Wednesday, 11 February 2015

e-Safety Update: Social Media at UCS

As the dust settles, and given I've updated UCS Internal Comms, and presented on the issues at UCS's Safer Internet Day, I thought it might be useful to update on "social media at UCS".

The following outlines the implementation of an institutional wide e-safety awareness campaign for students and staff, who are using social media for various reasons. The project has been running for 18 months, and is divided into two phases.

  • Phase 1: Develop the information hub (area on UCS intranet)
  • Phase 2: Integrate message within wider development activities
Phase 1: Develop the information hub (area on UCS intranet)

The first stage was to review and re-write our existing policies, and guidelines from various groups at UCS who have responsibility for some aspect of e-safety and social media. These where integrated within one area, which streamlined our messages and the support mechanisms.

This design enables individuals to efficiently make connections between policy, guidelines and support mechanisms. It also includes discipline specific guidelines, and scales with future enhancements around the positive impact stories. 

Phase 2: Integrate message within wider development activities

This phase has been ongoing since Sept 2014. The broad approach is outlined in the diagram. 

A few key approaches from the implementation model is;
  • inclusion within the Student Induction Programme. The Using Social Media at UCS page was demonstrated within the technologies for learning session run by the Elevate Team, and an A5 flyer was included within the Year Planning, which is provided to all new students (
  • getting started guides: Learning Services are rolling out a number of getting started guides which are designed to support people on actually setting up accounts and completing tasks within the technology. These include a generic section on using social media at UCS (
  • in curriculum study skills: Increasingly, Learning Services are providing in curriculum study skills, where appropriate these include reference to using social media at UCS. For instance, the Scientific Study Skills course includes a formative assessment, where students are required to complete an assignment. This assignment focusses on finding effective uses of social media for learning, and discussing strategies to reduce the risks of use (
Where next?

Phase 3 (Summer 2015) will focus on finalising the following developments in time for the next set of student inductions;
  1. collect video stories of the successes of social media to enhance learning
  2. roll out an online course (equivalent to a workshop) on reaping the rewards of social media: the connected learner.
  3. work closely with UCS Careers to link their developments around social media within the new model

Image - Linked - with thanks:

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