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Using Social Media in Victoria Courses (View Guidelines.pdf)

Social media

"A teacher who is both aware of social media and a competent and confident user will be a role model for their learners and encourage them to become good digital citizens". New Zealand Teachers Council.


What is Social media?

Social Media means any electronic media for social interaction, allowing the creation and exchange of user-generated content. One of the fundamental concepts in social media is that you cannot control your message completely, but you can contribute to discourses.

The five core social media technologies/tools are:

  1. Social networks – A term often used to refer to the websites used to connect and interact with other individuals. Interaction is often informal and entirely web-based.
  2. Media-sharing networks – Websites that allow users to share video and images. They also allow users to comment on their own media and the media uploaded by users.
  3. Blogs – Short for weblog. A blog is a content-managed website that presents its entries in reverse chronological order and allows visitors to comment.
  4. Wikis – Web-based applications which allow users to add content to or edit a web page.
  5. Forums – Online applications for holding themed discussions between groups of participants also referred to as discussion groups or discussion forum.

They may stand alone or be presented within another technology, e.g. message boards or comment features within the Social Media technologies/tools are powerful technologies; our challenge as academics is to foster a safe and supported learning environment whilst taking advantage of the capabilities these technologies offer.


Who uses Social media?

Students and academics, communications and marketing teams, potentially anyone in the university.

Visit the Social media directory to find out who and what social media is being used at Victoria.

Why should I use Social media?

Through the integration of social media into course assignments and classroom activities you can extending the face to face learning so it continues outside the classroom and you can bringing the online and external learning into the face to face, on campus learning. You can make real time connections with your students; facilitate real time learning and discussion; reach students wherever they are using social media tools which they are already familiar and comfortable using. You can integrate social media tools into Blackboard so all your course activities start from the same place.

Using social media with your students will also introduce them to the reality of online interactions in the world beyond your course and prepare them for the wide use of social media and networking, the need to evaluate sources of information, establishing online presence and identity as part of their personal and professional development.

The New Zealand Teachers Council have created a social media map providing a visual summary of some of the most common types of social media platforms, and their purposes.


How do I use Social media?

The ease of use and popularity of Social Media Technologies has enormous potential for engagement however their simplicity can be misleading and these technologies if used ‘'unwisely'’ have the potential to harm, individual, university and professional reputations. Wise use is informed by effective pedagogy , university strategies and policies, professional guidance (e.g. NZNO (2012) Social media and the nursing profession and online etiquette often referred to as netiquette.


You can embed or create web links (URL) to the Social Media Technologies you use within your Blackboard course using the Blackboard Mash-up tool or web links tool. For instructions on how to do this visit the Blackboard help guide creating content in your course area.

The Teacher’s Guide to Social Media info-graphic presents some helpful suggestions on how you could use social media in your teaching.

For more ideas visit 7 Ways Teachers Use Social Media in the Classroom.

Also your faculty Contacts for Academic Technology are able to help in this area. Please be aware though, ITS does not provide technical support for social media at this stage so any issues will need to be resolved independently or with the help of your faculty/school CAT.

How do I access Social media?

You access Social Media Technologies from your web browser, mobile device, and smart phone or through the content you have created within your Blackboard course.

Information on integrating Blackboard Learn web 2.0 tools is shown on this document. Detailed information will be available on the website help pages for your chosen social media tool.

Support for Social media

Third party social media tools are not supported by ITS.

Visit these pages for more information:


If your question is related to teaching and learning using Social Media tools, please send an e-mail to CAD email CAD-Contact or contact Stephen Marshall, Irina Elgort or Jillian Pawlyn CAD Staff

Individualised support is also available via the CATs (Contacts for Academic Technology), visit this page to find out more and contact your CAT