Using social media to enhance the peer mentoring experience at the University of Southampton

Eleanor Quince, Charlotte Medland

Abstract


This case study explains how social media was used in the pilot year of a student-led peer mentoring initiative. The University of Southampton, faculty of Humanities, peer mentoring scheme was launched in September 2014 with a cohort of 750 undergraduate students across seven subject areas. The scheme is part of the wider, student-led, careers activity across all year groups within the faculty, otherwise known as the ââ¬Ëmission employableââ¬â¢ project. Social media, including Facebook and Twitter, was used to engage mentors and mentees and to communicate with students throughout the scheme. Facebook groups were introduced to help maintain contact, initially between the student peer mentoring coordinator and the student mentors, then between the mentors and their mentees. The familiarity of Facebook was a deciding factor in the selection of appropriate media for use within the scheme. At the mid- and end- point evaluation reviews, mentors praised the inclusion of social media platforms and asked that greater use be made of them in future. The case study concludes that social media led to an increase in student engagement and an enhanced student experience within the faculty.

Keywords


Peer-Assisted Learning; Peer Mentoring; Employability; Student Partnership Working

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ISSN: 1759-667X