Information Services

Guidance and Advice

Things to consider before incorporating tools into your teaching and learning activities.

There are huge opportunities for using social media but whenever you are looking to incorporate them into your teaching and learning activities you need to consider how this will work in practice.

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1) Firstly consider how this activity fits into your wider teaching and learning activities. Thoughtfully approached pedagogically-driven activities using social media tools are likely to be far more acceptable to sceptical students or colleagues than using new tools for their own sake.

2) Check the Terms and Conditions and/or Usage Policy of any service to which you subscribe or plan to use in your teaching and learning. Ensure you understand what this means for you and your students.

3) Consider the legal considerations (see the University of Edinburgh Social Media Guidelines), particularly your responsibilities under Data Protection legislation which include not disclosing other people’s personal information without prior permissio

4) Remember that any posts you make in a professional capacity (even private posts) are subject to data protection and freedom of information and may need to be disclosed.

5) Consider how you will guide your students to good etiquette, are mindful of their behaviour, engage productively, and ensure that no bullying, discrimination or similar behaviours occurs and that there is a clear process for any unexpected harmful behaviours.

6) Remember that all of the usual University policies - including equalities, dignity and respect, accessibility, etc. apply in any space or activity associated with teaching, learning or any other University activities.

7) Consider and plan for possible risks associated with social media tools, particularly:

  1. How you would deal with a problematic situation e.g. cyber-bullying or inappropriate use.
  2. Have a contingency in place, where the situation arose that a non-UoE tool disappeared, became inaccessible or changed their Terms and Conditions.

Please see the Reference section for policies and guidelines that may prove useful to your planning process.

Related Links

University of Edinburgh, Social Media Guidelines for staff and researchers (1st December 2011)

University of Edinburgh, Information Security Website