Joseph G. Gerard of Western New England University published “Linking in With LinkedIn®: Three Exercises That Enhance Professional Social Networking and Career Building” in the Journal of Management Education December 2012 Special Issue on New Technological Advances Applied to Management Education. Click here to see the Table of Contents. As Professor Gerard writes in the abstract:
Getting students to network with one another can be one of the biggest challenges in college courses, despite being a highly important function of higher education. Networking can, in fact, lead to that first job or to professional advancement, and technology can improve the success of individual and institutional efforts. This article describes how one instructor moved from a systemwide “Meet the Classmates” assignment nested within the learning management system to the use of a free social networking system, LinkedIn®, and how one icebreaker assignment evolved to three larger, more comprehensive assignments that better leveraged certain social networking system characteristics for greater career preparedness. Exploratory data from 154 respondents from undergraduate capstone strategy courses provides insights into some possible advantages and limitations of the free social networking system to offset networking challenges as well as to enhance those professional and career-based advantages associated with effective network management.
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