IT #2: 5 ways your college website turns away students (continued)
According to the KDG report, prospective students are not only used to reading short bits of information thanks to social media, but many incoming freshman read at a 7th grade level.
“This means your college website must be at the 7th grade level, especially the sections used to attract prospects and to guide them through the application process. No, we’re not kidding,
1. Reading like the New York Times.
2. Requiring Form Fills.
prospective students are often fatigued by long forms that they must complete in order to get the information they need and will quickly leave the website. “Not only will a live chat feature save students time, it can also save your admissions office time answering questions from prospects and applicants
3. Not Understanding What’s Important.
a delicate balance between static and antiquated, and being too interactive. “Don’t get so caught up in the design that there’s a disconnect between what your institution is and marketing gimmicks. You also don’t want super technical, information-filled pages.”
4. Using Fake Images.
images of students posed for the camera won’t do, either. They want to see students, like them, doing the things students do on campus—with exceptions, of course…Candid images, combined with some documentary-style photos from important events on campus, will go a long way toward creating a website that invites visitors to look deeper.
looked at sites like Airbnb.
5. Using Clichéd Statements about Passé Issues
They may read at a 7th grade level, but that doesn’t mean they can’t recognize a cliché.
boasting about unique accomplishments with current relevance for students in a down-to-earth way, such as mentioning a good acceptance rate or a special program for those with learning disabilities. Positive statistics about campus crime rates, successful career counseling efforts or facts about innovative STEM programs are also good talking points.
For more information on the KDG report and blog synopsis, click here.
more on university web pages in this IMS blog
Sugimoto, C. R., Work, S., Larivière, V., & Haustein, S. (2016). Scholarly use of social media and altmetrics: a review of the literature. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.08112
One of the central issues associated with altmetrics (short for alternative metrics) is the identification of communities engaging with scholarly content on social media (Haustein, Bowman, & Costas, 2015; Neylon, 2014; Tsou, Bowman, Ghazinejad, & Sugimoto, 2015) . It is thus of central importance to understand the uses and users of social media in the context of scholarly communication.
most identify the following major categori es: social networking, social bookmarking, blogging, microblogging, wikis , and media and data sharing (Gu & Widén -Wulff, 2011; Rowlands, Nicholas, Russell, Canty, & Watkinson, 2011; Tenopir et al., 2013) . Some also conside r conferencing, collaborative authoring, scheduling and meeting tools (Rowlands et al., 2011) or RSS and online documents (Gu & Widén -Wulff, 2011; Tenopir et al., 2013) as social media. The landscape of social media, as well as that of altmetrics, is constantly changing and boundaries with othe r online platforms and traditional metrics are fuzzy. Many online platforms cannot be easily classified and more traditional metrics , such as downloads and mentions in policy documents , have been referred to as altmetrics due to data pr ovider policies.
the Use of social media platforms for by researchers is high — ranging from 75 to 80% in large -scale surveys (Rowlands et al., 2011; Tenopir et al., 2013; Van Eperen & Marincola, 2011) .
less than 10% of scholars reported using Twitter (Rowlands et al., 2011) , while 46% used ResearchGate (Van Noorden, 2014) , and more than 55% use d YouTube (Tenopir et al., 2013) —it is necessary to discuss the use of various types of social media separately . Furthermore, there i s a distinction among types of us e, with studies showing higher uses of social media for dissemination, consumption, communication , and promotion (e.g., Arcila -Calderón, Piñuel -Raigada, & Calderín -Cruz, 2013; Van Noorden, 2014) , and fewer instances of use for creation (i.e., using social media to construct scholarship) (British Library et al., 2012; Carpenter, Wetheridge, Tanner, & Smith, 2012; Procter et al., 2010b; Tenopir et al., 2013) .
Frequently mentioned social platforms in scholarly communication research include research -specific tools such as Mendeley, Zotero, CiteULike, BibSonomy, and Connotea (now defunct) as well as general tools such as Delicious and Digg (Hammond, Hannay, Lund, & Scott, 2005; Hull, Pettifer, & Kell, 2008; Priem & Hemminger, 2010; Reher & Haustein, 2010) .
