IN CONVERSATION: The use of social networking sites has been widespread have not only caught the attention of academic and industry researchers in India but also globally
“While the social networking sites have the same key aspects, the cultures and responses around them that become apparent are varied. Most sites help strangers connect with others based on shared personal interests, political and economic views, or simply recreational activities.”
ASMA: Do you think Social Media is changing the way Academia operated earlier?
Arvind Mallik: I agree with your question. Social networks are used as tools to enable users to have social interaction. The use of social networks complements and enhances the teaching in traditional classrooms. For example, YouTube, Facebook, Wikis, and blogs provide a huge amount of material on a wide range of subjects.
While much about being a Academic professor has remained unchanged for centuries, the way today’s academics research, teach and fulfill administrative duties has changed dramatically, as a result of technological change and a cultural shift in what the public expects of academia.
Fast forward 50 years and we find that the global village has indeed materialized, with new ideas and information being shared between people all over the world. Since education has always been about exposing people to new ideas, it’s not surprising that the impact of social media is being felt in the education sector. Here are some specific ways in which social media is changing the education system for both students and educators.
Never in the history of education has access to new methods and theories been so immediate or ubiquitous. Educators no longer need to feel as if they are teaching in isolation. Teachers can communicate instantly, and directly, with the current leaders in their fields to compare notes on education techniques, curriculum, and so on. For example, teachers are using social media sites to find out about innovative concepts like “flipped classrooms” or to share the latest iPad apps for high schools.
Teachers, professors and academics routinely use blogs to write about the world of education and invite comments from colleagues all over the world. They can expand the conversation to social media outposts and use techniques like Twitter chats to engage a global audience in real time.
Even admissions departments are leveraging the power of social media. Many colleges and universities now research applicants on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to verify credentials and screen for criteria that supports or hinders a student’s application.
ASMA: What is the level of Impact Social Media has created on Academia?
Arvind Mallik: The increase in new media and communications has significantly impacted globalization in the recent decades. Traveling and communicating internationally are easier now than ever before. The popularization of smartphones and social media allows the world to be constantly and conveniently connected.
Social networking websites are currently being used regularly by millions of people. The Internet is more than just a means of seeking information. People discovered that the Internet could be used to connect with other people, whether for business or commercial purpose, make new friends, reawaken old friends and long lost relatives. The use of social networking sites has been widespread that they have not only caught the attention of academic and industry researchers worldwide but also us, in particular. Social networking sites are now being investigated by numerous social science researchers and an increasing number of academic commentators are becoming more and more interested in studying Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services, because of their probable impact on academic performance.
While the social networking sites have the same key aspects, the cultures and responses around them that become apparent are varied. Most sites help strangers connect with others based on shared personal interests, political and economic views, or simply recreational activities. Some sites accommodate distinct viewers, while others attract people based on similarities, such as common languages or shared religious, racial, sexual or nationality-based identities. Nonetheless, social networking sites have only one common goal. It is to encourage new ways to communicate and share information.
Many students always log in to their account on Facebook, Twitter, etc. as a part of their everyday routine. Could you imagine the number of all the students logging in to these social networking sites, everyday? That would be millions of students logging. That’s why many students have been blaming various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages. This emergent phenomenon aroused us to look into social networking sites and why they affect fellow students academic performances.
ASMA: What are the different facets, where your organization uses social media?
Arvind Mallik: We still in Infancy stage to unlock the true potential of being Social Institute, with many ideas looking out to execute I am sure, we will be able to manipulate our strategy and apply our seamless thinking possibilities to enhance our brand image, optimal soon. However, I can sure few facets where we are progressing and needs some more time to make a headline and they are-
- Release the Amazing Work of Students from the Classroom to the World
- Promoting Institutes Social Credibility by sharing update-to-update happenings
- Enhance Rich eLearning Media available by posting latest developments in Engineering and Management field
- Showcasing Current Events and notifying Students on important Notifications
- Increasing Student participation by felicitating students achievements on bigger scale
- Highlighting important Guest lecture/Work Shop/Seminars/Conferences in the institute
- Integrating Alumni Interviews (on cards)
- Connecting Students with the Answers They Need
- Utilize Social to Promote Institutional Research
- Tips for New Higher Education Social Professionals
- Empowering and Supporting Individual Departments to showcase their efficiency by quality driven
- Showcasing Student and Faculty Work
Connecting Students for enhancing hidden talents (TalentRootz, is one such initiative which we have rolled out very recently)
Creating a Dialogue and Communicating to Students and many more to offer.
ASMA: What kind of Pedagogical improvements social media has caused in your organization? What are the different modes, the teaching learning process uses social media in your institute?
