Twitter is one form of digital and computer-mediated form of peer-to-peer engagement that functions with both communicative and outreach potential. Students enrolled in higher education institutions report that Twitter “provided space and opportunities to engage in academic activities as a new pedagogical tool” (Bista, 2015, p. 1). Our Canvas LMS also has a Chat Feature that can function as a intra-course micro version of Twitter.
Additional research confirms that social media application such as Twitter and the Canvas chat feature “aids students in building relationships, fosters students’ connections with each other, and allows them to create meaning through sustained communication” (Chapman, 2015, p.1).
Further, research by Bartosik-Purgat, Filimon & Kiygi-Calli, 2017, Junco, Elavsky& Heiberger, 2015, and Prestridge, 2014, indicate that there is a powerful constructivist teaming between instructors and students as they tweet and retweet course content, perspectives, and discussions on Twitter. This student- teacher and student-student engagement reinforces our enhanced Community of Inquiry framework (Hamm, Edwards, King, 2018) and student learning outcomes (Junco, Elavsky, and Heiberger, 2015; Prestridge, 2014).
Here are some recommendations for using Twitter or the Canvas Chat feature in your course:
- Model your own use of social media features for your students
- Set criteria for the social media use in your course
- Create and share a hashtag for your course and/or content (lectures, discussions, resource-sharing, etc…)
- Positively affirm your students as they follow you and as they participate with the social media components of your course
- Read more tips from Educause
The best pedagogy is the one that is inclusive and meets learners where they are located.
Bartosik-Purgat, M., Filimon, N., Kiygi-Calli, M. (2017), Social Media and Higher Education – An International Perspective,Economics and Sociology, Vol. 10, No 1,
pp. 181-191. DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2017/10-1/13.
Bista, K., 2015. Is Twitter an effective pedagogical tool in higher education? Perspectives of education graduate students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 15, No. 2, April 2015, pp. 83 – 102. doi: 10.14434/josotl.v15i2.12825.
Chapman, A. (2015). Tweeting in Higher Education: Best Practices, (2015). Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/9/tweeting-in-higher-education-best-practices.
Junco, Reynol C., Elavsky, C. Michael and Heiberger, Greg., (2013). Putting Twitter to the Test: Assessing Outcomes for Student Collaboration, Engagement, and Success, British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 44, No. 2 (March 2013): 273–287.
Prestridge, S. (2014). A focus on students’ use of Twitter–their interactions with each other, content and interface. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(2), 101-115.
Note: this post originally written by Helen Teague and published on the HSU Online Ed blog.