Social data sharing platforms provide an infrastructure to share various types of scholarly objects —including datasets, software code, figures, presentation slides and videos —and for users to interact with these objects (e.g., comment on, favorite, like , and reuse ). Platforms such as Figshare and SlideShare disseminate scholars’ various types of research outputs such as datasets, figures, infographics, documents, videos, posters , or presentation slides (Enis, 2013) and displays views, likes, and shares by other users (Mas -Bleda et al., 2014) . GitHub provides for uploading and stor ing of software code, which allows users to modify and expand existing code (Dabbish, Stuart, Tsay, & Herbsleb, 2012) , which has been shown to lead to enhanced collaboratio n among developers (Thung, Bissyande, Lo, & Jiang, 2013) . As w ith other social data sharing platforms, usage statistics on the number of view and contributions to a project are provided (Kubilius, 2014) . The registry of research data repositories, re3data.org, ha s indexed more than 1,200 as of May 2015 2 . However, only a few of these repositories (i.e. , Figshare, SlideShare and Github) include social functionalities and have reached a certain level of participation from scholars (e.g., Begel, Bosch, & Storey, 2013; Kubilius, 2014) .
Video provide s yet another genre for social interaction and scholarly communication (Kousha, Thelwall, & Abdoli, 2012; Sugimoto & Thelwall, 2013) . Of the various video sharing platforms, YouTube, launched in 2005, is by far the most popular
A study of UK scholars reports that the majority o f respondents engaged with video for scholarly communication purposes (Tenopir et al., 2013) , yet only 20% have ever created in that genre. Among British PhD students, 17% had used videos and podcasts passively for research, while 8% had actively contributed (British Library et al., 2012) .
Blogs began in the mid -1990s and were considered ubiquitous by the mid- 200 0s (Gillmor, 2006; Hank, 2011; Lenhart & Fox, 2006; Rainie, 2005) . Scholarly blogs emerged during this time with their own neologisms (e.g., blogademia , blawgosphere , bloggership) and body of research (Hank, 2011) and were considered to change the exclusive structure of scholarly communication
Technorati, considered t o be on e of the largest ind ex of blogs, deleted their entire blog directory in 2014 3 . Individual blogs are also subject to abrupt cancellations and deletions, making questionable the degree to which blogging meets the permanence criteria of scholarly commu nication (Hank, 2011) .
ResearchBlogging.org (RB) — “an aggregator of blog posts referencing peer -reviewed research in a structured manner” (Shema, Bar -Ilan, & Thelwall, 2015, p. 3) — was launched in 2007 and has been a fairly stable structure in the scholarly blogging environment. RB both aggregates and —through the use of the RB icon — credentials scholarly blogs (Shema et al., 2015) . The informality of the genre (Mewburn & Thomson, 2013) and the ability to circumve nt traditional publishing barr iers has led advocates to claim that blogging can invert traditional academic power hierarchies (Walker, 2006) , allow ing people to construct scholarly identities outside of formal institutionalization (Ewins, 2005; Luzón, 2011; Potter, 2012) and democratize the scientific system (Gijón, 2013) . Another positive characteristic of blogs is their “inherently social” nature (Walker, 2006, p. 132) (see also Kjellberg, 2010; Luzón, 2011 ). Scholars have noted the potential for “communal scholarship” (Hendrick, 2012) made by linking and commenting, calling the platform “a new ‘third place’ for academic discourse” (Halavais, 2006, p. 117) . Commenting functionalities were seen as making possible the “shift from public understanding to public engagement with science” (Kouper, 2010, p. 1) .
Studies have also provided evidence of high rate s of blogging among certain subpopulations: for example, approximately one -third of German university staff (Pscheida et al., 2013) and one fifth of UK doctoral students use blogs (Carpenter et al., 2012) .
Academics are not only producers, but also consumers of blogs: a 2007 survey of medical bloggers foundthat the large majority (86%) read blogs to find medical news (Kovic et al., 2008)
Mahrt and Puschmann (2014) , who defined science blogging as “the use of blogs for science communication” (p. 1). It has been similarly likened to a sp ace for public intellectualism (Kirkup, 2010; Walker, 2006) and as a form of activism to combat perceived biased or pseudoscience (Riesch & Mendel, 2014. Yet, there remains a tension between science bloggers and science journalists, with many science journals dismissing the value of science blogs (Colson, 2011)
while there has been anecdotal evidence of the use of blogs in promotion and tenure (e.g., (Podgor, 2006) the consensus seem s to suggest that most institutions do not value blogging as highly as publishing in traditional outlets, or consider blogging as a measure of service rather than research activity (Hendricks, 2010, para. 30) .
