Using Social Media to Facilitate Instruction and Increase Marketing in Global Higher Education

Using Social Media to Facilitate Instruction and Increase Marketing in Global Higher Education

Michael D. Richardson, Sarah G. Brinson, Pamela A. Lemoine
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5673-2.ch009
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The technological revolution of the past two decades has changed global higher education, particularly with the impact of social media. There are two primary functions of social media in higher education: instruction and marketing. Social media offers higher education students an array of options to socialize, network, stay informed, and connected, but technology proficiency may not be the same for instructors. As social media use by students becomes more established, educators in higher education pursue methods to parlay expertise in instruction into increased opportunities to advertise and market higher education institutions. Social media's impact of instruction in higher education is undeniable. The next major focus is on social media as a robust recruiting instrument to increase enrollment in global higher education.
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Educators in global higher education are exploring alternative means of instruction including social media tools designed for ease of use, convenience, instructional freedom, and constant online discussions (Bartosik-Purgat, Filimon & Calli, 2017; Yu, Tian, Vogel & Kwok, 2010). Social media is commonly defined as any medium used to integrate technology into the lives of people to facilitate communication (DeAndrea, Ellison, LaRose, Steinfield, & Fiore, 2012; Ituman, 2011; Veletsianos, 2011). As social media has proliferated in society, more higher education institutions are using social media tools such as social networking, wikis, blogs, or video, to interact with or engage students for instructional purposes (Elmannai, Odeh & Bach, 2013; Veletsianos, 2010). Increased engagement has been advocated as a critical component in increasing student learning and retention (Gupta, 2015). Therefore, social media has the potential to enhance student participation and improve academic performance (Buzzetto-More, 2012; Chen & Bryer, 2012; Kirschner & Karpinski, 2010; Mastrodicasa & Metellus, 2013).

Although social networks have increased exponentially in recent years there is some controversy over the imbedded nature of social media in educational settings (Chang, Yu & Lu, 2015; Ferguson & Tryjankowski, 2009; Greaves, Hayes, Wilson, Gielniak & Peterson, 2010). Social media sites enable users to link to others, to send messages, to connect with friends and colleagues, to send mail and instant messages, to meet new people, to share pictures and information, and to post personal information profiles (Gikas & Grant; 2013; Greenhow, Robelia & Hughes, 2009; Junco, 2011; Junco, Heibergert, & Loken, 2010). However, some researchers speculate that such openness of communication could lead to security problems when used in higher education (Lemoine, Hackett & Richardson, 2016).

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