The purpose of this paper is to explore undergraduate student attitudes towards the inclusion of social media training within higher education pedagogy, student perceptions of social media proficiency as professional expertise and its impact on graduate employability.
In all, 81 undergraduate students studying medicine, law, science and arts volunteered to complete an online survey. Questions examined student attitudes towards the delivery of social media pedagogy at university and the perceived benefits of social media proficiency.
Participants stated that social media skills should be taught in optional classes (85 per cent) covering generic competencies (56 per cent). The majority (91 per cent) of respondents reported that social media skills and training were valuable for employability.
This was a pilot study and was therefore limited by the self-selection of participants, sample size and geographic location.
This study identifies that undergraduates across a range of disciplines are receptive to developing professionally relevant social media skills within higher education pedagogy and identify a link between social media proficiency and graduate employability.
Despite the increasing necessity for social media skills in professional environments, few studies have examined the teaching of social media skills as a core competency in higher education. Instead, social media is largely examined in relation to curriculum delivery and student engagement. This study explores attitudes towards the delivery of social media pedagogy at university and the perceived benefits of social media proficiency exclusively from the viewpoint of undergraduate students, to provide an alternative insight rarely explored in the literature.
Sutherland, K. and Ho, S. (2017), "Undergraduate perceptions of social media proficiency and graduate employability: A pilot study", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 261-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-02-2017-0018Download as .RIS
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