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.

Dissertation, PhD, Social Media

Your Higher Ed Website + Search: “Social Media Guidelines” or “Social Media Policy” = A Database for My Dissertation Research

Yes. I know that this may be my  LONGEST blog post title ever. I created it for one reason. It is the equation which will help me move my research forward for my dissertation.

featuredimages_socialmedia

You may recall a previous request for this from an earlier blog post: Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from #HigherEd. So, basically what I’m saying is…

I NEED YOUR HELP! => Submit Your Social Media Guidance Please!

My dissertation research methodology (good ol’ Chapter 3) will involve text mining analysis for reviewing all these many social media guidelines (policies, strategies, beliefs, regulations, etc. included) I am gathering right now. The caveat for this type of research is –  I need to build a large enough database of documents to examine and evaluate. BONUS: After collecting all of these documents, I will share this Social Media Guidance database AND my research findings for you here: http://socialmediaguidance.wordpress.com/

As of today (4:30 pm CT), I have collected approximately 176 Social Media Guidance documents from 13 different countries. Hoo-ray!

Check to see if your institution is listed below, and if it is not – please SEARCH YOUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY WEBSITE to see if you might just happen to have social media guidelines, a policy, a directory, and/or anything that might be related to social media. Thank you!

Social Media

Do You Have Social Media Goals?

After participating in today’s Social Media Metrics in Government Using GSA Guidelines webinar hosted by Hootsuite, I began to think more about the WHY and HOW social media guidelines and policies develop. This session discussed how the government developed their guidelines around their GSA social media goals which were connected to their strategic communication plan and web presence.

Obviously this webinar had a focus on measurement and assessment for social media use using both free and paid tools, like Hootsuite; however it offered some sound advice to organizations that are just developing social media guidance or for those who are re-thinking their social media policy. Instead of starting with a policy, strategy, or guideline list of what to do or not do, it would be more helpful for institutions to think through the WHY of social media. This process provides organizations focus, sets out objectives, and creates a rationale for social media use and how these goals might be measured and assessed. For example, the GSA wanted to use social media and social data goals, included:

  • Be more effective in how they distribute critical information to citizens & communities
  • Engage citizens to help shape to public programs
  • Better inform strategies leading to greater efficiency
  • Increase use of innovative tools and services to further development

It is important to consider your institutional goals when organizing your social media guidance, here a few suggestions given from the webinar – but I am sure your organization has many others.

Internal Considerations:

  • Collaboration
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Cost saving & cost avoidance strategy
  • To be transparent
  • Talent acquisition

External Considerations:

  • Citizen engagement – Active use and participation (2-ways)
  • Promote services and resources
  • Provide customer service – feedback
  • Provide real-time resources – expand upon current communication channels

Here are a couple of examples shared from the GSA for their use of social media goals:

Example of Goals for Using Social Media in Government

Another reason to consider developing social media goals before establishing your guidelines is to consider how you will evaluate social media use for your organization. Social media management of your resources is critical. To help assess social media engagement and use it will be helpful to align your goals to evaluation as part of your strategic communication plan. Social media analytics and metrics through different 3rd party tools and social dashboards; however what will be relevant for your organization to track and use for assessment purposes. You want to connect your goals to your key performance indicators (KPI) and desired evidence-based outcomes.

Planning for Measurement

One example was the use of hashtags from the Twitter for Public  Health case study to outline a clear system for planning social media management. This public health group utilized a hashtag, #SM4PH, to build hype around the start of a regular, organized Twitter chat and to launch a hashtag for community development. Their goal was to measure the impact of the hashtag use, conversation, and community involvement before, during, and after this first chat to assess the long tail of this campaign.

Does your organization or institution have social media goals? How do these goals support your social media spaces? How do you assess and measure your social media goals? Let me know.

Reference:

Macey, B. (2013, November 14). Social media metrics in government: Using GSA Guidelines – Webinar. HootSource. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/social-metrics-gsa-guidelines/

UPDATE 11-19-13: If interested, this webinar is available for viewing on demand.

