Using Twitter as a student suppor t and communication tool for pro ject-based English courses Syuhei KIMURA (@syuhei) RitsumeikanUniv., Japan 20/Oct/2012, GLoCALL2012
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 • Do's and Don'ts about Twitter-based Student S upport
Twitter and Japan • Twitter for personal micro-blogging, daily com munication, crisis communication, etc. • Why not for Education? – Early proposed by Grosseck and Holotescu (2008) – Japanese private research institute reports that th ere is a growing tendency that Twitter is becoming a popular medium for education in Japanese colle ges (the Institute of Regional Studies, 2010)
Project-based English Program • College of Sport and Health Science at Ritsum eikan Univ. • Newly started in 2010 • About 250 students enroll in one year
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 academi c formats (presentation, writings, etc.) • For more information about our program, search "PBEP" for Facebook.
Project-based English Program • Typical classroom scenes
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
3rd period Freshman P Sophomore P
4th period Freshman P
Traditional Ways to Support Studen ts 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 student s • BBS on LMS – Often accessible only from a PC browser
Traditional Ways to Support Studen ts Outside Classroom • Accessible from various devices • Limited to 140 letters – Very short, but straightforward • High efficiency in information sharing – Communication anytime, anywhere – Teacher's messages (tweets) can be shared instant ly by the students in different classes – "Favorite" important tweets for later use – "Retweet" them if needed to circulate around
Twitter as a Support Tool Outside Classroom
Twitter as a Support Tool Outside Classroom The Q-and-A session of our group presentation should be within 6-7 minutes times the number of group members, right?
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?
Survey Results in 2010 • 130 freshman students surveyed in the end of the fal semester, the end of their freshman ye ar • 74 students out of 102 (73%) started using Twi tter 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 fal semester
Survey Results in 2010 • 75 students out of 124 (60%) had one or mor e experiences to ask course-related questions of the author and responded that their proble ms had been solved via Twitter • 92 out of 102 (90%) responded that they hope d for other teachers to employ Twitter as an o nline support tool as wel
Survey Results in 2012 • 89 freshman students surveyed • 75 students out of 89 (84%) had a Twitter acco unt in the end of the spring semester, the mid dle of their freshman year – Higher proportion than that of the 2010 survey – Implying that Twitter has strengthened its presenc e among college students
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 pr oblems regarding their academic activities • 40 of them (74%) responded they expected ot her teachers to make use of Twitter as a mean s to help their study.
Do's and Don'ts about Twitter-based Student Support • Review and repeat important tweets at the be ginning of class – Some students may not have seen them or have n ot had a Twitter account yet • Avoid including students' personal information – Name, address, grade, etc. – Switch to e-mail communication if needed
Do's and Don'ts about Twitter-based Student Support • Be friendly, but don't be so too much – Twitter helps establish a friendly relationship betw een teachers and students, but it should not be inv olved with grading • Be strong! – Sometimes students express their negative feeling s about class and teachers
References (for the paper) • Acar, A., & Muraki, Y. (2011). Twitter for crisis communication: lessons learned from Japan's ts unami disaster. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 7, 392–402. doi: 10.1504/IJ WBC.2011.041206 • Grosseck, G. & Holotescu, C. (2008). Can we use Twitter for educational activities?. The 4th Int ernational Scientific Conference eLSE "eLearning and Software for Education", Bucharest. "eLe arning 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. h ttp://chiikikagaku-k.co.jp/kkj/report/index.html • The Nielsen Company Japan. (2010, Aug). The Current Situation of Online Media in Japan. Ret rieved from http://www.netratings.co.jp/wp01_form.html • Semiocast. (2012, Jan 31). Brazil becomes 2nd country on Twitter, Japan 3rd Netherlands mos t active country. Retrieved from http://semiocast.com/publications/2012_01_31_Brazil_beco mes_2nd_country_on_Twitter_superseds_Japan • Twitter, Inc. (2011, Jun 29). Global pulse. Twitter blog. Retrieved from http://blog.twitter.com/ 2011/06/global-pulse.html
Tips for Advanced Use of Twitter • Find out what kind of information students fin d helpful and valuable in number – Twitter tracks your tweets and shows how many p eople retweeted or favorited them in number Here is a sample summary of a questionnaire result. One of my students last year made this.
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 an d missed among many other Here is a sample summary of a questionnaire result. One of my students last year made this.