I had the opportunity and pleasure to present part of my work with and on social media in academia at this year’s Media Education Summit organized by The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP). Based on my upcoming book chapter “Social Media Audit and Analytics: Exercises for Marketing and Public Relations Courses”, web my talk focused on presenting and reflecting on the evolution of the social media audit exercise and the challenges of implementing it in the classroom. In effect, this site my talk summarized 5 years of work with social media in education from Belgium to Bahrain and now the UK in less than 30 minutes, most of which is captured online in blogs such DCS and KathoNewMedia.
The questions I have received from an overwhelmingly full room, reflected the same struggles, questions and challenges I faced in the past years: how do we encourage students to engage with digital media; how do we evaluate their engagement and outputs on digital and social media; how do we build their skills and how do we link them to the general curriculum when the elements covered during the course can change dramatically from one semester to another.
My answer so far calls on the one hand for a shift of focus from the short-term, mark-oriented result to the longer-term, skills and abilities so important for the industry and on the other hand for a higher involvement and collaboration between academia and industry. To a degree, teaching digital and social media, especially in a marketing/communications/advertising/PR/journalism context requires a more hands-on, problem-based approach.
For more details on my work, please come back at this site or keep an eye on the release of the book early next year:
Patrut, B., Patrut, M., & Cmeciu, C. (2013). Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges (pp. 1-349). doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-2851-9
For those interested in picking up these exercises, I would appreciate if you would drop be a line and tell me how you’ve used it and with what results. Similarly, for those involved in similar projects and willing to work together, please get in touch.