By Leanne Goodall
So you’re an Open University student and want to get involved on social media but where do you start? It can be confusing at first and a little overwhelming with all the different accounts, groups, students, staff and more. This blog post is designed to give you a head start with the basics by showing you 3 of the best accounts to get started with.
If you already use Twitter then this one is easy enough for you. If not then you might want to consider creating a Twitter account and this is why:
The Open University Student’s Association are on Twitter (as they are on most platforms) and are a fantastic link to finding other students and Open University related information. They tweet on a daily basis and will put out links to useful things, news about events, messages of support for students, information about graduation ceremonies and so much more. They have a big following of students, staff and supporters and provide that link to each other. Students will often tweet the OUSA account directly with questions, pictures or a bit of humour and then it gets retweeted out so that everyone can see. Other students will reply and that’s how you can begin to make connections.
@OUstudents #DE100 Does anyone keep a learning journal during their studies? what does it contain? Has it benefited your studies? #New2OU
— Shara (@SharaMcd) October 5, 2015
You can find the Open University Student’s Association Twitter account by looking up their username: @OUStudents.
But Instagram is just for photos? Yes, it is but the Open University Student’s Association account provides more than ‘just photos’. Firstly any images posted on there will be study related. They might be pictures taken on the campus at Milton Keynes or perhaps at one of the graduation ceremonies – both of which can be interesting and inspiring. Inspiration is a strong theme in this Instagram account as they will often post inspirational quotes and messages which do tend to give you a boost when you need it. They also post the ‘best overheard student comment’ – these can be extremely profound but also very funny. Overall it’s a nice account to follow and again provides another connection.
You can find them on Instagram under the name: oustudentslive
Facebook has its positives and negatives but can again be very good to connect with others and break down that feeling of isolation. My tip here is to look for the individual Facebook groups for your module and join those. They are run by students and not moderated by any official OU staff but do tend to be moderated by a couple of students. They provide a lighter look at studying with the OU and you get the opportunity to speak with people who are all doing the same materials as yourself and often going through similar struggles or successes.
In my time as a student so far I have always been able to find a group for my individual module but if you can’t find one then you could always try setting one up yourself and posting it to the Open University Students Association page so that they can share it. A good starting point to find the Facebook group that you need is to type your module code plus the year into the Facebook search bar and then look under groups. For example “A200 2015”.
So there you have it, 3 great ways to get started with social media as an OU Student. All of the above will provide you with plenty of opportunity to get connected with other OU students and provide lots of information and help. So go and give it a go, don’t be afraid to just get stuck in!
Leanne is half way through a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University and enjoys writing as a freelancer as well as on her blog. Find out more here. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions on STOU here.
Do you use social media? Have you interacted with the OUSA accounts and if so how did you find them? Please LIKE/SHARE/TWEET or leave a comment below. This social currency helps us to grow and improve the value and service we are able to provide for OU students 🙂