Dissertation, Social Media

Policing Social Media in Higher Ed: Implementing Policies on Campus

During the course of my dissertation research, a few events connected to the scope of my study, and directly to the social media documents I was gathering.  I ended up building a database of 250 post-secondary education (PSE) institutional guidelines and policies to completely understand HOW the PSE sector is ACTUALLY  “guiding” social media. More importantly my research uncovers the organizational identity and cultural values of social media among 10 different countries. {More to be shared post dissertation defense June 12, 2014.}

If you are interested in either research around policies and/or social media impact to organizations, specifically post-secondary education, then you most likely heard about the Kansas Board of Regents approval to amend their policy manual back in December 2013 to outline “improper use of social media by University of Kansas faculty.” If not, I have an article and infographic of the timeline of events for you:

KBOR Policies

Image and article credits from The Daily University Kansan ().

Concerns about social media use have been a continual debate and topic for higher education for at least a decade. There have been challenges to using social media accounts for “official” use, faculty blogging, HR employee regulations, or just a general “need” for increased policy implementation among a number of colleges and universities.  The PSE sector is not alone. The K-12 sector and other industries also are keen to social media polices around use and sharing for their stakeholders.

All THAT being said, I have a few questions for you:

  • HOW does (or will) a social media policy influence and impact your institutional culture?
  • Does (or will) your social media policy support your student services or research at your organization?
  • What goals and outcomes do you (or will you) achieve by implementing a social media policy on campus?
  • Does your (or will your) policy consider helpful guidelines, suggested practices, and/or training and development?
  • How does (or will) your social media policy be implemented with regards to teaching, service, and research scholarship?

Or is your PSE concerned with communication control and organizational management?  I would hope your institution of higher learning does not limit user interaction, community engagement, or general opportunities to share opinions.

From my dissertation findings, I hope to continue on this thread of research to identify ACTUAL use, related to the social media guideline and policy documents I have studied, to further understand how participation and interactions on these social media channels influence organizational identity and culture on campus. Is your campus listed in my PSE institution sample? Are YOU interested is getting involved in this type of research? Let me know.

Training & Development

Social Media to Support Your Organization

Last week I was invited to participate in the Southlake Chamber of Commerce’s UNT Professional Develop Fridays. I wrapped up the series by discussing how to effectively plan and organize social media resources for to build a community for businesses and organizations in the city.

This workshop focussed on strategies and practical applications of how social media platforms can be utilized to enhance organizations, with regards to:

  • Effective communication and marketing methods
  • Customer engagement and community development
  • Development of a communication strategy to support organizational goals
  • Implementation of social media tools to enhance goods & services

We discussed how their organizations in Southlake could “get social” (Twitter notes from the session: #SocialSouthlake) by connecting business strategies to broader communication plans and community management ideas.

Discussion points from this workshop included:

  • Be an active participant in social media platforms – explore before you plan
  • Set goals that are realistic with social media – pick 1-3 platforms to start with and use them well.
  • Map out a strategic plan for social media implementation (see worksheet) connected with your business plan.
  • Research your community and partners in the industry – get to know your audience and others participating in your potential community
  • Consider methods that build and growth your community offline and online
  • Designate a community manager, or a few to lead your development and planning
  • Identify champions from your community, i.e. individuals who are active participants from within the community, who will support your social media implementation and growth
  • Plan content directly connected to your purpose and mission
  • Effective methods to measure and track progress related to goals

 

Additional resources from this session can be found here: http://bit.ly/SocialSouthlake

Thanks for the invite @Southlake_CC … be sure to keep it social. 🙂

#phdchat, Reflections

So You’re Thinking About a PhD…

In talking to my exploring major students on campus and other professionals in the field — I often share about my Ph.D. experience and talk about what it means to be a doctoral researcher.  Often I am asked about my Ph.D. program, my line of research, and how “I like it.” I often say I’m too close to it to really give advice, but I’m happy to talk about my experience and answer questions as I can or refer to others.

phd
Last fall at the #nacada13 conference in Salt Lake City, UT, I was part of a doctoral researcher panel on this topic: 
How To Hack Your Ph.D.: Being a Doctoral Student & Academic Advisor and a few #HackPhD Notes on Storify

It was a full house. Not surprised. There has been a growing interest among colleagues interested in pursuing a Ph.D. I am often asked about my Ph.D. research, progress, and if others should get into the same program or even start a Ph.D. To be honest, I am not sure I have the answers to these questions. I am too near the subject right now…

I’ve read a great number of books on the topic of graduate work, Ph.D. survival, writing, publishing, research, and more – but really, it was for my own inquiry and nerdy interest.  Like any good academic/career counselor, I usually ask those interested in a Ph.D. about their own motivations and rationale for the interest in doctoral research.

So you’re thinking about a Ph.D.? I have 10 questions AND prompts for you! I am not sure it will help — but I thought I might as well put these “you wanna pursue a Ph.D.” questions out there others who are considering the Ph.D. track. Take these questions with you as you ponder your Ph.D. goals, research potential graduate programs, apply to potential programs, and, even, start your first semester of your doctorate program:

  • What career goals do you have? List both your short-term and long-term goals in a statement. Write them out, read, and reflect.
  • How does your current work experience (resume/CV) relate to your career goals and interest in a Ph.D. program? Reflect on your relevant experience.
  • How your master’s degree or other educational credentials relate to and support your career goals? Describe your academic experience and background.
  • If you were going to seek out letters of recommendation for your Ph.D. program, who would write your letters of recommendation? Why? What might they say about you? List at least three individuals who would be your academic reference, and consider what they might say about your application to a scholarly program.
  • Do you have any scholarly or peer-reviewed writing samples? If so, please consider how they might be submitted and reviewed by a potential Ph.D. program. If not, what articles or journals interest you in your area. Research!
  • What is your research interest? Often you will have to complete a “Statement of Research Interest” so explain the areas or topics you want to study. If applicable, also consider for research:
      • Any specific theories or models of interest?
      • What seminal work in the field have you read?
      • What will you use to guide your research focus? Authors? Disciplines?
      • What is your preferred research methodology?
      • What is your research methods “worldview”?
  • What will you contribute to the doctoral research and your Ph.D. program? Explain the unique knowledge and skills you will bring into a doctoral program as a potential student
  • What will you contribute to the doctoral research and your Ph.D. program? Explain the unique knowledge and skills you will bring into a doctoral program as a potential student.
  • Where do you want to study? This question is for both geographic location and specific discipline home (e.g. education, sociology, economics, etc.).
  • How will your basic needs be met? Financial, emotional, and social support. It is important to think about your budget, personal relationships, professional objectives, and more when plotting for doctoral work. This will be a few years of your life — so be sure this how you want to spend it. Have this discussion with family, partners, and friends in advance. Be informed about scholarships and funding costs.
  • When is the right time? I doubt this ever has a great answer – but you need to determine this for you after answering the above questions. Decide if the Ph.D. route is right for you, and then if the timing is right or can be right. You can always make it work if you want it. [p.s. Did I say you should WANT to do a Ph.D.? That’s the only way to finish.]
Bonus Question: Who will mentor you through your Ph.D. progress? Faculty advisors at your campus will be great, but who else will you consider as part of your doctoral experience. Peers? Colleagues? Researchers in the field? Scholars, you admire/read?Doctoral candidates and early career researchers? Build your Ph.D. learning network NOW.