Site features several ‘how-to’ videos for students
Del Mar has long had a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page, but this summer the college decided to expand its social media presence by adding TikTok to the mix.
TikTok has been the most downloaded free mobile app during the pandemic, boasting over 800 million users worldwide despite security concerns from the U.S. government. Del Mar College has joined the rapidly growing social network platform under the username @DMCVikings in an effort to help students stay informed during the pandemic.
“What started out as fun dance and viral videos, we quickly realized it was a perfect platform to make short and informative how-to and information videos for different departments and services around the college,” said Estevan Guerra, a specialist with Student Leadership and Student Life. Run by that department, the @DMCVikings TikTok page highlights step-by-step videos that touch on the admission process, veteran services, career development and more starring college mascot Valdar the Viking.
The move online due to the pandemic has changed the way students interact with Del Mar’s faculty and staff online since most of its campuses have been shut down to limit the spread of COVID-19. Staff has worked tirelessly to increase its online presence to not only expand online classes, but also host virtual graduations, conduct live Q&A’s for students working on scholarships, or publish “how-to” videos to help students with FASFA or nursing program applications — all activities that would have been done in person any other year.
“The team has never created as many videos as we do right now. It looks to be our future as well. Right now, we are working on drama performances, virtual art galleries and anything we can do to prioritize student learning to give students the opportunity to perform and show off their work,” said Jason Houlihan, digital services manager at Del Mar College.
Houlihan said his digital team had to rise up to the challenge to meet demand for online content. They have worked around the clock creating content for student services like the Math Learning Center, Stone Writing Center and Counseling Services.
Aside from helping DMC staff go completely virtual, Houlihan said his team is also busy fielding dozens of social media DMs and emails. Student questions are what determine the type of “how-to” videos they will create next. His team’s intent is to both inform and help students build self-efficacy.
“Making ‘how-to’ videos to teach students about how to get the help they need is key to not only their learning but how they handle the challenges brought on by this pandemic,” Houlihan said.