Creating a community of practice for distance learning students in higher education is a challenge. Social networking sites can allow us to partially reproduce the ‘university experience’ for our students worldwide. Using social networks in higher education is not new but there are few cases reported which link employers with students from pre-enrolment right through graduation and beyond. This case study shows the practicalities and success of a social network group created on LinkedIn associated with two MSc courses (Omitted for blind peer review Note 1). This group may help reduce the isolation of distance learning study but has certainly created a useful community of practice for students, alumni, employers and the university itself that we hope will continue to grow and succeed in the future. Feedback from all users has been very positive so far. Staff effort so far has not been unmanageable. It has been used by employers to advertise jobs. But most importantly it has raised the profile of these courses significantly and may have contributed to a rapid growth in student numbers recently.
|Publication status||In preparation - 2014|