Engaging Students with Twitter

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Engaging Students with Twitter

The aim of using Twitter was to engage students in between lectures and to focus student attention on the course material throughout the week. Twitter was used as a way to communicate and interact with the material and to develop students’ reflective thinking. Recognizing that not all students are comfortable using new technologies, Twitter use to support learning activities was optional and students who did not want to use their personal accounts for academic tweets could participate using the Blackboard discussion board.

What made this approach work

  • Instructor led by example and made expectations very clear to students;
  • Twitter used to link to assignments, e.g., have students follow a scholar in their field of interest and discuss the value of their tweets ;
  • Student participation is voluntary and an alternative is provided;
  • Contributed to developing a sense of community within a large class, and led to the creation of study groups and networking opportunities among students;
  • Embedded online interactions within assignments; and,
  • Tweets embedded within the activities of the course to keep students updated (Note: If you're using your personal twitter account, be careful not to overwhelm your followers with course-specific information);
  • Use of Twitter can contribute towards the course participation grade.

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