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Creating a Social Media Policy for Higher Education

My experience as an online instructor at a community college has illustrated the need to develop a policy for the use of social media in our online learning community. With the ubiquitous use and knowledge of social media among my students, these guidelines will hopefully be the beginning of a series of conversations on the appropriate use of social media in learning.

Content:

1)    Be respectful of the audience. Understand who the audience you are writing to is and write accordingly.  Class discussions should consist of complete sentences, thoughtful responses, no slang or cursing.

2)    Post original content that is created by you for each assignment or discussion.

3)    Anytime outside materials are used, be sure to do so as specified by the license type and provide a proper citation with link back to the original work.

4)    As social media provides a living environment to interact and engage with, any assignment that requires supporting posts and or discussion should be posted at least 48 hours prior to the “due date” to allow ample time for your classmates to read, process, and respond to your contributions.

Identification:

1)    If using an existing social media account, be sure that you are clearly identified to ensure accountability and to ensure that you receive credit for the work you submit for course assignments.

2)    When interacting with students, professors, or professionals via social media as a part of this course, be sure to identify yourself as a student in this course and capture a screenshot or copy a link to the post for proof of completion.

Integrity

1)    All student content will be held to the standards of the university and should adhere to the student code of conduct.

2)    Verify that any and all online content posted by friends or others have been screened for appropriateness. Privacy settings and “tags” should be regularly reviewed as content privacy policies can change in social media platforms over time.

Policy

1)    All policy requirements will be posted as a link in the syllabus, the resulting page will be updated as needed ensuring students have access to the most current and accurate policy information

2)    Policy review will occur at least annually by collaborating with other online instructors and department head as needed to ensure that course policy remains in line with department and university standards.

References:

DeVries, Derek. “Sample Social Media Policy Guidelines.” Retrieved on 12 November, 2012 from http://devriesblog.com/2010/07/26/sample-college-social-media-policy-guidelines/

Petroff, Mike. “Social Media Policy Resource Guide for Higher Ed.” Retrieved on 12 November, 2012 from http://doteduguru.com/id6144-social-media-policy-resource-guide-from-simtech10.html

 

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