Students use of social media

Walter van den Broek
December 5, 2011

facebook patient groups

We have been trying to use twitter during lectures, especially since the group is so large about 100 to 200 can only follow the lecture from another lecture room on a monitor. It wasn’t a success, the question time during and after the lecture was hardly used. Only 8-10 questions were proposed via twitter. The interaction did increase but only with those present in the same lecture room. These were bachelor med students. Next we tried facebook during a week with master med students. The number using the group was more than 100, which is probably around half of the med students.

This finding is also supported by a recent large study with health professions students. These students were in the following health professions: biotechnology, couple and family therapy, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, radiologic and imaging sciences, and pharmacy.

These students (56%) prefer online media as their primary source of information and most of them used facebook (77%). Very few used twitter or linkedin.

They use facebook for keeping connected with friends but also with other med students.

It is a no-cost, viral way of getting the word out about school events and programming and can be used to keep students informed of new classes, special lectures, holiday hours, special events,
and even emergency notices. Above all, it is about being social, allowing students a virtual meeting space to connect with alumni, establish school pride, announce reunions and sporting events, talk about group projects, interact with the community, and beyond.

The authors also suggest setting up fan pages not only for traditional school information but also for leisure activities.
I fully agree with another statement made by the autors

Instead of faculty reminding students to turn off their personal Facebook pages, they can instead direct them to class Facebook pages and use this networking tool.

ResearchBlogging.org
Giordano C, & Giordano C (2011). Health professions students’ use of social media. Journal of allied health, 40 (2), 78-81 PMID: 21695367

 

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