Microblogging developed out of a particular blogging practice, wherein bloggers would post small messages or single files on a blog post. Blogs that focused on such “microposts” were then termed “tumblelogs” and were described as “a quick and dirty stream of consciousness” kind of blogging (Kottke, 2005, para. 2)
most popular microblogs are Twitter (launched in 2006), tumblr (launched in 2007), FriendFeed (launched in 2007 and available in several languages), Plurk (launched in 2008 and popular in Taiwan), and Sina Weibo (launched in 2009 and popular in China).
users to follow other users, search tweets by keywords or hashtags, and link to other media or other tweets
Conference chatter (backchanneling) is another widely studied area in the realm of scholarly microblogging. Twitter use at conferences is generally carried out by a minority of participants
Wikis are collaborative content management platforms enabled by web browsers and embedded markup languages.
Wikipedia has been advocated as a replacement for traditional publishing and peer review models (Xia o & Askin, 2012) and pleas have been made to encourage experts to contribute (Rush & Tracy, 2010) . Despite this, contribution rates remain low — likely hindered by the lack of explicit authorship in Wikipedia, a cornerstone of the traditional academic reward system (Black, 2008; Butler, 2008; Callaway, 2010; Whitworth & Friedman, 2009) . Citations to scholarly documents —another critical component in the reward system —are increasingly being found i n Wikiped ia entries (Bould et al., 2014; Park, 2011; Rousidis et al., 2013) , but are no t yet seen as valid impact indicators (Haustein, Peters, Bar -Ilan, et al., 2014) .
The altmetrics manifesto (Priem et al., 2010, para. 1) , altmetrics can serve as filters , which “reflect the broad, rapid impact of scholarship in this burgeoning ecosystem”.
There are also a host of platforms which are being used informally to discuss and rate scholarly material. Reddit, for example, is a general topic platform where users can submit, discuss and rate online content. Historically, mentions of scientific journals on Reddit have been rare (Thelwall, Haustein, et al., 2013) . However, several new subreddits —e.g., science subreddit 4 , Ask Me Anything sessions 5 –have recently been launched, focusing on the discussion of scientific information. Sites like Amazon (Kousha & Thelwall, 2015) and Goodreads (Zuccala, Verleysen, Cornacchia, & Engels, 2015) , which allow users to comment on and rate books, has also been mined as potential source for the compilation of impact indicators
provide services to support researchers’ use of social media tools and metrics (Lapinski, Piwowar, & Priem, 2013; Rodgers & Barbrow, 2013; Roemer & Borchardt, 2013). One example is Mendeley Institutional Edition
, which mines Mendeley documents, annotations, and behavior and provides these data to libraries (Galligan & Dyas -Correia, 2013) . Libraries can use them for collection management, in a manner similar to other usage data, such as COUNTER statistics (Galligan & Dyas -Correia, 2013) .
Factors affecting social media use; age, academic rank and status, gender, discipline, country and language,
more on altmetrics in this IMS blog:
Tap into These 5 Tips for Mobile Learning
A master in mobile learning shares his best advice for rebooting your instruction.
By Dian Schaffhauser 12/13/16
1) Find Out What Devices Are Really in Use
instructors have to take device choices into consideration when they’re choosing apps
2) Teach Not Just for Consumption but for Curation
Students use their phones to capture video or audio interviews and post them to Twitter’s live streaming service, Periscope, at various times throughout the course.
3) Try Texting for Exam Review
As an alternative, he began texting review questions every few hours for the next exam and found that he was getting a “much higher frequency of interaction.” Teacher Text, as he called it, never supplied the answers, just questions — sometimes multiple choice and other times open-ended. To keep students’ interest, he’d use at least a few of those questions on the actual test. “They’re going to be more inclined to pay attention to every question because I may give them 50 questions of review and have four or five of those on the test,” he said.
