Building Writing Assignments around the Use of Social Media on the Job

We’re far enough into the age of social networking that most of us have probably given our students assignments regarding the use of these media, especially for marketing purposes.

 Another angle on these media, though, is how they should—and shouldn’t—be used on the job. Along these lines, two assignments in particular come to mind:

  •  Have students draft a social-media or Internet-use policy for a real or simulated company. There are many such policies available via the Web, as well as advice about how to write them.  Business databases such as ABI/Inform also include articles on the topic, and students could even interview business professionals whose companies have such policies and learn the thinking behind them. (Such research could be the basis for a report assignment as well.)
  •  Have students play the role of a supervisor or manager and write a persuasive email advising employees to curb their use of such media on the job.  The company in this scenario could be one whose employees need access to such sites as Facebook and Twitter as part of their work-related duties (in which case, blocking access to such sites is counterproductive) or one where blocking such sites is a possible next step if the employees don’t monitor themselves.

 Assignments along these lines not only provide good problem-solving experience; they also apprise students of the issues involved—and perhap make them more likely to use such sites responsibly themselves.

 The following websites will give your students a start toward tackling assignments of this kind:

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