Using Twitter in teaching
- Course twitter accounts You could set up a separate account for each course - a feed that is different from your personal one. This will go to the relevant student group, all with similar needs and priorities. Choose a username which includes the name of the class or the course code, such as @LSEGV101.
- Use regular tweets to give advice on each week’s tasks, aiming for a conversational style that will support students. Congratulate people who do good presentations and whole groups for having good debates or other achievements. Use Twitter to take up questions raised by students in seminars or classes and to point to extra answers or literature. You need to try and get all students to become followers, or equity considerations may arise. If some students don’t want to set up Twitter accounts, you must make arrangements for all tweets to display as an RSS feed in virtual learning environments such as Blackboard or Moodle.
- If you use Moodle or Blackboard, you can add a feed using a ready made widget. This helps to keep students up to date when they log in, and hopefully also demonstrates the links between what they are doing and external activities and user groups. Ask your School Learning Technologist to help.
- Engaging with PhD students will help keep you on your students’ radar. It will enable them to follow updates in your research and workload, and inform them about your newer work. This will enable them to judge your schedule better and help them to understand why you have not yet responded to their email. Twitter provides ongoing communication which can serve to reassure both parties that the other is interested and engaged in their work. The space for continuous, brief debate that Twitter allows could make a difference to the research produced by both teacher and student.
- Postgraduate and Masters students are only based on campus for a short time (at most two calendar years) and can miss out on developing their interests and relationships with supervisors or lecturers. A quick and simple way of keeping in regular contact with students, and alerting those interested in your work, is by sending regular tweets.
PILOT - Communication, using Twitter in university research and teaching by LSE Public Policy Group and Marion Kelt, GCU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/files/2011/11/Published-Twitter_Guide_Sept_2011.pdf