#AcWri, #phdchat, Book Review, LPQ, Social Media

Book Review: Social Media for Educators #summerreading

After reading, Social Media for Educators by Tanya Joosten (a.k.a. @tjoosten), I decided to complete an #AcWri book review in the Learning and Performance Quarterly 1(2). Since this journal is online and open access, I thought I would blog a few key ideas and highlights from this #summerreading book. Book Review: Social Media for Educators [PDF]

Abstract: Social Media for Educators is an excellent book that interweaves theory, applications, and current pedagogical experiences for learning environments. For those in the learning and performance industry, this book provides insights and ideas to help guide social media use for both educators and learners. Joosten provides current examples, benefits, and considerations throughout each chapter. Whether educators are beginning to design their learning curriculum or learners are considering social media for organizational development, this book presents helpful insights and experiences that will potentially influence and shape effective engagement and learning with social media.

Keywords: Social Media, Education, Strategies, Practices Although I have previously blogged about strategies for developing social media guidelines — I thought I’d share a few other suggestions for social media engagement from the book. Here are a few ideas, but really I would just recommend reading the book if you’re interested in social media for learning, training or development.

Part One: Background I appreciate how Tanya Joosten lays out the history and evolution of what we now know as social media. Social media is defined by a number of educators and summarized as “A virtual place where people share; everybody and anybody can share anything anywhere anytime” (Joosten, 2012, p. 6). Social media encompasses Web 2.0 tools, social networking sites, and user-generated content where individuals engage and contribute to these digital spaces. This section introduces readers to how social media is being used to build a network, establish support systems, and grow relationships among peers. There are a number of examples where professionals can “get their feet wet” for using social media for professional/personal use. Finally, this section wraps up with implementation considerations and identifying the following pedagogical needs (Joosten, 2012, p. 30):

  1. Increasing communication and contact
  2. Engaging students through rich, current media
  3. Gathering and providing feedback
  4. Creating cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities
  5. Providing experiential learning opportunities

Part Two: Social Media: What to Do With It? I enjoyed how this section of the book presented practical case studies and useful ideas for social media communication and instructional design. The examples and “how to” guides for using social media are very helpful when considering how to enhance the learning environment. Many of these examples are excellent models for various types of learning experiences (in class, online, blended, etc.) and training opportunities (professional associations, affiliations, etc.). As an instructor/student, I agree with Joosten’s thoughts on how social media helps facilitate peer instruction and greater interactions. I also agree that social media features and characteristics often provide a richer learning experience (Joosten, 2012, p. 54), including:

  1. Provides a virtual space for storing, archiving, and retrieving
  2. Facilitates rich and current information
  3. Increases the ability to aggregate resources to share
  4. Offers immediate access to information through mobile apps or through RSS feeds

Part Three: Other Considerations in Implementation The last section of this book deals issues that often accompany social media in education, including policy, administrative and IT support, cost, user-generated media, support for educators, training needs, effective evaluation practices, and challenges for implementation and use. The last few chapters guides educators on how to go forth and create their own social media instructional plan at their home institution. Dr. Joosten provides evaluation instruments, suggestions for establishing learning outcomes, and assessment ideas for using social media in education.

References

Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

Pasquini, L. A. (2012). Book review: Social media for educators. Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2); 83-84.

BreakDrink, CTCX, Higher Education, K-12, Learning Technologies, Social Media

#SocialMedia & #HigherEd – Policy vs. Guidance

Last week, I attended the free @EDUCAUSE #EDUlive Developing Social Media Guidance in higher education with respect to #Privacy and #Security concerns. The presenters, from the University of Pennsylvania, shared ideas for how to promote safe usage of social media and detailed how to  draft guidance for addressing issues in teaching, research, administrative, and other functions.

