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Yammer Trumps Facebook for Some Graduate Students

From networking to collaborative problem solving, Yammer is revolutionizing classrooms.

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"This is not a Twitter application at all," she says. "This is something I can get into ... It's definitely user friendly for this type of learning environment."

Both Zombek and fellow dental student Kelly Walsh say Yammer seems to be more relevant for graduate students than undergraduates. Walsh, who didn't realize Yammer was being used in other schools, says undergraduate classes are often too large to sustain Yammer breakout sessions.

Zombek agrees, but with a caveat. "Our topics are so specifically targeted towards what we are studying that it would be difficult for it to be implemented for an undergraduate course discussing pre-dental stuff," she says, "but I feel like it is a tool that if explained properly ... anybody can thrive in."

[Get tips on how to stand out in a large class.]

Undergraduates at Ohio State haven't flocked to Yammer, according to Ted Hattemer, senior director of university marketing communications. Other university members have, however; since joining Yammer in 2008, Ohio State has more than 1,100 users, 43 groups, and more than 6,500 messages posted, Hattemer says.

"The vast majority of users on the platform are staff, with faculty and students making up a smaller proportion," he says. "Student involvement has been minimal to date, but we plan on promoting Yammer to students in the coming months."

Hattemer adds: "Yammer has a lot of potential to supplement online coursework and professor-student and student-student collaboration." 

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