Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Department Facebook Page

One of the principal areas for improvement that our department honed in on as a result of our assessment survey was communication with majors. Majors rated the usefulness of our website and communication quite low. Our department has some challenges in improving on this point. First, our majors tend to take longer to complete the program, with many taking extensive breaks, and the college doesn't have a very high-tech or consistent way of helping us keep track them. For example, we can only see who has declared philosophy as a major but we have no way of accessing who has it as a double major, minor, or dropped out. Second, we are constrained with how we can change our website and the process for doing so is onerous. Finally, many students do not use their assigned college e-mail address. Therefore, the most obvious methods--an e-mail list or remodeling our site--are not good options to reach our majors.

We debated whether to create a blog or a Facebook page and ultimately decided going for the latter. The only reason being that students would have to either subscribe to the blog rss feed or manually check it every time they want department news, whereas with a Facebook page they would get news from the department on their friends feed. We just launched our Facebook page and are trying to get students to 'like' us. I've e-mailed my colleagues and encouraged them to send their students to the Facebook page. But I was wondering if anyone out there had advice on how to get an active community on a department Facebook page? What sorts of things should we post besides events?


  1. You might post an interesting quote on a regular schedule--you don't have to do it every day, perhaps 2-3 a week.

  2. @Insignificant Wrangler. Thanks, that is something we have been trying to do. Hopefully it'll get the ball rolling.

  3. We have Facebook pages for our philosophy club and our Philosophy, Politics & Economics program, though not for our department. We post links to articles that tie into philosophical issues, such as this article about a pair of conjoined twins who shared an entire body, having only separate heads, which relates to issues of personal identity and medical ethics. I find it helps to ask a specific question about the article to start discussion. You might also explicitly tie specific posts into discussions from specific classes as a way of bringing attention to that class. For instance: "This article on campaign contributions ties into the discussion we had last week about income inequality and democracy in Dr. X's Political Philosophy course (PHIL 230)."

    We also post about opportunities for majors and accomplishments of our majors. You could also add Facebook polls to solicit input from students.


If you wish to use your name and don't have a blogger profile, please mark Name/URL in the list below. You can of course opt for Anonymous, but please keep in mind that multiple anonymous comments on a post are difficult to follow. Thanks!