CSCL 2013: Modeling #Twitter Use: Do Preservice Teachers Notice?
Modeling #Twitter Use:Do Students Notice?Dr. Vanessa Dennen, Fabrizio FornaraFlorida State UniversityJune 18, 2013University of Wisconsin – Madison
Why Twitter? Potential to support collaborative interactions and tofoster both community building and knowledge sharing(Ebner et al., 2010; Junco, Heibergert & Loken, 2011; Lee &McLoughlin, 2010; Schroeder, Minocha & Schneider, 2010). Direct experience building and interacting with aprofessional learning network.We focused on the dynamics of students’ activity on Twitterin an educational setting and on the factors that influencethis activity.
Purpose: To observe whether the Twitter activity ofpreservice teachers differs in the presence of aninstructor model. Hypothesis: An ongoing instructor presence that modelappropriate tweets might encourage desired knowledgesharing and community building via Twitter within andacross class sections.The Study
Activity Activity: Semester-long Twitter assignment. Students wererequired to regularly post entries on Twitter. The content ofposts was not constrained.4Group ClassSectionsFollowClassmatesUsecommonhashtagFollowinstructormodelControl 3 X XExperiment 3 X X X
Methods Participants: six sections of approximately twenty studentseach, three sections per condition (N=117). Data collection: Students’ tweets, surveys. Data analysis: Coding categories were emergent in threemain categories: Course related School related Non-school related5
Findings: Features Similar number of tweetsand use of hashtags Overall, few tweets with alink. Students were notheavily interested in sharingresources. Control group: used thereply featuremore, communicated morewith peers. Experiment group: morelikely to retweet, especiallythe instructor’s entries. Experiment group: Morelikely to indicate Twitter avaluable tool for interactingwith others (survey)6
Findings: Content Most of the tweets arecomments aboutassignments. Most of the tweets werecomposed the day beforeclass or during class. The predominant attitudetoward the class andhomework was neutral, witha tendency to negativecomments for the controlgroup. The experiment grouptweeted more abouteducational technologythan control group. The content of the tweetssuggests that students wereaware of the presence orabsence of an instructor.7
Discussion The presence of a co-tweeting instructor influences howstudents use Twitter, in terms of both the content of tweetsand students’ likelihood to use certain features. One unintended effect was the student’s orientationtoward the instructor in the experiment condition. In the absence of an active instructor students more freelyshared their thoughts about the class.8
Recommendations Establish desired outcomes and actively and consistentlymodel the types of tweets and interactions that lead tothose outcomes. An ongoing, dynamic model provides students with acontinuous reminder of how to complete the activity. Adjust the instructor model to include interactions thatshould explicitly connect two or more students.9
Discussion Questions Can we further shape students’ behavior on Twitter tofoster both community building and knowledge sharing?How? We want preservice teachers to build and interact with aprofessional learning network. What further steps can wetake toward this direction? How far can we go?10
Thanks!Dr. Vanessa Dennen: email@example.com, @vdennenFabrizio Fornara: firstname.lastname@example.org, @ffornaraJune 18, 2013University of Wisconsin – Madison
Codes + tweetsCode ExampleCourse related (CR) – Social / greetings Happy Halloween everyone!CR – Educational Technology Looking forward to using Jing for the first time!CR – Assignment – Commentary Completed the blog postCR – Assignment – Promoting work Follow me on Wordpress! http://…CR – Identity as a teacher Seriously considering becoming an art teacher at the elementary levelCR – Class – Positive attitude Ready for a little education to technology tomorrow. I love that classCR – Class – Negative attitude First skill check done. That was painfulCR – Class – Neutral attitude Skill Check #1 officially done #hollaCR – Sharing resources (URL) http://… Hey guys, a cool teaching opportunity. Creative writing w/ 9-11CR – Asking questions How do we find the prompts for the blog posts?School Related (SR) - Sports Let’s go …!SR – Other classes Getting ready for my next class todaySR – Campus life / studying Join the SFEA today! Includes personal liability insurance! http://…Other Feeling better today! #notsickanymoreContent analysis codes with example of tweets
Features useSummary of hashtag and feature use by students (S)and instructor/researcher (I/R)Course hashtag Other hashtags Reply Retweet URLS I/R S I/R S I/R S I/R S I/RExperiment (N=55) 505 68 98 0 14 11 92 3 14 43% 19.4% 0% 2.8% 16.2% 18.2% 4.4% 2.8% 63.2%Control (N=62) 534 14 93 0 35 3 74 0 15 5% 17.4% 0% 6.5% 21.4% 13.8% 0% 2.8% 35.7%
Tweets contentContent analysis codes and corresponding number andpercentage of tweets posted by students of both conditions.Experimental condition Control conditionNumber % Number %Course related (CR) – Social / greetings 15 3.6% 18 3.9%CR – Educational Technology 36 8.7% 21 4.6%CR – Assignment – Commentary 161 39.0% 187 40.6%CR – Assignment – Promoting work 11 2.7% 6 1.3%CR – Identity as a teacher 6 1.5% 2 0.4%CR – Class – Positive attitude 19 4.6% 32 6.9%CR – Class – Negative attitude 8 1.9% 25 5.4%CR – Class – Neutral attitude 43 10.4% 106 23.0%CR – Sharing resources (URL) 12 2.9% 10 2.2%CR – Asking questions 35 8.5% 18 3.9%School Related (SR) - Sports 17 4.1% 6 1.3%SR – Other classes 9 2.2% 1 0.2%SR – Campus life / studying 9 2.2% 9 2.0%Other 32 7.7% 19 4.1%Total 413 460