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1. Purpose of this toolkit 



Universities and other higher education providers are increasingly making use of social media in a variety of ways, and this Toolkit is mainly a practical guide for those charged with doing something with social media. However, making the most of the potential benefits and managing the risks also requires a strategic approach, so the Toolkit is also aimed in part at institutional senior management teams to help them understand the role social networking can and should play in an institution's overall approach to information and communications management. Effective and appropriate use of these tools requires a willingness to innovate and experiment and effective collaboration across many different functional areas of the institution, including: senior management; marketing; IT; learning and teaching; legal; and student support. We aim to provide a general overview supported by specific guidance for particular types of user and scenario.

Guidance and examples of good practice are already available but there is no comprehensive resource tailored to the needs of the HE community. This Toolkit will help those who are starting to formulate their strategy and policy, and those who are already using social media and wish to review their strategy, policy and practice. The Toolkit is specifically concerned with the higher education context and how this differs from the use of such tools in other types of organisations. It is a guide for those who use social media in the course of their professional life, rather than a more general guide to using the plethora of social media tools available. Similarly, although we look in general terms at the use of these tools to enhance learning and teaching practice (and point to a range of useful resources), it is not specifically a guide to using social media for learning and teaching purposes.

 
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