Microblogging for Engaged Teaching and Learning

Thomas Menkhoff, SMU
Kok Siew Benjamin Gan, SMU
C. Jason Woodard, SMU
Yue Wah Chay, SIM University


In this paper, we report how we put a newly developed Twitter application to work in the context of a Knowledge Management course taught at the Singapore Management University (SMU) allowing students to post and view relevant tweets in an organized manner for the benefit of collaborative class discussions and learning. Innovative elements of the ongoing project include the explorative usage of social media such as Twitter in the higher education context, student participation in providing initial evidence qua qualitative feedback that tweeting is pedagogically meaningful and a newly built-in feature which can resolve actual tweeting challenges which occurred in class during tweeting experiments such as ‘getting lost in a sea of tweets’: a tracking device which helps to create prioritized discussion points. Besides examining some of the benefits and challenges of microblogging for teaching and learning, we put emphasis on the need to deploy relevant learning analytics so that instructors can assess students’ performance and design individualized improvement strategies if the need arises. Feedback from undergraduate students who took part in the tweeting activities suggests that the use of twitter as a discussion platform during class enhances both teaching and learning.