How-to Guide for Educators: Teaching Strategies for Engaging Students on Social Media

Posted By: Mary Kay Dockter Career Development, Research & Knowledge,

JWHPT Social Media Engagement Series – Part Three

Author: Mary Dockter, PT, PhD

As a faculty member, most of us are finding we are being bombarded with a myriad of strategies to engage our students in synchronous and asynchronous on-line and/or hybrid models of content delivery.  It can be daunting to not only become comfortable with various tech equipment, but also new conferencing platforms (i.e. Zoom), proctoring services, video platforms, and other various aids. According to, social media is defined as “ websites and other online means of communication that are used by large groups of people to share information and to develop social and professional contacts.” Whether you are teaching in a traditional face-to-face, hybrid, or online delivery method,social media can be used to augment your delivery across modes of instruction.

There are many educational experts who have spent considerable time and effort creating resources on the use of social media in teaching – a quick web search on “social media and teaching” revealed several helpful sites (i.e. Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas is a compilation of resources)1.

Twitter is one platform I have used to connect my students to a wide variety of experts and resources. As someone once told me (author unknown), “Facebook is for who you know, Twitter is for who you want to know”. One very simple assignment I have used in various classes is to have students locate specific journal articles and retweet it with a short summary and/or comment on its significance. In order for me to keep track, students apply a hashtag with the course prefix and number (i.e. #PT519). Their peers are then asked to comment with a question and/or other feedback. Providing a rubric and expectations will help improve the substance of the comments. The fun part is when the authors, or other experts in  that area of study,  join in on the discussion. As a side note, encouraging your students to tweet and retweet journal articles improves the altmetric score on the article. (See previous blog post entitled, “What are altmetrics”). This is a great way to support the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy.


  1. Davis, Matt. (2015, January 18). Edutopia. Social Media for Teachers: Guides, Resources, and Ideas. Retreived from