Update: The Storify of this event is now available at https://storify.com/LTHEchat/lthechat-no-96-building-cohort-identity-through-so 

This coming Wednesday 15th November 8-9PM (GMT), I’m excited to be hosting a Twitter badge-lthechatchat for LTHEchat (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education chat). The topic will be: Building Cohort Identity through Social Media. After the event, the chat will be captured via Storify – and I will post a link here too.

More details at: https://lthechat.com/2017/11/11/lthechat-96-building-cohort-identity-through-social-media-with-david-webster-davidwebster/

The idea behind this session:

How can we leverage the huge level of engagement in social media that we encounter amongst many students? While tutors often concentrate on the use of social media in specific learning tasks, and how to harness its power, this chat will focus on how we might have it contribute to something less immediate, but arguably even more important for engagement, and therefore for learning.

Cohort identity, the sense that a group of students are engaged, together, in a shared endeavour, is a valuable quality to nurture. It stands in marked contrast to neoliberal narratives, which encourage students to see themselves as separate brands, in direct competition to their peers. The sense of a shared community of learners facilitates deeper learning, a sense of a structured, supported, safe place to fail, and allows substantive, discussion and an honest exchange of ideas. Given the overwhelming and pervasive nature of the aforementioned individualist discourses, how much can we intervene to manufacture this sense of cohort identity?

This #LTHEchat will examine the extent to which Social Media can be means of this manufacture. What pitfalls stand between us and using Social Media to engineer a virtual community of learners, who recognise their shared learning interests, where this sense of community then spills into their face-to-face, or other on-line, learning experience?