Using social media in academic practice: a student-led training initiative


  • Andy Coverdale University of Nottingham
  • LeRoy Hill University of Nottingham
  • Tracy Sissons University of Nottingham



The effective use of social and participative media is widely seen as a key requirement in 21st century academic practice and professional development (Research Information Network, 2010). This paper describes a collaborative, student-led initiative that identifi ed a gap in existing doctoral training provision and delivered a series of interactive sessions to PhD students and early career researchers at the University of Nottingham. With an emphasis less on the technologies and more on their social, participatory and collaborative affordances, the sessions were designed and presented by two PhD students to raise awareness of social media and provide an opportunity for discussion and shared practice. In summarising the initiative, we provide key observations, perspectives and feedback from the session organisers and attendees, and refl ect on relevant literature and our experiences and feedback from presenting at the Future Learningscapes conference.

Author Biographies

Andy Coverdale, University of Nottingham

Andy Coverdale is an ESRC-funded PhD student in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, researching the use of social and participatory media (Web 2.0) in doctoral practices.

LeRoy Hill, University of Nottingham

LeRoy Hill is a PhD student at the School of Education, University of Nottingham. His research focuses on social networking and collaborative knowledge-building.

Tracy Sissons, University of Nottingham

Tracy Sisson is the Jubilee Graduate Centre manager, Graduate School, University of Nottingham and works closely with research staff and students to develop training events and opportunities which focus on ‘transferable skills’.