I began this assignment by looking through my college and district websites and internal network for any sort of social media policies already in place. I found our “Computer and Network Use Agreement” expecting such policies to reside there, but alas there was not a single mention of social media or social networking. Ultimately I found there are some general electronic communication policies, but no specific policies regarding appropriate structure, use, and management of social media/networks.
I spent some time looking at the policies of other colleges out there as well as the Edutopia article before coming up with the list below. I work at a community college that is part of a three college district so I tried to create a more general set of policies that could be adoptable district wide.
Social Media Policies
1) Any college or district affiliated entity must submit a proposal to the district office to receive authorization for creating a new social media site and/or account explaining the purpose of the site/account and a plan for managing it.
2) Any college or district affiliated entity that has its own social media site(s) and/or account(s) must have a designated administrator/point of contact for said site(s) and/or account(s).
3) All previously established district policies concerning inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment, discrimination, copyright, etc. shall also apply to any social media activity and communication.
5) Student, staff, or faculty members shall also abide by the Terms of Service established by any social media platform being used, i.e Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
6) Any student, staff, or faculty member using college social media site(s) and/or account(s) must do so under their real name and indicate their relationship to the college or district.
7) For any use of social media in coursework delivery or dissemination of information, an alternative delivery method must be offered for persons unable or unwilling to utilize social media.
8) Avoid duplicating preexisting content through social media and instead provide links back to the appropriate section of the college or district websites as needed.
9) Staff and faculty administering social media sites and/or accounts should be prompt in responding to all inquiries and questions submitted by users.
10) Students, staff, and faculty shall not use college or district affiliated social media sites and/or accounts to transmit junk/bulk communication or spread rumors and other unsubstantiated information.
11) Students, staff, and faculty must pay attention to spelling, grammar, or other language that may lead to confusion or misunderstand.
12) When using social media sites and/or accounts not affiliated or administered by a college or district entity, the district shall reserve the right under certain circumstances to impose disciplinary action on students, staff, and faculty such as dismissal from college or termination of employment in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
As far as sharing this policy with all stakeholders to gather feedback I came up with a few strategies that could be used. I would start interviewing or perhaps putting out an anonymous online survey to students, staff, and faculty regarding their perceptions of social media and personal experiences with it. I would also gather more research on social media policies used by other colleges or college districts similar in size/structure to ours.Once I have gathered this feedback and research and revised any policies accordingly I would finally seek to present this proposed set of policies to the appropriate district advisory groups, which for this would be our Administrative Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC), and Distance Learning Task Force (DLTF). Once the policy is in place or adopted in its original or a modified version there would need to be periodic reviews to the policy, perhaps annually addressing current issues or trends in social media so it stays up-to-date.
Anderson, S. (2012, April 11). Social media guidelines. Edutopia Education Trends. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson
Berkeley college social media policy. (2012, October 18). Retrieved from http://berkeleycollege.edu/files_bc/Social_Media_Policy.pdf
Bryan college, social media policies. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.bryan.edu/social_media_policies.html
Maricopa comunity colleges, online policy manual,4.20 social media. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.maricopa.edu/publicstewardship/governance/adminregs/auxiliary/4_20.php