Times Higher Education Article on ISC Work on Evidence of Metrics for Social Media Use in HEIs

The THE (Times Higher Education) Scholarly Web column on Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere highlights recent surveys of institutional use of social media which are aimed at helping to inform policy decisions on use of such services through gathering of evidence of take-up. The article describes how:

Mr Kelly took Facebook usage by Russell Group universities as his starting point for research to “gather evidence to support discussions on the relevance of use of Facebook in the higher education sector”. By tallying the number of “likes” a university’s Facebook page had attracted at different points in the past year, he found there had been a “significant growth” for Russell Group institutions.

and goes on to mention the caveats of over-simplistic interpretations of such metrics mentioned in the post which asked What Next, As Facebook Use in UK Universities Continues to Grow?:

“The ‘liking’ of a university may provide a bookmark which is not an indication of engagement with the institution,” he warns.

For instance, students who have left may not have “unliked” their institution despite graduating, so the figures could include those no longer using the university’s services.

A survey on institutional use of Facebook has been set up in order to gain a better understanding  of how Facebook is being used across the sector, beyond the provision of basic Facebook pages. As described in a post about the survey:

The survey is intended primarily for those working in institutional Web management or marketing teams in UK universities or FE colleges.  However we appreciate that universities around the world will have similar interests in the role of Facebook, together with concerns regarding the sustainability of the service, privacy issues and its relevance in supporting educational needs.

We therefore invite those with  responsibilities for managing social media services in the UK and beyond to complete this survey.

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