Facebook as social glue - and how to avoid getting unstuck
Of course, proving a causal link between improving the stickiness of your social glue and the rather more sticky issues of progression and retention is less than easy to sustain. A preliminary report on BCU's Facebook trial for the BA (hons) Visual Communication and BA (Hons) Media and Communication found that positive anecdotal feedback couldn't be causally linked to overall retention statistics at the end of the year. The report written by my colleague Andy Saxon provided a very useful list of tips if you do want to set up a group, which I reiterate here:
- Provide each potential student with the web address for the group in a carefully worded letter
- Link to the Facebook group from the departmental website, posters around the department on open days and so on.
- Don't have your Facebook group as part of 'network'
- Ensure that the Facebook group leader is familiar with FB and its culture.
- Make sure your videos are fairly short and that pictures are low resolution.