Just as speaking at conferences and to journalists can enhance your academic reputation, effective use of social media can help increase your influence and connect you with others working within your discipline. Social media can be a powerful way to share ideas, foster discussion, and enhance your teaching. These guidelines were created to assist you in creating an effective social media presence related to your area of expertise. You may also find the personal use guidelines helpful if you use social media for personal reasons.
These guidelines are intended to encourage faculty to engage in social media, not to interfere with or restrict academic freedom in any way. As with all communications at UBC, your right to academic freedom is limited only by the university’s respectful environment and harassment and discrimination policies.
UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology on the Vancouver Campus, and Centre for Teaching and Learning on the Okanagan campus can assist with creating a blog, and both offer a wide range of programs for faculty on the use of technology. Other sites commonly used by faculty include the microblogging platform Twitter and SlideShare, a presentation sharing tool. For more information on common social media sites, please see the resources section.
E-learning programs on the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses provide information and tools to support faculty’s use of technology, including social media, to enhance their teaching. One example of how social media is being used in the classroom is the Commerce 101 course.
Reaching a Wider Audience
UBC Communications and Marketing actively follows the social media channels of our faculty in order to help amplify their work to larger audiences through our central channels. The a place of mind social media aggregator site includes many faculty blogs and SlideShare channels. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, please contact us. We also maintain a Twitter list of faculty; please let us know if you would like to be added.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind:
- Think carefully about what information you share online.
- Consider the long-term implications of connecting with others, including current students, in social media, as doing so gives them access to your information.
- As a general rule, don’t post anything to your students in social media that you wouldn’t say publicly in your classroom.
- If you maintain a personal blog or social media channel, refer to the personal use guidelines and consider adding disclaimer language such as: “The views expressed on this [blog, website] are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of The University of British Columbia.”