Virtual Induction and Social Networking: A Reflective Analysis of the Student Transition Experience

Phillip Millar, Christopher Tierney, Robert Eadie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research indicates that social and academic integration are important elements in the student experience in the transition to university. Some evidence supports improved outcomes in respect of learning and retention where contact with students is enhanced beyond that experienced in the formal academic environment. Recently, society has been exposed to new communication opportunities with social networking sites oftenthe vehicle of choice. This paper details and discusses student responses to theirinteraction with a dedicated Virtual Induction and Social Networking Site (VISNS). Aliterature supported rationale is offered for its introduction. Student feedback wassought mid semester via a questionnaire in order to analyse student perceptions of thesite’s usefulness. A feedback synopsis and detailed discussion is offered in the body ofthe paper. Analysis of the data reflects broad access across all elements of the sitesuggesting good levels of participation with students being satisfied or very satisfied.There are also some interesting and perhaps surprising responses by student cohortswith regard to the usefulness of the site and how it could be enhanced. Rankings areprovided indicating the relative importance to students of each aspect of the site’sfunctionality at inception and mid semester. These reflect changing student prioritiesthroughout the transition period. Although a longitudinal study, the findings detailed inthis paper suggest the site was successful in promoting student engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-69
JournalCEBE Transactions (online journal)
Issue numberIssue
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Virtual Induction
  • Student Experience
  • Student Support
  • Social Networking


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