CSCL 2013: Modeling #Twitter Use: Do Preservice Teachers Notice?


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Paper at CSCL 2013 by Vanessa Dennen & Fabrizio Fornara. Looks at how the presence of an instructor model influenced Twitter use in a teacher education course.

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CSCL 2013: Modeling #Twitter Use: Do Preservice Teachers Notice?

  1. 1. Modeling #Twitter Use:Do Students Notice?Dr. Vanessa Dennen, Fabrizio FornaraFlorida State UniversityJune 18, 2013University of Wisconsin – Madison
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3.  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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. Thanks!Dr. Vanessa Dennen:, @vdennenFabrizio Fornara:, @ffornaraJune 18, 2013University of Wisconsin – Madison
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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%
  14. 14. 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