Click here for the Twitter Cloud interactive image =>  http://www.infomous.com/node/15059

If you missed the #EDUlive event, you can check out the webinar recording and archives posted on the EDUCAUSE website, Developing Social Media Guidanceand you can also read through the Storify of #EDUlive tweets I collected.

During the webinar, I shared the Social Media: Sharing Strategies, Policies &  Privacy Concerns in Higher Education open & shared Google Doc that was 1st created for a @BreakDrink Campus Tech Connection (CTCX) Show in September 2010. This document has been circulated around and curated for a while by myself and high ed professionals and faculty. Since there were a number of social media guidelines/policy examples shared during the webcast, I added  them to this doc. For others interested in developing guidelines, I think there are a few solid examples I like in here, and I know that @EricStoller shared some of his favourite #SM guidelines from the list on InsideHigherEd recently as well.

Before diving into creating rules, guidelines or policies for social media, it is important to consider how this emerging technology is being used on your campus. In Chapter 6 of Social Media for Educators, Tanya Joosten (2012) shares her thoughts around institutional considerations for social media policy and practice [which we chatted with Tanya about on #CTCX Episode No. 61 as well]. There are often concerns about the use of social media at educational institutions, since these social and  connected resources impact student behavior, online interactions, privacy concerns, and communication practices. When developing a social media policy, Joosten (2012) offers a few helpful suggestions for educators:

  • review current technology use at your institution
  • do not link policies to specific tools
  • revise current student conduct and institutional policies
  • use policy to address behaviors and activities, rather than focus on the technology
  • learn about FERPA (or FIPPA in Canada) issues and privacy of student information at your campus
  • develop best practices on campus for use by students, faculty, and support units

When thinking about the language of policy vs. guidelines, I am partial to establishing guidelines. There are probably already policies that address the actions and outcomes of student, staff, and/or faculty behavior on your campus. I think that it is important to review your home institutional policies and/or guidelines to best understand what is already being “regulated” on campus. It is also helpful to chat with your institutional office who deals with policy development, legal concerns, and/or questions you might have around privacy legislation.

Have you searched the terms “social media+policy” or “social media+guidelines” on your institutional website? Go on. See what shows up. If you find something, then start connecting and collaborating with that unit. If there is nothing to be found, then gather your peers and start the conversation.

References:
Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

BreakDrink, CTC, Higher Education, nacada10, SAchat, Social Media

Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs

Last night, the Break Drink Campus Tech podcasting crew decided to tackle the hot topic of Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs. During the Campus Tech #14 show, the three of us shared some thoughts and ideas that are currently being put into practice for many higher education institutions, and discussed how social media is impacting our university and college campuses.

Photo c/o http://www.policytool.net/

The hot topic included the following discussion points:

  • digital citizenship
  • education and awareness of Student Affair practitioners and students
  • the evolution of social media on campus
  • questions & concerns for best practices of social media in higher ed
  • examples of current social media policies & guidelines
  • resources for developing social media strategy for your campus

Image c/o The Advanced Human Technologies Group

Here are a few great resources to check out if you are designing your own social media strategy on campus:

In thinking about this grand topic, the Campus Tech posse realized that it was a daunting issue to tackle in a 60 minute podcast. The discussion about emerging technology and social media in higher education will not be over soon. To help continue the conversation and support best practices using social media, I initiated a digital archive of resources we hope other Student Affairs practitioners will contribute to:

Social Media Strategies in Student Affairs Google Doc

If your campus has a social media strategy or you have further resources for best practices, please share them in the above document. The Campus Tech show would love to know what you think about social media on campus, and we will be sure to talk about updates or comments we receive.

NEXT WEEK on the Campus Tech Podcast:  Speaking of Social Media in Higher Education….

Stay tuned for the show next Monday (8/4/10) at 7 pm CDT as we connect to the LIVE happenings of the 2010 NACADA Annual Conference for Academic Advising professionals. This year is the first year @NACADA has recruited a team to support social media and a backchannel for participants near & far.  Here’s the NACADA Social Media Guide & be sure to follow the hashtag #nacada10.