Social Media/Learning Communities


Social media is a broad term that describes a number of different technologies that relate to collaboration and community. These technologies may include social networking sites, blogs, and wikis (Tess, 2013). Users are able to create, share, comment on, and discuss digital assets (Manca & Ranieri, 2016). Incorporating social media into your classroom can encourage collaboration, resource sharing, and communication.

Instructional Uses:

  • Instruct students to create a blog and maintain weekly posts to reflect on course content and instruction.
  • Instruct students to create and upload media to YouTube and view and comments on classmates’ work.
  • Encourage your students to connect with each other on LinkedIn in order to broaden and strengthen their network.
  • Create a class hashtag and utilize Twitter as a backchannel for student discussion and questions.
  • Utilize Twitter to engage with experts in your field to converse about course topics and seek opinions.


Tips for using Social Media/Learning Communities:

  • Take the time to orient the students to the tool and the role and purpose it will serve within your course.
  • Coach your students on how to present themselves within social media communities as professionals by reviewing social media netiquette and digital citizenship.
  • Research the accessibility policies, privacy policies, and support site information for all social media tools that you ask your students to use within your course and make them available to your students. Know that some students may opt out of using the tool based on their preferences, so it’s important to have an alternative assignment prepared.


Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2016). Facebook and the others. Potentials and obstacles of Social Media for teaching in higher education. Computers & Education, 95, 216–230. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2016.01.012

Tess, Paul A. (2013).The role of social media in higher education classes (real and virtual) – A literature review. (2013, January 26). Retrieved from