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Using Twitter as a student support and communication tool for project-based English courses
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Using Twitter as a student support and communication tool for project-based English courses

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  • 1. Using Twitter as a studentsupport and communication toolfor project-based English courses Syuhei KIMURA (@syuhei) RitsumeikanUniv., Japan 20/Oct/2012, GLoCALL2012
  • 2. Presentation Outline• Twitter and Japan• Project-based English Program• Traditional Ways to Support Students Outside Classroom• Twitter as a Support Tool Outside Classroom• Survey Results in 2010• Survey Results in 2012• Dos and Donts about Twitter-based Student Support
  • 3. Twitter and Japan• Spread of Information on 11th of Mar, 2011 http://blog.twitter.com/2011/06/global-pulse.html Twitter, Inc. (2011, Jun 29)
  • 4. Twitter and Japan Semiocast (2012, Jan 31)
  • 5. Twitter and Japan• Twitter for personal micro-blogging, daily communication, crisis communication, etc.• Why not for Education? – Early proposed by Grosseck and Holotescu (2008) – Japanese private research institute reports that there is a growing tendency that Twitter is becoming a popular medium for education in Japanese colleges (the Institute of Regional Studies, 2010)
  • 6. Project-based English Program• College of Sport and Health Science at Ritsumeikan Univ.• Newly started in 2010• About 250 students enroll in one year
  • 7. Project-based English Program• The college requires the students to finish two-year requisite English courses – Freshman and sophomore year• Project-based English Program – Students develop the projects based on their own interest and present the results in several academic formats (presentation, writings, etc.)• For more information about our program, search "PBEP" for Facebook.
  • 8. Project-based English Program• Typical classroom scenes
  • 9. Project-based English Program• My weekly class schedule Mon Tue Thu 1st period Freshman P Sophomore P Freshman P 9:00~10:30 2nd period Freshman P Sophomore P 10:40~12:10 3rd period Freshman P Sophomore P 13:00~14:30 4th period Freshman P 14:40~16:10 5th period Sophomore P 16:20~17:50 6th period Sophomore P 18:00~19:30
  • 10. Traditional Ways to Support Students Outside Classroom• Office hour – Inflexible for both teachers and students – Possibly unfair to some students• E-mail – Several steps to complete one e-mail message – Need to send the similar message to many students• BBS on LMS – Often accessible only from a PC browser
  • 11. Traditional Ways to Support Students Outside Classroom• Accessible from various devices• Limited to 140 letters – Very short, but straightforward• High efficiency in information sharing – Communication anytime, anywhere – Teachers messages (tweets) can be shared instantly by the students in different classes – "Favorite" important tweets for later use – "Retweet" them if needed to circulate around
  • 12. Twitter as a Support Tool Outside Classroom
  • 13. Twitter as a Support Tool Outside ClassroomThe Q-and-A session of our group presentation should bewithin 6-7 minutes times the number of group members,right?
  • 14. Twitter as a Support Tool Outside Classroom I found a reasonably-priced acer ultrabook on the flier (one on the top left in the pic). But I wonder why this one is so cheap? It has MS Word etc installed but is still cheaper than others. Are there any problems with this machine?
  • 15. Survey Results in 2010• 130 freshman students surveyed in the end of the fall semester, the end of their freshman year• 74 students out of 102 (73%) started using Twitter because they were advised to do so by the author• 102 out of 130 (78.4%) had acquired a Twitter account in the end of the fall semester
  • 16. Survey Results in 2010• 75 students out of 124 (60%) had one or more experiences to ask course-related questions of the author and responded that their problems had been solved via Twitter• 92 out of 102 (90%) responded that they hoped for other teachers to employ Twitter as an online support tool as well
  • 17. Survey Results in 2012• 89 freshman students surveyed• 75 students out of 89 (84%) had a Twitter account in the end of the spring semester, the middle of their freshman year – Higher proportion than that of the 2010 survey – Implying that Twitter has strengthened its presence among college students
  • 18. Survey Results in 2012• 37 students out of 84 (42%) used Twitter more than once to inquire course-related questions of the author• 28 of them (76%) answered they were solved via communication on Twitter• 54 found Twitter was helpful in solving their problems regarding their academic activities• 40 of them (74%) responded they expected other teachers to make use of Twitter as a means to help their study.
  • 19. Dos and Donts about Twitter-based Student Support• Review and repeat important tweets at the beginning of class – Some students may not have seen them or have not had a Twitter account yet• Avoid including students personal information – Name, address, grade, etc. – Switch to e-mail communication if needed
  • 20. Dos and Donts about Twitter-based Student Support• Be friendly, but dont be so too much – Twitter helps establish a friendly relationship between teachers and students, but it should not be involved with grading• Be strong! – Sometimes students express their negative feelings about class and teachers
  • 21. References (for the paper)• Acar, A., & Muraki, Y. (2011). Twitter for crisis communication: lessons learned from Japans tsunami disaster. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 7, 392–402. doi: 10.1504/IJWBC.2011.041206• Grosseck, G. & Holotescu, C. (2008). Can we use Twitter for educational activities?. The 4th International Scientific Conference eLSE "eLearning and Software for Education", Bucharest. "eLearning and Software for Education", Bucharest• The Institute of Regional Studies. (2010, Aug 23). The Actual Conditions and Future Prospects of Twitter Usage in Japanese Universities: The Survey Report of 1,128 Universities in Japan. http://chiikikagaku-k.co.jp/kkj/report/index.html• The Nielsen Company Japan. (2010, Aug). The Current Situation of Online Media in Japan. Retrieved from http://www.netratings.co.jp/wp01_form.html• Semiocast. (2012, Jan 31). Brazil becomes 2nd country on Twitter, Japan 3rd Netherlands most active country. Retrieved from http://semiocast.com/publications/2012_01_31_Brazil_becomes_2nd_country_on_Twitter_s uperseds_Japan• Twitter, Inc. (2011, Jun 29). Global pulse. Twitter blog. Retrieved from http://blog.twitter.com/2011/06/global-pulse.html
  • 22. Tips for Advanced Use of Twitter• Find out what kind of information students find helpful and valuable in number – Twitter tracks your tweets and shows how many people retweeted or favorited them in number Here is a sample summary of a questionnaire result. One of my students last year made this.
  • 23. Tips for Advanced Use of Twitter• Add hashtags to tweets regarding class for the sake of categorization and searchability – Tag your tweets so that they will not be buried and missed among many other Here is a sample summary of a questionnaire result. One of my students last year made this.