The jury’s in. The verdict is: Twearning was modestly successful.
Twearning is the use of Twitter in the classroom to promote student engagement and learning. In this post I explained how I had incorporated the use of Twitter in the Sports Marketing Law and Ethics class at my University. The class was composed of juniors and seniors at my university. It is a required course for the Sports Marketing major. Most students were Sports Marketing Major. The class was taught as a face-to-face class. The class had 18 students. One student was female; the remainder male. Students represented a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
Students were required to do several things:
Tweet one time during class and twice weekly outside class (15/315 points)
Provide group summaries of tweets for the previous week (15/315 points)
Follow tweets of 3 professional athletes and write a social media policy based on the information (50/315 points)
The following are unedited student comments.
Best of Using Twitter
- it helped me with my classmates easier. If I had a comment or curiosity, it was easy to get a response and the information i needed.
- Seeing how it can be used both professionally and casually as well. As well as quick communication with a very wide
variety of people.
- Best thing was the social interaction in and out of the class. If someone needed to ask a quick question, they could easily send a tweet or direct message to someone and get a response back, fairly quickly.
- Made me stay up to date with the course material, made sure that I was engaged during class time as well.
- Following athletes (2 students)
- That every chapter was summed up with the use of twitter and in our own words which helps us learn because most students can relate to the way we learn information.
- That it made everyone post something about the course in their own words.
- I got to communicate with my class mates and view the most popular topics and it helped me review and memorize course material
- The best thing about using twitter was that it kept me active in the class and out of class.
- learning new social media
- I appreciated using twitter in class because it allowed us to read material and summarize what our findings. It also helped keep us up to date with a world of technology that is evolving very fast.
Worst of Using Twitter
- It the hard was remembering to tweet all the time. it was not bad to use at all.
- Sometimes the character limit. But that forced me to be concise.
- Having to tweet twice outside of class was probably the worst thing. Students would wait till the last minute to tweet and it would consist of some random fact in the book. I feel that tweeting during in class is more effective.
- It was another thing to have to remember to do outside of class, also finding the tweets of my classmates for the group summaries was time consuming.
- Posting 2 tweets outside of class
- Saving the tweets and having to read through them for possible legal issues.
- On the learning aspect nothing was wrong, just making every tweet count and worth giving the right information.
- It kind of became too much after using it over and over again
- I did not have any problems
- I have nothing bad to say about twitter. It was fun to use for class.
- use was unrealistic
- I found that using twitter sometimes took away from personal interaction with classmates and professor. However, it seems that technology is taking us that way everywhere we look.
Student performance, as measured by exam results and course grades, was better. An implication from the exam results (noted in earlier posts) and the course grades was that students in the middle performed better. Students at the top tended to perform well no matter what the format. Note that I’ve only included raw, unedited student comments here. I have not yet conducted an analysis of the pre and post exam results nor have I compared the pre and post surveys of student perceptions of Twitter use and student engagement.
The following are first-blush comments. The student comments summarized here indicate:
- It was a useful tool to communicate with each other
- It was a useful method of learning by summarizing and seeing their classmates’ summaries of the material
Students liked least tweeting outside of class. That’s an interesting point because the students also seemed to find the summaries of those tweets one of the best things about using Twitter in this course. One thing which I noted in a previous
post, is that permitting students to use their laptops and, gasp, cell phones, did not hurt students’ performance in the class. This was contrary to what I expected when decided to, for the first time, drop the no cell phone rule.
This may seem like the end of the road. The exciting part is to conduct more analysis to determine what worked, what didn’t and why.
I’m considering this for one of my online classes in the fall; it may help foster more student engagement. Also, the withdrawal rates tend to be high in the particular class I’m thinking about and Twitter use might help reduce that rate. I’m also considering other uses.
This has been an interesting journey. More to come…..