Using Social Media to Improve Environmental Awareness in Higher Education Institutions

  • Thabo Tlebere, Brenda Scholtz, André P. Calitz
  • January 2016, Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-25153-0_9

What is it about?

Environmental awareness campaigns have the ability to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills and attitude required to reduce environmental impact. Social media have been used by environmental activists to conduct environmental awareness campaigns. This paper proposes a conceptual model for improving knowledge and thereby awareness of environmental issues by means of a social media campaign. The model, called the Social Media for EnviroNmental Awareness (SMENA) model, consists of three phases of the campaign and factors impacting each phase. The model was implemented at a South African university and activities of the environmental awareness campaign were conducted on a social media website (SMENA website) and the popular social media sites Twitter and Facebook. The results showed that environmental knowledge increased as a result of the campaign. Generally the campaign was well received; however several students were resistant to the idea of using social media for education purposes on a topic which did not contribute to course credits.

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