Using Twitter to Improve College Student Engagement: Rey Junco SxSWi '11

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While faculty and staff at higher education institutions have experimented with the use of social media, there has not been a concerted effort to integrate these technologies in educationally-relevant ways. Emerging research in the field of social media, student engagement, and success shows that there are specific ways that these technologies can be used to improve educational outcomes. This presentation will focus on reviewing and translating research on the effects of Twitter on college students into effective and engaging educational practices. Background research on the psychological construct of engagement will be provided and will be linked to engagement in online social spaces. In addition to presenting cutting-edge research on how to create engaging and engaged communities, the presenter will review specific ways that Twitter can be used in the classroom and the co-curriculum. The presenter will discuss how academicians can hack existing technologies, specifically Twitter, for educational good and will present the results of his latest research on the effects of Twitter on student engagement and grades.

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  • Thanks for posting your slides and for the fantastic presentation at SXSWi 2011. Looking forward to your following your research online.
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  • Amount of physical and psychological energy invested in academic and co-curricular activities.\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • Earlier one - 1991\nLater one - 2005\n\nFirst bullet - strong connections\nInteraction with peers + student persistence and +degree completion\n\nUsing computers for coursework is related to + critical thinking and + general reasoning\n\n
  • My research interests in this area began when I started teaching in 2000 and I shared my AOL IM screen name with students as part of my contact information on my syllabus. I realized that when the more introverted students would ask me questions via IM, they later became much more engaged in the class. It seemed as if IMing me to “test the waters” helped them gain more confidence to participate and engage in the class discussions. \n\nWhen I talk about engagement in this context, I am talking about student academic engagement-- involvement and participation in academic activities including class discussions, research with faculty members, readings, etc. and I am also talking about extracurricular engagement-- being involved in activities, groups, and clubs.\n\nPascarella & Terenzini :\n\n1. There is consistent evidence that in college environments that emphasize close relationships and frequent interactions between faculty and students as well as faculty concern about student growth and development, critical thinking, analytic competencies, and general intellectual development thrive. These environments also facilitated knowledge acquisition. \n\n2. Close on-campus friendships, engagement in college-sponsored activities, and the student perception that colleges are concerned about them as individuals maximize persistence and educational attainment. Environments that emphasize involvement in class discussions and involvement with faculty in academic community maximize overall psychosocial adjustment and maturity. \n\n3. Student perceptions that faculty members care about them as well as faculty accessibility to students promote persistence and degree completion. Availability, helpfulness, and rapport with students correlated significantly with student mastery of course content.\n\n4. Consistent correlations between the use of computers for academic coursework and critical thinking and general reasoning skills.\n\n5. Extracurricular involvement positive effect on persistence and educational attainment, women’s choice of nontraditional careers, and development of a positive social self-concept. \n\n6. Strongest evidence regarding academic experience was that controlling for extraneous variables, student engagement in academic work and in the academic experience of college the greater her or his level of knowledge acquisition and cognitive growth. \n\n7. Interaction with peers is most pervasive and powerful force in student persistence and degree completion. \n
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  • “Low Users” for the Heiberger study < 1 hour/day on Facebook - “High Users” > 1 hour/day\n“Low Users” for the HERI study < 1 hour/week on SNS - “High Users” > 6 hours/week\n\nHERI - Using the Your First College Year (YFCY), consisting of data from 31,500 first-year students at 114 colleges and universities in the United States\nHeiberger - Survey of 377 undergraduates at a mid- sized public midwestern university\n\n
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  • Cronbach’s α = .80\nSo the idea was to measure traditional forms of student engagement (inside and outside of the classroom) because there is a great deal of research showing\nthe positive effects of engagement on retention. This way, if we find an effect, we can show that online engagement leads to real world engagement and therefore\nshould have a connection with retention.\n\n
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  • Listed in order of strength of prediction\nI also think that one of the reasons that HERI and Heiberger found relationships like they did (beyond the measurement issue) was that during those times, Facebook had not been adopted by such a significant proportion of students; therefore, those students who were more engaged were more likely to be on FB to begin with and the activities they conducted on FB were, more than likely, more engaging activities. \n
  • .247 correlation between average minutes and average times checked per day, p=.01\nI could check once and be on for 8 hours or check 20 times for 1 minute each time\n\n
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  • N=125, 70 Twitter, 55 control\n
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  • We had the students in the experimental group go through the Twitter training, sign up for Twitter, and follow our class account. We also had all students follow each other. \n
