Library live! Empowering distance learners and building communities through use of Facebook chat events

Clough, Helen (2016). Library live! Empowering distance learners and building communities through use of Facebook chat events. In: SocMedHE16 Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference, 16 Dec 2016, Sheffield Hallam University.

URL: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/socmedhe/16-library-live-e...

Abstract

Since 2014, Library Services at the Open University (OU) has used Facebook chat events to teach library skills, engage with distance learners and help to build communities.

Topics are chosen based on student feedback, the time of year and popular enquiries to the Library Helpdesk. An event page is created for a specific date and time, and the event is widely publicised. Students can sign up to attend, or say they are interested in attending and this will ensure Facebook reminds them about the event.

These events last for around 1 hour and have been run on weekday evenings so far but could be run at any time, including weekends. At the advertised time, students and librarians visit the page and discussion takes place using comments and replies.

We will share practical tips for running these events. This will include choosing your topic, the ideal number of moderators, having a plan but being flexible, using discussion threads, refreshing the page, pinning posts and monitoring the page after the event.

Finally, we will present our analysis of the value of these events in building online learning communities for distance learners.

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