Good news. Look at the chart! Twitter in the classroom seems to work; even with the more complicated materials. This chart shows that the spring 2012 grades lean toward As and Bs.
The second exam is more difficult than the first because it requires more application of concepts to scenarios and less of the basics. You can see from the chart that in Spring 2012 there were more As (2, instead of none in Spring 2011). There were an equal number of “Bs” in Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. There were more Cs in Spring 2012 then Spring 2011 (7, instead of 4 in Spring 2011) and fewer Ds and Fs. This result is consistent with the results of Exam 1.
So, what does this mean? Grades are one measure of determining whether learning has occurred. To the extent that exam scores improved over last year, I have evidence that using Twitter may have had an impact. As I noted in the earlier post, though, this result may not be terribly surprising in light of the fact that requiring Twitter required an extra review of the material (because students, in groups, had to summarize the weekly tweets and present those summaries to the class).
Then again, the fact that I permitted students to have their cell phones available during class demonstrates that, at least at this level, and at least with a small class, that it did not hurt overall class performance on exams. It is equivalent too, in the old days (when I was a student), to students reading a newspaper during class (some faculty permitted it, some didn’t) or passing notes to other students. Students are distracted, at least for that time, but it didn’t hurt their overall performance.
Keep tuning in: students must turn in ePortfolios and final projects later….