Edinburgh Research Explorer

Student identities in transition: social media experiences, curation, and implications for higher education

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015
EventSocial Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference 2015 - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Dec 201518 Dec 2015

Conference

ConferenceSocial Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySheffield
Period18/12/1518/12/15

Abstract

Students are increasingly likely to use social media in a range of contexts, from socialising, informal peer support, and formal academic tasks to building complex networks of potential employers and contacts.

Research conducted as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Managing Your Digital Footprint research project, funded under the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme, has been investigating how students across the University use social media, how they manage and curate their online presence, and the extent to which they encounter both risks and opportunities.

Two surveys (n=587 and n=870) from across the student body (UG, PG, PhD) have provided a vivid picture of the student experience of managing their digital identities. Ethnographic tracing work (n=6) has explored students’ personal approaches and conceptualisation of their digital footprints in more depth.

In this paper we will discuss some of the relevant findings of the Managing Your Digital Footprint research around current student use of social media, approaches to managing their representation of self, and their experiences of both negative behaviours, and positive support and opportunities in these spaces. We will also discuss how social media is enabling peer support and fostering learning.

We will discuss how these current student practices have implications for the use of social media in teaching and learning contexts. In particular we will discuss policy, support and the role of student handbooks and skills needs that arise from the use of social media in formal teaching and learning contexts, as well as some of the challenges and risks associated with informal social media use in HE (e.g. Student Facebook Group).

This work will be presented with reference to the wider context, including professional bodies’ guidance, and the current support paradigm locally at University of Edinburgh (e.g. Your Digital Edge) and as captured in e.g. Jisc Digital Student case studies.

Event

Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference 2015

18/12/1518/12/15

Sheffield, United Kingdom

Event: Conference

ID: 26349384