors generally. The jury is still out.

Jason Thompson - University of Guelph: To echo Mary Stevens' input Pre and Post feedback surveys would provide some benchmarking and movement forward with our learning about effective use of social media in academia.

In order to evaluate the impact that social media has, there needs to be a combination of assessment methods such as:
  • Data mining and text mining technologies to determine participation (quantitative)
  • Survey to determine acceptance and attitudes (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Outcomes assessment to determine if the skills were learned (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Changes in standard metrics such as pass/fail rates and retention rates
  • Comparing participation and outcomes with courses/programs not using social media
  • Archive of evidence from student participation

5.) What are some best practices in using social media?

Mary Stevens Brigham Young University . That is one of the things I am here to learn. :-)

Jason Thompson - University of Guelph: I don't have an answer for this one either...but I am eager to keep learning about it. I think keeping up with sessions like this, reading related blogs, journal articles, related online articles like all help to build our own best practices. On very important method I am just starting to embark on is growing Twitter network (LinkedIn, FB -- Insert the social networking tool of your choice) - that's how I learned about this session - while sitting at my desk in Guelph, ON Canada...People help people, social media just allows us to communicate differently ;-)

Team 5: John, Johan, Robert, Deanna
  • make an honest effort, commit to it and don't expect success immediately
  • there is no one right way - let it evolve
    • no 1 best media, strategy, product
  • choose something you like and use it before you implement it
  • understand that it is unpredictable
  • embrace the unintended results
  • use social media as a barometer for how things are going in class and go with it
  • set ground rules but be willing to adjust them