digital scholarship,  OU,  Presentation

Social media and the academic (through the medium of dog pictures)

Photo by Don Agnello on Unsplash

I’m giving a presentation to OU staff on the use of social media. This was part of a broader social media training day, and they were interested in the potential impact of using social media. I chose to present it as a series of hypotheses. For many of these there is some evidence, but for a lot it is either very indirect, or we haven’t really gathered it yet. And just for the sake of it, I limited myself to only using pictures of dogs in the slidedeck. Because dogs.

The hypotheses (some are more just statements if I’m honest), were as follows:

  • Soc Med increases student recruitment
  • Soc Med increases student engagement
  • Soc Med increases student retention
  • Online identity is vital part of graduateness
  • We have a duty to develop expertise in fake news, etc
  • Soc med helps lead development of new pedagogy
  • Soc Med increases research impact
  • Soc Med reaches different audiences for your research
  • Soc Med is a valuable research tool/method
  • Soc Med is complementary to traditional scholarship
  • Soc Med gives new opportunities for ECRs
  • Online profile leads to collaboration
  • Soc Med is (relatively) cheap
  • Soc Med is fun?

I do then have a section on the dangers and downsides, lest the above seem a bit cheerleady. Framing it as hypotheses is a potentially useful way to approach for it academics. They can select from these which is most relevant for them and view their use almost as action research.

My presentation with all the dog pics you could want, is here:


  • Mark Curcher

    This is just the sort of dogmatism that is destroying higher education! 😉

    You need to be hounded out….

    (OK I will stop there, this is painful)

    Ruff Ruff..

    • mweller

      Hi Denise – it was recorded, and I think it’s going on the OU podcast channel, not sure how available that is? I’ll update with a link when it’s live

  • Vicki Timms

    Well you’ve won me rover, er I mean over! It’s the dogs – you are my kind of people!
    63 year old OU student told to research Tech websites – yours is the best so far – it’s the dogs, as I love your approach to it all, suddenly it doesn’t seem so impersonal. Thank you.

    • mweller

      Hi Vicki, thanks very much for the comment, I’m so pleased that OU students find it useful. I just need to convince senior management to allow dogs on campus now 🙂

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