AUSTRALIAN universities should consider how to share student information across their platforms to make sure they are more user-friendly and more resilient, a research paper has recommended.
The study found students from universities in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania were the most likely to use social media, with students from those states also the most interested in finding out about new places to study.
“It’s an issue that’s been talked about by students for quite a while, and there’s a lot of research around how to get better user experiences,” said professor Michael Wilson from the University of Queensland.
Prof Wilson and colleagues from the Australian Centre for Information Technology and Society, the University’s School of Business and Economics, and the University College London also used data from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and other public records to explore the extent to which students from states with higher percentages of students from Western Australia were more likely to post about their university online.””
It’s one of those things that is very easily overlooked and we need to understand how to better share information about students and their experiences across platforms.”
Prof Wilson and colleagues from the Australian Centre for Information Technology and Society, the University’s School of Business and Economics, and the University College London also used data from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and other public records to explore the extent to which students from states with higher percentages of students from Western Australia were more likely to post about their university online.
“The students that are going to use Facebook and Twitter to express themselves tend to be a relatively small percentage of the students in Western Australian,” Professor Wilson said.
“They’re more likely than the students that go to universities that are less likely to have a university affiliation.”
So, in the context of the social media ecosystem, it would be quite interesting to see if there is a similar phenomenon in Western countries.
“The research, which has not been published yet, used the university’s campus directory to compare the likelihood of students posting about a particular institution on social media with the likelihood for students to post on other social media platforms.
It found that, on average, students from each state and territory reported posting about their universities at least three times per month, compared to students from other states.”
What we found is that Western Australia is a very, very good place to be an undergraduate at the moment,” Professor Michael Wilson said, noting students from the state’s cities and towns are more likely, on a per-capita basis, to post online than those in rural areas.”
I think the biggest reason why Western Australia’s not a very good state is because there are not many places in Western society where you can actually get to a university.””
We have a very strong community of university students, and in Western Sydney, they’re about four times more likely [to] use social networks than people in other parts of Western Australia.
“Professor Wilson said there were two ways to address the issue.
The first was to create more user interfaces to make social media more user friendly and to improve student recruitment.
The second was to look at how universities could better protect their student data.
The University of Western Sydney’s Office of Student Conduct and Security has been working with the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission on improving user interface design, to increase student privacy and to reduce the likelihood that student data would be accessed.
Professor Wilson has been a member of the university for over 20 years, and has also been a director of the Centre for the Study of Human Relations.”
For me, it was a little bit of both,” he said.
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