Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What can/should we do when we see a student post disparaging remarks about you and/or your study abroad program on social media outlets?

On Monday my “Study abroad related tweet of the day” over on IHEC Blog’s Facebook page was "Study abroad office: useless!?"  My purpose in posting this tweet ties in to a recent post over on Manitou Heights entitled "Do you know what others are saying about you?"

My post generated some discussion and it got me thinking that this would be a good topic for IHEC Blog so I’m posting the following question in the hope of generating some good discussion:

What can/should we do when we see a student post disparaging remarks about us and/or our study abroad program on social media outlets?

Our responses will depend on what the student actually states in their post(s) and each situation will need to be addressed individually, of course, but I'm curious what others think.

Photo credit:  @DavidComp


  1. I am relatively new to blogging, but considering the forum and platform which is designed to promote unsubstantiated opinion, unfortunately you as the author are going to obviously enjoy the positive and have to suffer the negative, if you choose to post the negative responses because every comment is reviewed for approval prior to posting. Herein lies the dilemma, where if you only post the positive and censor the negative, the the validity of your site drops. In addition, while some comments and responses may be negative, there could be some valuable information socked away in the replies, so do you censor the negative parts of the reply and only post the positives or what you feel supports your blog and viewpoint. This is tough, because as both an instructor and doctoral candidate, the hardest part and challenge of education for many of us is critical review, but being in the game for as long as I have been, my skin has become very thick, and while I might not have always agreed with the negative or critical feedback, I respected the instructors/peers nonetheless, and in some instance, simply agreed to disagree.

    I want to be clear that hostile, foul, and taunting language within a posting or response should never be supported and this is the one instance where I believe censorship should be applied in an effort to create a scenario where participants do not feel threatened, and are comfortable in sharing their opinions without fear of retribution.
    I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in the future in reviewing study abroad programs becuase I have learned a great deal from these sites over the last months and they are important and helpful in guiding future world students/travelers/ambassadors.

  2. This situation has never happened in my work environment however, I have received some highly critical end of course critiques. The concern about these critiques for me is that my management is highly concerned with the results of my course critiques. As for addressing these issues, I try to find some benefit to the critique and look for ways to make improvements.

    Mark V

  3. I think that we, as educators, should not censor what students right. However, I believe they can be counseled. For example, I am currently working on my doctorate at Walden University. If I disparage the school, then I am disparaging my own education. To be marketable, I want people to believe I have had the best education. As far as those who use foul language, etc., as discussed by Jeff, I really think that in the end that only reflects poorly on the person who is writing it.