Demystifying university: using Facebook to develop a pre-induction online community to aid transition and retention

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


This chapter is based on a case study of a pre-entry, subject-specific, closed Facebook group formed for level 4 students from the Broadcast Media Courses at the Hastings Campus of the University of Brighton. The model used for the Facebook group in this study was extended to a pilot Campus-based group at the Hastings Campus in early 2012 and the employment of two Social Media Student Ambassadors. This pilot was extended across all University of Brighton campuses during clearing 2012. The Social Media Ambassadors lead the engagement with new students both in the pre-entry stage and during the semesters. The research has used data generated by observation and on-line survey which has enabled the exploration of the experience of students, ambassadors and staff. The findings of this study indicate that the Facebook group was successful for the new level 4 students. They had the opportunity to ask questions and communicate with student ambassadors and staff in a familiar environment whom they would not usually have had access to in the pre-entry period. The use of Facebook in this context has implications for the transition, retention, and engagement of level 4 students, particularly those from Widening Participation backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCompendium of Effective Practice: Proven examples of what works in enhancing the student experience in higher education
EditorsRobin Clark, Jane Andrews, Liz Thomas, Rebecca Aggarwal
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherAston University; Higher Education Academy
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2013


  • transition
  • social media
  • peer support
  • induction
  • Facebook
  • widening participation


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