What is it?
Given the large number of students who use social media sites like Facebook on a daily basis, it can often be the perfect place to give and received feedback. Many lecturers and tutors believe that fostering interaction with students is the key to feedback, and this should be done in an inclusive and supportive environment so that students feel they can approach them or their peers for feedback.
This can be facilitated through social media platforms or online forums such as course blogs where group and individual feedback can be given whilst being mediated by the lecturer. The use of online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Blackboard has proved to be successful in many departments across the University, since it allows students and lecturers to give and receive feedback outside of the classroom or lecture theatre. Moreover, several departments have put in place additional workshops after having identified significant problematic areas as a result of their presence in online forums.
Many tutors and lecturers also use the online learning platform, Blackboard, to facilitate the provision of feedback by providing not only general feedback but also solutions to problems commonly experienced by students.
Finally, giving feedback isn’t a one-way process. Many departments use online mid-term module evaluation forms to gauge whether or not the course objectives are being delivered successfully and if not, the reasons for this. Social media platforms and other online forums provide quick and easy alternatives to these forms and enable lecturers to get instant feedback on how the course is received by students.
How can students make the most of it?
Although many students restrict their use of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to communication with their friends and family, these shouldn’t be dismissed entirely as they are great tools not only to receive but also to give feedback with respect to their course. This consequently will provide them with further opportunities to make significant progress outside of the classroom. One solution is to use one platform such as Facebook for friends and family, and another one such as Twitter for course purposes.