Turned on, tuned in, but not dropped out: enhancing the student experience with popular social media platforms
A paper which contends that social media platforms should be embraced by Universities, as opposed to being regarded with fear or suspicion, as they offer an invaluable resource to not only enhance educational communications, but also to embed into day-to-day practice the reality that students are active co-producers of content, rather than passive information consumers which the majority of University-based Managed Learning Environments (MLEs) have, to date, been seen to promote. Social media platforms are an inherent part of any modern student’s life, and their associated apps, which provide the link between parent sites and a student’s mobile phone, tablet or laptop, create an unprecedented immediacy in the way that messages are communicated between users.
The greater use of social media by university Schools and Departments provides them with an opportunity to mitigate many of the negative consequences that have arisen due to increasing reliance on MLEs. The associated information overload which students face in higher education threatens to create a disengaged, 'switched off' student body rather than a community that remains turned on and tuned in’.
Keywords: Social media; Legal education; Student engagement; Student experience; Managed learning environment; Online groups