Social media

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • explore the digital footprint you leave online
  • explore different social media platforms and their uses.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • understand privacy concerns when using social media
  • use social media effectively to enhance learning and improve your online brand.

5. Social media for learning and teaching

Universities are embracing social media as a way to communicate with students during and outside of classes. Social media platforms in a study environment can help students feel part of the academic community. Students can use their own devices for active learning in the classroom or to engage with other students in real time.

You may find your course uses Facebook as a supporting means of communicating with fellow students and tutors. However, it is not an official channel of communication within UQ. Learn.UQ (Blackboard) is the learning management system for UQ, and is the official tool used by academics and university staff to communicate with students about courses.

Using Facebook for learning and teaching: a student’s perspective

When I was undertaking a second year course from the School of Psychology, the tutors got together and created a facebook group that was open to all the students enrolled in the course. By simply joining the group, I was able to ask any questions or clear any doubts through the comment feature. It was a great platform as the replies were almost instantaneous and were from both tutors and students. Through this method, peer to peer learning was also encouraged. Another great thing about this group was that the tutors chose to do live streaming which allowed students to ask any questions at the comfort and convenience of our own computers. The best part about this feature is that once the live stream had ended, the video was saved to the home page of the group. So even if I missed the live consults, I could still re-visit the videos at a later time.

Rheaa Manoharan, Bachelor of Psychological Science.

When you are using social media for learning make sure you think about what you are posting. Unwarranted criticism and relying on material that cannot be verified could be damaging. It may also be beneficial to check your privacy settings before engaging in these groups.

A positive example of a Facebook interaction.
A negative example of a Facebook interaction.

Pinterest for brainstorming

Pinterest allows its users to share ideas and good practice with one another in a visual way. Boards can be private or public. It is an excellent visual resource for brainstorming and collaborating with other students on projects and showcasing your work.

Screenshot: Pinterest stage set designs. Retrieved October 29, 2018.

Discussion boards

A discussion board is an online communication tool which allows its users to carry out discussions in a virtual environment. Get tips for contributing to online discussions or forums.

Personal Learning Network

A personal learning network (PLN) is a way to develop knowledge and skills as well as increasing your networking opportunities. Joining sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter will allow you to connect to professionals and keep up to date with what is happening in the areas or industries in which you are interested. You can learn more about PLNs in the Employability module.

Fake accounts and how to spot them

Many people use social media to access information such as scholarly research and news. Always evaluate the information you find through social media as some information may be inaccurate. The Information essentials module has a section on identifying fake news and social media.

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes

Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

Effective communication Effective communication

 Ethical and social understanding

Check your knowledge

Check what you know about this topic:

Take the quiz

Support at UQ

Access UQ services to assist you with personal or study-related issues.