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In this study, we examined how to use alumni stories to motivate and commit students to their studies. We used TUT Circle, a university-specific social-media service, as a tool for collecting and sharing alumni stories. For additional insights into alumni data, we created a set of visualisations, such as those showing educational paths leading to different professions. After reading the stories, we asked the students what they wanted from alumni stories and how social media (and face-to-face meetings) could be used to make interactions with alumni more useful. Students thought that alumni stories and visualisations were useful, but information that is more detailed and face-to-face meetings were also considered important. With more alumni stories, it would be possible to build alumni networks that would help students and educators to better link students' studies with future careers and increase their motivation to study.
Date of Conference: 17-20 April 2012