Create a Better Online You


Megan Pozzi

QUT

Create a Better Online You is a distinctive project which addresses the gap in digital literacy and social media skills resources for today’s learner in the higher education sector, and as future professionals. It comprises a website, videos, interactive self-assessment tool, and teaching guide for academics. Create a Better Online You was developed by QUT Library and was launched in July 2015.

In particular, there is an emphasis on using social media strategically to enhance students’ career prospects and supporting students in developing their professional profiles, networks and employability. Other content in the resources focuses on social media rights and responsibilities and social media and mental health.

The final suite of resources is freely accessible under a Creative Commons licence. This licence enables free access to the resources for teachers and learners globally and allows other institutions to use, copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon all of the material, making the resources accessible world-wide. Licensing the resources in this way ensures that best practice can be shared without limitations.

To date the students have been surveyed regarding the resources with:

  • 100% of students indicating they would recommend the face-to-face workshop and online resources to others;

  • 75% indicating that their confidence in using social media had increased after completing the online self-assessment; the remaining participants’ confidence had remained steady. Prior to engaging with the resources, only half of the students had ever Googled themselves to see what a potential employer could find out about them.

In Semester One, 2016, Create a Better Online You will be piloted with 300 students in a first year Education unit which examines the importance of a professional online reputation for teachers; and 500 students in a first year Science and Engineering unit, which equips students with teamwork, communication and design skills in an Information Technology context.

The resources have been promoted to prospective students at the QUT Open Day and shared with external stakeholders and delegates at The 2015 Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) Conference and the 2015 Students, Transition, Achievement, Retention and Success (STARS) conference. An article focussed on the development of the resources is scheduled for upcoming publication in the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments. There has been interest in the resources from universities in New Zealand and Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

The final suite of resources can be found here: https://www.library.qut.edu.au/study/socialmedia/