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Hints On Facebook To Gauge Student Engagement

It's 2012 and remotely every student owns a Facebook profile. In fact, young adults in the 18-25 age bracket accounted for about 25% of the total usage on the social platform last year which represents the most active demographic by age. This is the reason student councils are increasingly active on their Facebook timelines trying to drive up student engagement on campus.

A study done by Dr Rey Junco, a college professor and researcher from Penn State University who studies how social media use affects college students, found that there was a correlation between students behaviour on Facebook and student engagement in co-curricular activities on campus. The information collected in the study is useful to provide university student governments with a pulse of the student's engagement on campus. If the students are commenting on your statuses, RSVP'ing to your events and viewing/liking your photos, you can be confident that you are representing an active and engaged student body! If not, roll up your sleeves and start creating excitement by preparing for this year's Orientation parties to start off the year with a bang!

By Dr Rey Junco


  1. I have put stnuedts in teams of 5-6 stnuedts for several courses I teach. Most recently, I did this for a lit class and used a wiki. For the lit class, each team produced three products: 1) a class notes page; 2) a cultural context page, and 3) a scholarly conversations page. Wikis have a page history feature that reveals who has worked on a page and what they contributed to it. So, it's possible to assign both an individual grade and a team one. I assign a grade for the team based on both the content of the pages and how effective they were in collaborating. The grade is based on my evaluation and also their own self-reflection of the work they did and an evaluation of other team members. If a team member did not contribute well, then they earn a lower grade.I also work on helping stnuedts learn how to collaborate early on, so I ask them to create a team charter (goals they want to accomplish, how they will work together, and what they will do if a team member is not contributing) and a task schedule (the schedule lists not only the tasks but also assigns a contribution value between 1 and 5). Each each student then adds his/her contribution values, and the amount should be approximately the same as any other member of the team. These ideas for collaboration (and others) can be found in Team Writing by Joanna Wolfe, which is the best book I have found for helping stnuedts learn how to work together. She also explains ideas for grading team work.