‘Changing the Learning Landscape – Practical uses of social media in social work and social policy teaching and research’

On Friday 19th April, Tarsem Singh Cooner and Chris Allen – facilitated an interesting Higher Education Academy (HEA) workshop exploring the role social media can play in enhancing the student and tutor experiences.

Comprising two workshops – the first on research and dissemination, the second on teaching and learning – participants engaged in a series of practical hands-on activities and discussions as a means of introducing them to a range of new and innovative social media approaches and methods. In doing so participants explored the use of Storify in their research and dissemination as also closed Facebook groups for teaching and learning.

#CLL1213 twitter stream and Event Storify

It was really useful to explore Storify and Closed Facebook Groups in the context of Learning and Teaching. The ability to work in small groups and discuss practical ideas for their integration into the learning landscape was key.

Application ideas include:

Closed Face Book Groups

  • students studying professional practice based courses (eg. Social Work, Initial teacher training, advanced teacher training including leadership, disability and inclusion)
  • part of the employability agenda – exploring the impact of personal social media use in relation to the professional world


  • Curating and reflecting on a course, workshop, lecture, seminar
  • Creating case studies
  • Collate, curate, and critique ‘actual source’ content around a specific incident eg. EU referendum, Ukraine Crisis (formative or summative assessment)
  • Explore the impact of Social Media on a profession or role
  • Enhance an essay (eg provide rich media links to the events behind a story, include contrasting views by experts)

The best essays made the most of the platform and the freedom to include multimedia examples. These students also altered their style and the way they wrote into the examples to make their essays fit the medium. Further, by using a mixture of books, journal articles and discussions on social media, these students were able to explore the question far more deeply than most of those who stuck to the more traditional format. Initial feedback from students suggests they enjoyed the opportunity to explore social media in a way other that for social purposes. Most also realize the need to be confident using social media for their future role as professional communicators. In conclusion we believe the use of Storify in this essay was a success. The question was particularly suited to the use of social media tools. (Lecturer blog post, 2012)

Cochrane, T., Antonczak, L., Gordon, A., Sissons, H. & Withell, A. (2012). Heutagogy and mobile social media: post Web 2.0 pedagogy. In M. Brown et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of ASCILITE – Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2012. Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


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