Social Media conference and showcase

Social media showcaseThe first European Conference on Social Media (ECSM) is being held from 10-11 July 2014 at the University of Brighton; the ECSM is keen “to establish a platform where academic and professional approaches to this rapidly expanding field of online activity can learn and share”.

Prior to the ECSM, a Student Social Media Showcase (SSMS) is being held on 9 July 2014 as a pre-conference event, a forum within which “Students (undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral) will be showing short presentations of digital content describing their research done with or on social media”; further information on the SSMS is also available on YouTube.

Sandra Huskinson (Online Development Officer, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University) is ECSM 2014 Social Media Manager and you are welcome to contact her for further details.

Student Social Media Showcase (Brighton) call for contributions

social media showcase

The forthcoming European Conference on Social Media, which is taking place at the University of Brighton on July 9th, 2014, is seeking applications from students to showcase their research into social media. The conference website is located at, while the showcase website is at Further information is also available from Sandra Huskinson (Online Development Officer, School of Business and Economics) if Loughborough staff and/or students are interested in taking part.

Guide To Twitter coverConfused by Twitter? Do you look at the tweets in the right-hand column of this blog and think: “I don’t have a clue what that means”?

Over on the E-learning Blog, I posted recently a link to a guide to Twitter aimed at academics who have never previously tweeted, produced by Amy Mollett, Danielle Moran and Patrick Dunleavy of the LSE Public Policy Group. I thought it was worth posting here as well.

Using Twitter in University Research, Teaching and Impact Activities

This is full of sound, practical advice and is the best guide I’ve seen.

See also the social media guidelines produced by Marketing and Communications here at Loughborough.

Guide to Twitter for academics

LSE Guide To TwitterRecently a number of colleagues have asked whether there is a guide to Twitter aimed at academics who have never previously tweeted. Fortunately there is – an excellent introduction, produced by Amy Mollett, Danielle Moran and Patrick Dunleavy of the LSE Public Policy Group, and made available under a Creative Commons licence.

Using Twitter in University Research, Teaching and Impact Activities

This is full of sound, practical advice and is the best guide I’ve seen.

See also the social media guidelines produced by Marketing and Communications here at Loughborough.

Experimenting with Facebook in the Classroom

Faculty FocusMy Teaching Centre colleague Maurice Fitzgerald has featured Faculty Focus several times in posts over on the Teaching and Learning Blog. Based in the United States, Faculty Focus provides various free, as well as paid for, resources in the form of newsletters, downloadable reports, etc., regarding learning and teaching issues.

In the latest Faculty Focus article, Nisha Malhotra, a lecturer in economics at the University of British Columbia, talks about her positive experiences of using Facebook to support a research methods class. Read the full article here.

Here at Loughborough, the Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC) recently considered a document setting out a draft approach to the use of social media and other Web 2.0 services in teaching. The approach recommended (by my colleague Martin Hamilton, Head of Internet Services, and myself) was that the institution should support the use of such services in teaching where appropriate and with due consideration for the associated risks. What this means is that module tutors (and programme leaders) need to think carefully about the specific details of how they would like to use such services, and thus avoid negative outcomes relating to copyright, data protection, etc. LTC accepted this general approach which will now be formulated into a policy statement.

Colleagues should note that, where they are using other online services, Learn [our Moodle-based VLE] needs to remain the ‘online hub’ of every module.


Twitter-based voting in Powerpoint: update

If you’ve been using the SAP Twitter tools for Powerpoint, about which I blogged back in the autumn, you’ll be disappointed to here that because of a change to the Twitter service itself, they will soon stop working correctly, according to a newsflash on Timo Elliott’s website.

There are some alternatives you might like to consider. Of course, if you’re using the the tools together with Twitter as a way of getting students to ‘vote’ / answer questions in the classroom, you could use the Turning Point dedicated voting system instead.

Or if you were using Twitter to get informal, unstructured feedback from students, you could use a Twitter ‘visualisation’ service such as Twitterfontana. Here’s how one Loughborough colleague has been using Twitterfontana.

More on BoB and Twitter…

Marcus CollinsHistorian Dr Marcus Collins is another ‘early adopter’ of the BoB (Box of Broadcasts) service and, as with his colleague Prof Chris Szejnmann, he has been combining it with Twitter in the classroom. He comments:

I’m also a great fan of both BoB and Twitter. So far, I’ve been using both in just one module: a third-year seminar on the Beatles and the 1960s. I’ve used Twitter as a way of encouraging directed small-group discussions at various stages in the class, then using their Tweets in discussion within the whole group of 37 students. The students are initially bemused by the idea that Twitter has educational uses, but soon get into the swing of things and end up talking more in the seminars than they’d otherwise do. The only problem I’ve found is that not every small group tweets every time. […]

 As for BoB, I’m using it in a slightly different way from Chris. The first thing I’ve done is to show the Beatles’ students its riches as a research tool. They’re all writing papers comparing the Beatles and another musical act, and I’ve created playlists of documentaries and performances of the Beatles and their contemporaries for this purpose. Next semester, I’m considering asking each student in my class on twentieth-century Britain to pick a documentary and write an essay suggesting revisions on the basis of their reading of written secondary sources. I am open-mouthed at the extent of the archive and its ease of use.

 If you’re a member of staff at Loughborough, trying logging in to and searching for ‘Beatles’ and you’ll see what Marcus means. Remember that all the programmes and playlists that are displayed in the search results are material that can legitimately be shown in the classroom.

Use of Social Software: Request

Having recently conducted an audit of all modules on Learn, we are aware that some modules really do push the boat out and try out new things. If you are one of those who specifically make use of social software for instance wikis or Facebook within your module then a new JISC-funded project is looking to develop a handbook to disseminate the effectiveness of social software initiatives.

If you would like to share your findings and contribute to the project, please contact Dr. Shailey Minocha,




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Are you making the most of social media to support your students?

[News release from JISC Announce 16.8.2012]

Celebrating 10,000 followers… and our resources to help engage students through social media

To celebrate our ten thousandth Twitter follower, we showcase some resources that can help you blog, tweet and interact your way to better student retention, marketing and teaching online.

1.            Listen to a podcast on developing your social media strategy with Steph Gray of Helpful Technology


2.            Read JISC CETIS’ ideas about using Twitter in the classroom


3.            Learn  how Cardiff (@cardiffio), Northumbria (@NUSSW) and Bristol (@UoBristol_Intl) universities use Twitter to support international students

4.            Reflect on how your PhD students are using social media and other new technologies to collaborate and stay up to date using the biggest ever survey of PhD students


5.            Read the London School of Economics’ guide to Tweeting for academics


6.            Compare your university to other universities.

Find out which social media networks others are using on the UK Web Focus blog post <>

7.            Read a case study on engaging students through blogging


 While you’re keeping up to date online, don’t forget to follow us @JISC on Twitter.