chapter  2
Academia goes social media, MOOC, SPOC, SMOC and SSOC
The digital transformation of higher education institutions and universities
ByAndreas Kaplan
Pages 11

This chapter starts by outlining three core challenges higher education currently faces: enhancing prestige and market share; embracing an entrepreneurial mindset; and expanding interaction and value co-creation. It shows how social media can play a vital role in overcoming these challenges by attracting future students, augmenting current students' learning experience, and amplifying relationships with past students. The chapter looks at the role of social media in academia's digital transformation process by defining and classifying online courses into massive open online courses (MOOCs), SPOCs, small private online courses (SMOCs) and synchronous small online course (SSOCs), briefly sketching out the history of MOOCs and distance learning, as well as analysing connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) as open online courses which are heavily supported by, and based on, social media applications. Social media can play a vital role in increasing the market share of a higher education institution, as well as enhance its prestige.