Student Social Media Showcase 2015

#2015SSMS launched 3rd July online this year to some social media buzz. Great response, especially from Digital Marketing students at Brighton Business School. All 33 of the selected video presentations are online at the website and will stay live for 3 years with the main intention of enabling these talented students to link to them in their online CVs.

But more than that, the videos offer us some insights into the use of social media for research and corporate marketing impact. Students, companies and academics can gain something from this site, and the ongoing commitment we have at Brighton through the Business ELearning Group to support and stimulate dissemination of student work.

The Showcase started last year as a pre-conference event prior to the inaugural European Conference in Social Media, hosted at Brighton Business School, and which this year will be held next week in Portugal. Social media is not all about good news as any open communications medium can share bad as well as good intent, which is a good reason for academics to learn more about it. There is an excellent reading list at this link from LSE.

Our experiences with the SSMS both as a physical event in 2014 attended by uni students and local schoolchildren and online this year will be discussed in a forthcoming paper at ALT C 2015 in Manchester, and we look forward to updating and offering an event again in 2016. Email if you would like more information nearer the time. Meanwhile it’s worth exploring the site at 

Mahara UK14 conference hosted at University of Brighton

After a week of social media at ECSM2014 and SSMS2014 hosted at Brighton, just a few days later Mahara UK14 also brought its conference to UoB.

Being on leave and trying to draw breath after the months build-up to SSMS and ECSM, I did wonder what had possessed me to offer a presentation at the Mahara conference. And having presented at the end of June at the UoB IS conference with Craig Wakefield on creative uses of both Talis Aspire and Mahara as technologies for learning, I also wondered to whom the Mahara conference would be addressed – just technologists?, IS people? academics?

In the event it was clearly a good decision to go to Mahara UK14 since ECSM had already demonstrated the liveliness and engagement of mixed role audiences. This was no exception as delegates included those intimately involved in creating, developing and using and applying Mahara. Developers need to see what teachers and learners need from software, and teachers need to work with and be inspired by the creativity of developers.

I presented on the second conference day on Supervising Research students with Mahara – in our UoB world studentfolio. The audience was keen to discuss and ask questions – giving rise to more ideas about good quality research supervision. Prezi can be found here

Various lovely artefacts via storify, Pinterest and epilogger from this conference as for SSMS and ECSM – see previous blog posts.

one storify

One delegate take on Pinterest, thanks to Linda Pospisilova from Pardubice here

Another delegate take on storify thanks to Domi Sinclair here

Epilogger link re this conference hashtag: here

JISC implementation toolkit for eportfolios here: here

Student Social Media Showcase 2014 Wednesday 9th July Huxley Building 1030-330

Asher and Sue preparing for SSMSGreat event to attend (free) if you are interested in what University of Brighton students do with social media, or you want to come and talk about social media.
this is a pre-conference event for the inaugural European Conference on Social Media running on 10th and 11th July, also in Huxley Building.
website is here

Programme includes Presentation to Students whose submissions were selected for the showcase event, Jonathan Sapsed discussing Brighton FUSE, Professor Ben Shneiderman talking about Big Data. Lots of informal opportunities to network.

Search Twitter for #SSMS2014 and #brightsoc

Human capital paper published

IJSE has just published our paper on Human Capital or signalling – unpacking the graduate premium . This relates to our work on New Vocationalism and graduate employability.

Student Social Media Showcase (SSMS) 9th July 2014

SSMS poster

More information on this great pre-conference event to the inaugural European Conference on Social Media (10-11 July 2014) to be held in Huxley building, Moulsecoomb campus University of Brighton, UK can be found on the SSMS website.

Job partnering across generations

Job sharing- the way to address some of the issues raised by the ageing population and youth unemployment….?

Demographics and media headlines from today’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor leave us in no doubt of the need for many current 40 and 50 year olds to stay in work longer than previously expected. Not everyone in those age groups will be lucky enough to have a paid job. As we progress through this decade, we are seeing more people with multiple jobs or earning activities to maintain their desired living standards. Those who do have a single job meeting their needs are starting to think about their future and wondering whether the pace and pervasive spread of their work will be something they can face for the next 20 or 30 years.

Meanwhile the profoundly depressing figures given for 16-24 year olds out of work are rising, offering little hope to those who would once have been readily recruited and trained to replace those retiring at 60.

What about a happy coupling of these issues?

While we know that neighbouring generations find it hard to get on together (as experienced by many parents and their maturing children), we also know that a 2 generation difference makes for an easier relationship (grandparents and grandchildren). So should employers consider offering job partnerships between 60 plus employees wanting to do less and potential new starters wanting to do more?

Isn’t that an opportunity for genuine talent management?

what kind of research do I do?

Online learning
1. What are you researching?
When I began to research, about 11 years ago, the problem which intrigued me was how to use the online learning capabilities we suddenly had at our disposal in university. We were beginning at that time to use intranets with student and staff access and this made me rethink my teaching. I was deluged by questions – could we work online with large groups as well as small groups?, could we run discussions online which were as effective as classroom discussions?, were there things we could do online which were actually better than learning and teaching in the classroom? If we did this, how should we do it? At that time there was very little guidance about.
2. Why is it important?
For me, these questions were important to my role as a university teacher. I needed to find answers and I needed to find people who were as enthusiastic as I was about online learning so we could share ideas and learn ourselves. That took me into a doctorate study of students’ readiness for online learning – it seemed vital to me to work out whether some students might be better prepared for this kind of learning than others, and to see what we could do to support students as we began to require online learning activities.
3. What are the results?
In those intervening 11 years, e-learning and online learning have taken off in universities. Now we all have virtual learning environments and my research has helped me to understand and share ideas with other teachers on design of online learning and assessment. I am still experimenting, but our collective knowledge has informed the way HE courses are delivered, and has increased opportunities to offer students a blended learning experience – getting the most out of both online and face to face teaching.
2. But that isn’t all. My research activities led me to question issues around learning in a deeper way. That has led to ongoing research into graduate employability and reflective learning.
1. What are you researching?
graduate employability: We wanted to find out whether universities which made a point of developing so-called employability skills as part of their degree courses were actually helping their graduates get graduate-level jobs. Or whether there was a better way to help. We studied HESA data  graduate destinations – this is with my colleagues Asher and Tom, which involved using the statistics which graduates themselves supply about their jobs or lack of jobs after graduation.
2. Why is it important?
There has never been a more important time to look at graduate employability: the fees changes due in 2012 and the media focus on high graduate unemployment make this a vital area to research.
3. What are the results?
We are finding that universities have been making some assumptions about what employers want from graduates. Not necessarily very accurate ones. We have used the term “new vocationalism” to express what we think is the case based on our research, that what employers want is more about a willingness and ability to learn than specific skills or vocational content which will never quite fit the employer requirement, except for specific professions such as medicine or engineering where specific learning content is vital for careers. If you couple this with the increasing turbulence in labour markets, you find that university learning is much more about how to learn than about what you learn. On the back of this we need to research further to find better ways to develop that learning capability which will fit graduates for work in constantly changing knowledge jobs. Part of this is to improve the way students learn to reflect systematically on experience and unplanned learning, as well as their formal planned course study. Reflective learning is going through a revolution in universities – we are increasingly seeing assessment of reflective learning, but perhaps not enough is yet know about how and why this is helpful. There’s another research target ahead for me and for my colleagues.