Arvind Mallik: Social learning theory says that students learn best when they learn from each other. Several studies have found that when students study together, they earn higher grades, are more engaged, and are more motivated. For that reason, teachers have incorporated group/team learning into their classrooms for decades. Today’s learners view social media as ‘cool,’ making it useful in providing social learning activities that are both educational and engaging. Its irony to our forward of ICT into teaching, few accepts few disagree in engaging themselves with being digital Citizen.
Social media platforms can help to increase communication skills and provide a ‘back door’ for shy learners. While many students struggle with speaking in front of their classmates, they may feel more comfortable ‘speaking’ on social media. This provides an outlet for students who are too intimidated to raise their hands in class. Furthermore, social media relies on the written word, making it an excellent means of improving writing skills
We have initiated Flipped Classroom Concept which is in itself is very novel idea at MBA since 2011-14 and redoing again on 2017 onwards for specialized subjects like Strategic Management and Business Law and Policy, few Faculty at Engineering are able to drive their teaching enthusiasm by sharing some important aspects of lessons/information on their own FB page too.
ASMA: Are there qualified and dedicated teams for managing the social media accounts in your organization?
Arvind Mallik: PESITM has officially nominated me as Social Media Co-ordinate for handling all social media works since Jan 2016, till then Dr. Vinay S Prof. & HOD Computer Science Dept. has been instrumental in initiating the process and been great source of inspiration.
We are planning to introduce Social Media Evangelist across all department who in turn acts a brand ambassador for their respective departments, Proposal submitted, awaiting results
ASMA: What are the important aspects of calculating ROI on Social Media Investment in an academic organization?
Arvind Mallik: Fewer educational institute do not appear to be as interested in deeper study of those with whom they are ostensibly “engaging” via social media(reasons may varies from one organization to other) Asked for specific areas of success, most officials said “Increasing engagement with our target audience.” At the same time, only a slim minority said they used the two outcomes measures — “penetration measure of use among target audiences” and “surveys of target audiences” — that would shed significant light on the extent of that success. Here is the snapshot of how ROI can be calculated
- Total number of new student applications (freshmen and graduates)
- Total number of student applications from the nearby major city/places
- Awareness of the institution in said major city/places
- Website hits on our main web page
- Work orders handled
- Legislative contacts made
- Visitors and followers on Facebook/YouTube/Twitter
- Number of stories about the College carried by local media
- Mentions of the institution in media outside the local area
7. Which are the domains where the social media is playing a crucial role in the success of your organization such as Admission, Placements, Alumni, Teaching Learning etc.?
Arvind Mallik: We are still in infancy stage of nurturing Social Media capabilities. Under the given scenario and Catering in all fields successfully while not leaving any stone to promote institute image and very fortunate to understand our student’s behavior on what they like and dislike, it’s been important on
Admission- Sharing best and important activities happening in institutes, keep updating on recent developments, New initiatives reformed for Attracting Future Students
Placements- We welcome recruiters and keep a tab on placement activities by sharing notification, results, expectations to students
Alumni- We share important activities happening in institutes, Staying Connected with Alumni
7. What are your views on traditional marketing initiatives vs social media marketing initiatives of an academic organization? How the balancing between 2 is done at your institute? Does it help in managing your financial resources optimally?
Arvind Mallik: Social media gained rapid prominence within few years of its existence. It is generally the medium to socialize and many are awed by the transformation of communications processes especially among generations Y midwifed by the media platforms. Social media has now crept into the boardrooms of business organizations and just like the internet; it has transformed the selling and buying processes. Social media gained rapid prominence within few years of its existence. It is generally the medium to socialize and many are awed by the transformation of communications processes especially among generations Y midwifed by the media platforms. Social media has now crept into the boardrooms of business organizations and just like the internet; it has transformed the selling and buying processes.
Still to explore the wide possibilities of connecting young minds with Social Media, I believe if Management takes kind attention in understanding social media effectiveness with having bigger vision, we can easily go with change and adopt entire culture into next big thing in Education
8. What would be your suggestions for the academic institutes for adopting the social media tools?
Arvind Mallik: There is no escaping from the digital world. It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on but can’t deny it. The Digital Vortex study has found that Executives expect digital disruption to displace 4 in 10 incumbents by industry within the next five years. Now we talk about mind share, not market share. Future outlooks very promising of management takes proactive steps in optimizing institute social media campaign. Nevertheless, I have projected some of the thoughts which is upcoming and it’s futuristic
- Dedicated Team for social media
- Initiating Social Media Policy
- Social Media Audits (once a year)
- Integrating Website with Social Media
- Google Analytics enhancing
- Academic Automation
- Mobile App (few university)
- Chat Bots (integration of AI and Machine Learning)