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  • Concept analysis - tweets measured for the presence and frequency of concepts (collection of words that travel together in doc)\nRelational analysis - measures how identified concepts are related to each other \n
  • Conceptual clusters of concepts - Theme Circles. Themes are heat mapped - hot colors (red, orange) are more relevant than cool colors (blue, green). \nThe lines are connections between the main concepts that occur in the text and their relationship to each other.\n\n
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  • 19-76 (range 57) 6% change\n
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  • N=135, 66 on Twitter, 69 not\n
  • COMM 110 seeks to introduce students to the important role of the mass media in developing conceptions of democracy and democratic participation in contemporary societies. Utilizing current events, popular culture and the students' own relationship to media as the template, this course is designed to stimulate student thinking about the interrelationship between the dynamics of US culture, news, politics, and civil society in order to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of what civic engagement and global awareness can do towards nurturing democracy's principles and practices.\n\n
  • We had the students in the experimental group go through the Twitter training, sign up for Twitter, and follow our class account. We also had all students follow each other. \n
  • There was no push to participate in Twitter - faculty did not participate in Twitter like in Study #1\nProjected Twitter on the screen during class but did not call attention to it unless there was something really compelling (maybe 4 times during the semester) \n
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  • Concept analysis - tweets measured for the presence and frequency of concepts (collection of words that travel together in doc)\nRelational analysis - measures how identified concepts are related to each other \n
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  • Whether students are not being guided, there is a relationship to how they use SM\n\nWhen they are guided, results are positive and strong\n\nActivities and patterns of use matter\n\nIf you leave them alone and let them use social media in natural ways, they will use it in some ways that are related to their engagement and some ways that aren’t (just like other activities in the real world). However, if you encourage them to use social media in relevant ways and guide them, you can lead to positive educational outcomes. \n
  • Whether students are not being guided, there is a relationship to how they use SM\n\nWhen they are guided, results are positive and strong\n\nActivities and patterns of use matter\n\nIf you leave them alone and let them use social media in natural ways, they will use it in some ways that are related to their engagement and some ways that aren’t (just like other activities in the real world). However, if you encourage them to use social media in relevant ways and guide them, you can lead to positive educational outcomes. \n
  • It’s like the marketers say, if someone says something negative about your brand, you have to get in there and shape the conversation to a more positive tone. Imagine content knowledge is the brand. \n
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  • Using Twitter to Improve College Student Engagement: Rey Junco SxSWi '11

    1. 1. Using to Improve College Student Engagement
    2. 2. Engagemen t
    3. 3. Astin
    4. 4. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Academic Work Academic Experience
    5. 5. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Critical Thinking Academic Work Analytic Competencies Academic Experience Intellectual Development
    6. 6. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Critical Thinking Academic Work Analytic Competencies Academic Experience Intellectual Development Social Engagement Class Discussions With Faculty Academic Community
    7. 7. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Critical Thinking Academic Work Analytic Competencies Academic Experience Intellectual Development Social Engagement Class Discussions Psychosocial Adjustment With Faculty Maturity Academic Community
    8. 8. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Critical Thinking Academic Work Analytic Competencies Academic Experience Intellectual Development Social Engagement Class Discussions Psychosocial Adjustment With Faculty Maturity Academic Community Extracurricular Engagement
    9. 9. Engagement Research Academic Engagement Critical Thinking Academic Work Analytic Competencies Academic Experience Intellectual Development Social Engagement Class Discussions Psychosocial Adjustment With Faculty Maturity Academic Community Retention Extracurricular Engagement Educational Attainment Nontraditional Careers for Women Positive social self-concept
    10. 10. Social Media &Engagement
    11. 11. Low Users High UsersHigh or very high connection to institution (Heiberger, 2007) Very satisfied with social life (HERI, 2007) Participate in >1 student organization (Heiberger, 2007) Spend > 6 hours in student organization/week (HERI, 2007) High or very high connection to friends (Heiberger, 2007) Interact daily with close friends (HERI, 2007) 0 25 50 75 100
    12. 12. Measures
    13. 13. NSSENational Survey of Student Engagement
    14. 14. &Engagemen t
    15. 15. 1. NSSE Scale Score2.Time Spent Studying3. Time Spent in Activities
    16. 16. Predictors
    17. 17. Positive Predictors Negative Predictors Events Playing Games Commenting Posting Photos Viewing Photos Facebook Chat Time Spent on FB FB Stalking
    18. 18. Positive Predictors Negative Predictors Events Playing Games Commenting Posting Photos Viewing Photos Facebook Chat Time Spent on FB FB Stalking
    19. 19. Checking ≠ Engagement
    20. 20. Correlation
    21. 21. Control
    22. 22. Study #1
    23. 23. Questions Does using in educationally relevant ways have an effect on student engagement? Does using in educationally relevant ways have an effect on first semester grades?
