Using Social Media (Tweeting) to engage students in lectures

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All students on the MA Primary Education Programme at the University of Glasgow (Dumfries) were encouraged to tweet during lectures and tutorials in Semesters 1 & 2 for two specific courses in order to determine if it would impact on their engagement and learning. Within weeks, three main types of tweets were identified: questions/answers, reflections and reporting. While this project is still ongoing, early results have been positive. Contrary to the expectation that students would be off-task, the results have shown that during the lecture/tutorial they are reflecting more on the main lecture points, asking (and answering) relevant questions (particularly by students who are traditionally more-reserved) and they are tweeting weblinks and academic references which link to wider reading and engagement with the subject.

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Using Social Media (Tweeting) to engage students in lectures

  1. 1. Learning & Technology Using Social Media to engage students in lectures A.G. Pate
  2. 2. #SC Success Criteria By the end of the input, I will be able to: • list 3 types of posts students can place online during a lecture/tutorial; • post comments and questions using TodaysMeet or Twitter; • identify the pros and cons of using TodaysMeet or Twitter during a lecture/tutorial; • evaluate whether using social media would benefit my students and their learning;
  3. 3. #LTD Part A: Learning Through Doing
  4. 4. #LTD Part A: Learning Through Doing •TodaysMeet poster •reinforcing •questioning •linking •www.todaysmeet.com •www.todaysmeet.com/LTAGP •During this input, use this room to: •reinforce; •question; •link! T O DAY S M E E T. C O M WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR? Reinforcing Questioning Linking Purpose Purpose Purpose • Rephrase points in your own words • Share your version online • Reinforce what you are learning • Correct misconceptions • Develop a collective ‘mindset’ of the learning concepts • Ask questions anonymously • Answer other learners’ questions. • Improve confidence to ask questions without feeling intimidated • Share understanding to peers • Benefit from instant feedback • Post online, relevant sources during the lecture and tweet the link • Connect to wider reading and experience • Deepen learning about the topic • Make links between learning © 2014 A.G. Pate Photo: Public Domain CC0. www.pixabay.com/en/binoculars-child-magnification-100590
  5. 5. #CD MA Primary Education Child Dev 1 & Child Dev 2 •Child Dev 1 •Child Development Theories and Theorists (Semester 1) •Cognitive Development (Semester 2) •Child Dev 2 •Physical Development (Semester 1) •Emotional and Social Development (Semester 2)
  6. 6. #CD MA Primary Education Child Dev 1 & Child Dev 2 •Child Dev 1 (40 students) •1 hour lecture •30 min research discussion •30 min SBL discussion •Child Dev 2 (34 students) •Flip Teaching: Lecture is a video on Moodle they watch on their own time •45 min research discussion •45 min SBL discussion •30 min lecture discussion (optional)
  7. 7. #CD MA Primary Education Child Dev 1 & Child Dev 2 •Students encouraged to post on TodaysMeet instead of taking notes •The lecture notes are available on Moodle so why copy them during class? •Students sit in large room - groups of 4 •BYOD + some laptops from IT services •Students posting individually and/or in collaborative pairs/groups •Group responses were named (Group A, B, etc.) which corresponded to tables •Students could post responses/questions to groups •Time was given for students to visit other groups for face-to-face discussion
  8. 8. #PI Practical Issues •Not everyone had a device •Low battery
 Fortunately lots of floor plugs in room •Wifi Connection
 I crashed the campus’ wifi network on day 1. Ooops! •Space •Second screen/projector
  9. 9. #LI Learning Issues •Students with visual/learning challenges (e.g., dyslexia)
 Working in groups / providing alternatives such as scribe/reader •Multi-tasking (for students & tutor) •Comfort Zone •Training students to reinforce, question & link effectively •Student concern about how to use notes to study
  10. 10. #TI Teaching Issues •Slight impact on amount taught in first 2/3 weeks due to providing high level of: •support •training •modelling •encouragement •Appropriateness/professionalism of comments
 Wasn’t an issue after the 2nd week
  11. 11. #TI Teaching Issues •Until students ‘find their feet’ (around week 3) and learn to support others’ comments, the lecturer has higher level of distractions/deviations due to responding to posts. •Sustained engagement throughout term •If you make it the norm, the students will treat it as the norm •1st year students less concerned about this methodology than 2nd year students — due to not knowing any differently?
  12. 12. #TI Teaching Issues •Awareness of effective teaching methodologies •Giving opportunities to tweet/respond/work in groups during lecture •Shampoo methodology (rinse and repeat)
  13. 13. #SITM Specific Issues: TodaysMeet •Easy to set up; •Can set room to auto-erase after a specific length of time •PDFs of conversation can be created and put onto Moodle; •No easy way to differentiate between own comments and others’; •Lack of privacy (if you know the URL, you can join in); •Unfamiliar to all students •Limited characters to type
  14. 14. #SITW Specific Issues: Twitter •Little bit complex to set up; •Can’t create PDFs of whole conversation to put onto Moodle; •Easy to differentiate between own comments and others’; •Privacy (if set correctly); •Pictures/videos can’t be forwarded if it’s set to private •Familiar to most students •Use of hashtags (#). •Limited characters to type
  15. 15. #out3 Outcomes •By the 3rd week: •three types of posts were identified: •reinforcing; •questioning; •linking. •poster created to help foster these types of post •student improvement (which continued to improve throughout term) re: •responding to others’ posts if reinforced information incorrect; •asking more relevant (and deeper) questions; •answering questions instead of tutor; •linking to other sources.
  16. 16. #out5 •By the 5th week: Outcomes •2nd year students creating their own TodaysMeet rooms to discuss the flip teaching videos throughout the week •1st and 2nd year students asked to try using Twitter instead mostly due to: •desire to see own posts; •privacy issues •Students had mixed feelings about moving from TodaysMeet •Issues re: set up (as discussed earlier)
  17. 17. #out8 Outcomes •By the 8th week: •Tutor suggests a return to TodaysMeet. 
 Response: A resounding no. •Students ask tutor to number slides (or #) to make it easier when notetaking. •Number of students bringing own devices around 80% •1/3 - laptops; •1/3 - smartphones; •1/3 - tablets (mostly iPads) •Students prefer own devices to IT Services’ computers
  18. 18. #PT Personal Thoughts •Challenging to start; •“Am I being ignored?” factor; •2nd year students showed improved engagement over previous year; •During discussions, important to respond to each group (reinforcement); •Small numbers so not deluged by tweets; •Groups made it even more manageable; •3 people discussing & 1 person posting; 1 group discussing & 1 group posting •giving each group a different hashtag (#) •Time to ask questions to other groups via posts and then visit them face-to-face •With larger groups, TAs/various hashtags/rooms may keep it manageable
  19. 19. #SC Success Criteria I can: • list 3 types of posts students can place online during a lecture/tutorial; • post comments and questions using TodaysMeet or Twitter; • identify the pros and cons of using TodaysMeet or Twitter during a lecture/tutorial; • evaluate whether using social media would benefit my students and their learning;

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