The result: “Grades started to climb pretty quickly.”
4) Perform Safe Texting, but Try It Everywhere
adopted remind from iKeepSafe, a free service that provides an interface between the teacher and the students for the purposes of texting. The tool has simplified the process of instructor texting, a practice that has overall helped students “to feel more connected.”
5) Fit Your Mobile Approach to Your Subject
[flashcard apps] like Quizlet and StudyBlue that can replicate the ongoing study or rehearsal of learning
might stream a quick lesson on the fly through Periscope or hold a 15-minute class discussion through a chat on Twitter.
“I’ll just say, ‘Here’s my hashtag, and I’m going to be live here at 9 to 9:15 p.m. Central time,'” he explained. He typically intends to broadcast a question about every five minutes and allow people to respond. “It’s interesting. You shoot out one question and you get bombarded. People are putting resources in there. In 15 minutes, I’ve barely gotten two questions off. But they have the hashtag and they can go back and harvest the resources that other people put up.”
6) Channel Your Students
Speak the language your learners listen in.’
more on mobile learning in this IMS blog:
more on curation in this blog:
Zhang, X., Chen, H., Pablos, P. O. de, Lytras, M. D., & Sun, Y. (2016). Coordinated Implicitly? An Empirical Study on the Role of Social Media in Collaborative Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Vlachopoulos, D. (2016). Assuring Quality in E-Learning Course Design: The Roadmap. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Ungerer, L. M. (2016). Digital Curation as a Core Competency in Current Learning and Literacy: A Higher Education Perspective. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning
Technology considerably impacts on current literacy requirements (Reinking, as cited in Sharma & Deschaine, 2016). Being literate in the 21st century requires being able to decode and comprehend multimodal texts and digital format and also engage with these texts in a purposeful manner. Literacy is not merely based on a specific skill, but consists of a process that embraces the dynamic, social, and collaborative facets of digital technology (Lewis & Fabos, as cited in Mills, 2013).
Mackey and Jacobson (2011) suggest reframing the concept of information literacy as metaliteracy (supporting multiple literacy types) because of a tremendous growth in social media and collaborative online communities. They propose that information literacy currently involves more than a set of discrete skills, since active knowledge production and distribution in collaborative online communities are also necessary.
Mackey and Jacobson (2011) position metaliteracy as an overarching and comprehensive framework that informs other literacy types. It serves as the basis for media literacy, digital literacy, ICT literacy, and visual literacy.
According to Mills (2013, p. 47), digital curation is the sifting and aggregation of internet and other digital resources into a manageable collection of what teachers and students find relevant, personalized and dynamic. It incorporates the vibrancy of components of the Internet and provides a repository that is easily accessible and usable.
Pedagogies of Abundance
According to Weller (2011), a pedagogy of abundance should consider a number of assumptions such as that content often is freely available and abundant. Content further takes on various forms and it is often easy and inexpensive to share information. Content is socially based and since people filter and share content, a social approach to learning is advisable. Further, establishing and preserving connections in a network is easy and they do not have to be maintained on a one-to-one basis. Successful informal groupings occur frequently, reducing the need to formally manage groups.
Resource-based learning. Ryan (as cited in Weller, 2011) defines resource-based learning as “an integrated set of strategies to promote student centred learning in a mass education context, through a combination of specially designed learning resources and interactive media and technologies.”
Problem-based learning. Problem-based learning takes place when learners experience the process of working toward resolving a problem encountered early in the learning process (Barrows & Tamblyn, as cited in Weller, 2011). Students often collaborate in small groups to identify solutions to ill-defined problems, while the teacher acts as facilitator and assists groups if they need help. Problem-based learning meets a number of important requirements such as being learner-directed, using diverse resources and taking an open-ended approach.
Communities of practice. Lave and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) concept of situated learning and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) idea of communities of practice highlight the importance of apprenticeship and the social role in learning.
My note: this article spells out what needs to be done and how. it is just flabeghasting that research guides are employed so religiously by librarians. They are exactly the opposite concept of the one presented in this article: they are closed, controlled by one or several librarians, without a constant and easy access of the instructor, not to mention the students’ participation
more on teaching w social media in this IMS blog