In general, using social media and other platforms not maintained by the university enables you to try out interesting pedagogical solutions. Often, students enjoy using familiar tools in teaching. However, when using services not provided by the university, you must ensure data security and that all students are aware of where they are storing their information. Services comparable to social media currently offered by the University of Helsinki include Skype for Business, Teams and Yammer included in the Office365 package as well as the Wiki platforms.
Matters to consider when using social media
Students taking the course cannot be obligated to
- use their own name on public social media platforms,
- make their personal profiles a part of the course, e.g. creating a situation where the teacher and/or student unavoidably end up following each other’s profiles in the service, or
- create new accounts in services outside the university, especially if disclosing personal information is required to create the account.
The students must be aware of
- how and for what purpose the platforms are used and
- what is required of them to use the platforms.
- If necessary, you should offer an alternative method of completing the course or the possibility of completing the same studies on another course.
Students often want to keep their personal and study profiles separate, which should be respected. Shared accounts created under the course’s name are common and generally OK. The use of any service is basically possible, but their use and general rules of conduct must be considered separately for each service and course.