, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 167–175 | Cite as

Design Guidelines for Graduate Program Social Media Use

  • Joshua M. Rosenberg
  • Colin A. Terry
  • John Bell
  • Virginia Hiltz
  • Tracy E. Russo
Original Paper


Social media provides a promising platform for members of informal and formal educational communities to build community, collaborate, and support institutional goals such as student recruitment. Despite burgeoning research on the educational uses of social media, we are not aware of any to guide graduate program social media use. In order to contribute a framework for the use of social media platforms associated with graduate programs and to provide direction, guidance, and cohesion to a social media initiative began with our graduate program, we conducted a design-based research project. We describe the design guidelines that comprise the framework—establish why, establish how, be authentic, respect privacy, coordinate channels, and engage volunteers—and provide examples of each from our practice and references to prior research. We conclude with potential benefits and promising directions for future research and practice on graduate program social media use.


Social media Design-based research Doctoral education 



The authors acknowledge the contributions of Spencer Greenhalgh, Rohit Mehta, William Cain, April Niemela, Yining Zhang, Holly Marich, and Brian Arnold, without whom the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Social Media Council and this paper would not be possible. The authors are thankful to Mete Akcaoglu and Christine Greenhow for their feedback on an earlier version of this article and to Matthew Koehler, Leigh Graves Wolf, and Robin Dickson for their efforts establishing the Social Media Council.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua M. Rosenberg
    • 1
  • Colin A. Terry
    • 1
  • John Bell
    • 1
  • Virginia Hiltz
    • 1
  • Tracy E. Russo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Special EducationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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