Student identities in transition: understanding social media use

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract / Description of output

The University of Edinburgh launched a cross-University Digital Footprint campaign in 2014-2015 in order to address a digital skills gap. The campaign was managed by the Institute for Academic Development in collaboration with other support services (EDINA, Information Services, Careers Service, EUSA, & SIPs) and targeted all students, ~33,000 (undergraduates, postgraduates, online distance learners, and PhD researchers), in order to raise awareness about managing a digital footprint and curating an effective online presence. Simultaneously, a funded research project aimed to better understand what social media students were using, what experiences they encountered online, and how the University could better support them at different transitional stages (entering university, during, and exiting). Three surveys were issued (~11,000 pa). The responses in 2014 (n=587), 2015 (n=870), and 2016 (n=578), alongside interviews (n=15) with six students has provided a greater understanding of this complex and often contextualised topic. The research findings provide a greater understanding of students’ use of social media, which is important if higher education institutions are to effectively support students to manage their online presence (digital footprint) in relation to individual choices, privacy management, employment opportunities, or where social media is used in the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventGearing Up Conference - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Mar 20179 Mar 2017


ConferenceGearing Up Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • social media
  • digital footprint
  • Students


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