Workshop Recap: Teaching with Twitter

Twitter Art

Faculty are using Twitter in very interesting and exciting ways in their classes! This was the major takeaway from our Twitter for Teaching workshop last Friday afternoon. We asked each of our four discussants to discuss three aspects of their Twitter experience: pedagogy, assessment and organization. Here is a very brief summary of how each of our discussants use Twitter.

  • Steve Luber uses Twitter in place of Moodle discussion boards in Art of Protest: Occupy ______ . Students tweet five times per week using the #ccArtofProtest hashtag, at least three of which respond directly to a prompt. Additional tweets may ask a question, share ideas, news stories or related events. In addition, students are reflecting on the use of Twitter in protest movements and their own personal uses of this platform for communication, including implications for surveillance and monetization of data.  For assessing student contributions, Steve found that an existing rubric for class participation is relevant to this assignment.
  • Ariella Rotramel was inspired by Steve Luber’s Twitter exercise, and is using the hashtag #FemTheory in Advanced Readings in Feminist Theory. Students do not have a weekly prompt, but are required to tweet five times per week to address readings, share new information, or have a conversation outside of class. The hashtag is used with GWS classes at other institutions, so students are entering into conversations that go beyond our campus and learning from other classes. Ari shared her assignment via a national women’s studies listserv to get participation from other schools; you can view it here.  The hashtag has been used infrequently in the past and Ari’s call also ended up helping her connect with other GWS faculty involved in FemTechNet.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 1.02.16 PM

    To help with assessment and organization, we set up a spreadsheet in Google Sheets that automatically captures all tweets with the #FemTheory hashtag. The spreadsheet allows Ari to sort by username in order to count and read all the tweets by that user. The spreadsheet we selected, TAGS, also allows us to visualize the conversation. We will be exploring this feature in more detail.
  • Luis Gonzalez is experimenting with Twitter this semester in SPA 250, Spain: Journey, Culture & History. He and Laura Little created the SPA250 list in Twitter, which aggregates content from Spanish news outlets. The Twitter feed is embedded into Moodle where students monitor the the most recent news coming from Spain, select articles to read, and write responses in Spanish. Students have been sharing their writing in the Moodle forum, but will begin to share their writing via Twitter.
  • Hisae Kobayashi started an exciting collaboration between her JPN 201 students and students at Doshisha University in Japan. The goal of the project is for students to learn about college/university culture and lives in each other’s countries using Twitter as the communication platform. Students are encouraged to ask questions of each other and to carry on conversations. All communication is done in Japanese and each tweet must include the #ccjpn201 hashtag. Her students are learning to use emoji creatively from their Japanese fellow tweeters! Hisae created a rubric to evaluate student contributions based on content, organization, mechanics, contributions, and frequency.
    Tweet in Japanese

If you are interested learning more about any of the Twitter projects above, feel free to contact that faculty member directly. To learn more about Twitter for your own teaching, or simply as a way to keep up with the latest news in your field or personal interests, contact an Instructional Designer.

Image Credit: The Art of Twitter from mkhmarketing [cc BY 2.0]

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