    24. 24. First Year Seminar
    25. 25. Experimental Design Pretest Posttest Control Engagement Engagement GradesExperimental
    26. 26. Using in the classroom
    27. 27. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions
    28. 28. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions
    29. 29. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading
    30. 30. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading
    31. 31. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading
    32. 32. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading• Class reminders
    33. 33. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading• Class reminders• Campus event reminders
    34. 34. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading• Class reminders• Campus event reminders• Helping students connect with each other and instructors
    35. 35. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading• Class reminders• Campus event reminders• Helping students connect with each other and instructors• Organizing service learning project
    36. 36. Using in the classroom• Continuity for class discussions• Low-stress way to ask questions• Discussion of common reading• Class reminders• Campus event reminders• Helping students connect with each other and instructors• Organizing service learning project• Organizing study groups
    37. 37. Results
    38. 38. Content Analysis
    39. 39. How does Dr. Farmer continue his work withoutfeeling overwhelmed? It is hard enough with college courses we are taking. Stress management? The compassion that Farmer shows when he is traveling across seas to help others is something I would like to match here. Helping ppl = good. Farmer Paul Farmers actions can be taken as a learning tool for us to help our own nation. Why it hasnt happened sooner, i dont know. If what dr. Farmer is doing is a band aid, I really feel like crap by doing what I can do for my community. Critics are jealous I say.
    40. 40. The compassion that Farmer shows when he is traveling across seas to help others is something I would like to match here. Helping ppl = good. Shouldnt we stay local to help others? Others Is there a basic human debt to others? Is it enough to serve others in research or in practice, or must one do service-workSatisfaction is something u must find on ur own & not compare to others.
    41. 41. Statistics
    42. 42. EngagementExperimental 5.52 Control 2.29 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 F(1, 4.9) = 12.119, p = .02
    43. 43. GradesExperimental 2.79 Control 2.28 0 1 2 3 4 F(1, 4.9) = 8.013, p = .04
    44. 44. Study #2
    45. 45. Question Left alone, will student use of have an effect on engagement?
    46. 46. Media & Democracy
    47. 47. Study Design Pretest PosttestEngagement Engagement
    48. 48. No Random Assignment No Control No Encouragement
    49. 49. Results
    50. 50. Content Analysis
    51. 51. Honest people running would be AWESOME. :) But, Im not sure were ever going to have the perfect candidate.Americans are the best entertained but least informed people on the face of the earth PeopleIs not showing the whole truth lying? most people think yesThank you. thats exactly what these people on here need to realizeWe need you to be as proud of the people in the lab, as your football team on the field
    52. 52. The news is influencing how we think critically about it. think about it. There was a good point made: you want straight news? research it yourself-ask questions for YOU. News I think some students find it difficult toseparate news from commentary - what do you think? Whats more important... Jersey shore or channel 8 news?Everything is news, but not everything is newsworthy. Celebrity deaths and love affairs are the gossip of society.
    53. 53. Totally not looking forward to having kids and them wanting me to buy them shitNetflix instant play is the shit. Storage space is, for all practical purposes, free. Philly inquirer is my shit ShitObama probably wont get shit done these next2 years with all these republicans hatin. They need to hate the game not the playaThe simple fact that our degrees will say “_________________ ______ University” is why they can raise tuition. And we cant do shit People want to escape from all the shit they actually have to do. guilty as well.
    54. 54. Statistics
    55. 55. ≠ Engagement
    56. 56. Implications
    57. 57. Effective Practices
    58. 58. 1. Engage With Students2. Integrate Course Content3. Encourage Collaborative Learning

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