Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 265–283 | Cite as

Introducing a twitter discussion board to support learning in online and blended learning environments

Article

Abstract

In this research we present a new design component for online learning communities (OLC); one that integrates Twitter with an online discussion board (ODB). We introduce our design across two sections of upper-division information systems courses at a university located within the U.S. The first section consisted of full-time online learners, while the second section met face-to-face twice a week. Guided by a working theoretical model for how individuals learn and interact within OLCs, we measure student perceptions of learning, social interaction and course community before and after our intervention. Initial findings were largely positive and students across both sections experienced high levels of learning, interaction and community. Our results pave the way for more integrated learning environments that incorporate online social networking (OSN) technologies.

Keywords

Social learning Online social networking Twitter Online discussion board Constructivism 

References

  1. Balaji, M. S., & Chakrabarti, D. (2010). Student interactions in online discussion forum: Empirical research from ‘Media Richness Theory’ perspective. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  2. Betta,C. (2007). Social networking and academic life. Research assignment. Literature Report. Delft University of Technology.Google Scholar
  3. Bødker, S. (1989). A human activity approach to user interfaces. Human-Computer Interaction, 4, 171–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brescia, W., & Miller, M. (2006). What’s it worth? The perceived benefits of instructional blogging. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education, 5(1), 44–52.Google Scholar
  5. Chen, G., & Chiu, M. (2008). Online discussion processes: Effects of earlier messages’ evaluations, knowledge content, social cues and personal information on later messages. Computers & Education, 50(3), 678–692.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, J., & Pirolli, P. (2012). “Why you are more engaged: factors influencing twitter engagement in occupy wall street,” Proceedings from the Sixth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Jun. 5–7, 2012.Google Scholar
  7. De Wever, B., Schellens, T., Valcke, H., & Van Keer, H. (2006). Content analysis schemes to analyze transcripts of online asynchronous discussion groups: A review. Computers & Education, 46(1), 6–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using twitter to enhance social presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20(2).Google Scholar
  9. Ebner, M., Lienhardt, C., Rohs, M., & Meyer, I. (2010). Microblogs in higher education — a chance to facilitate informal and process-oriented learning? Computers & Education, 55(2010), 92–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Educational Marketer. (2003). Colleges increase use of course management systems, says MDR. Educational Marketer, 34(8), 4–5.Google Scholar
  11. Grosseck, G., & Holotesco, C. (2008). “Models good pedagogy responsive to student’s learning needs,” The 4th International Scientific Conference eLSE: eLearning and Software for Education, Bucharest, Apr. 17–18, 2008.Google Scholar
  12. Gunawardena, C. N., & Zittle, F. J. (1997). Social presence as a predictor of satisfaction within a computer-mediated conferencing environment. The American Journal of Distance Education, 11, 8–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heckman, R., & Annabi, H. (2006). Cultivating voluntary online learning communities in blended environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 10(4).Google Scholar
  14. Hull, D., & Saxon, T. (2009). Negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge: An experimental analysis of asynchronous online instruction. Computers & Education, 52(3), 624–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jenks, J. (2011). The digital world of millennials. eMarketer.Google Scholar
  16. Johnson, C. (2001). A survey of current research on online communities of practice. Internet and Higher Education, 4(1), 45–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1).Google Scholar
  18. La Pointe, K. D., & Gunawardena, C. (2004). Developing testing and refining of a model to understand the relationship between peer interaction and learning outcomes in computer-mediated conferencing. Distance Education, 25(1), 93–106.Google Scholar
  19. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Liaw, S., & Huang, H. (2000). Enhancing interactivity in web-based instruction: A review of the literature. Educational Technology, 40(3), 41–45.Google Scholar
  21. Mor, Y., Tholander, J., & Holmberg, J. (2005). Designing for constructionist web-based knowledge building. Conference on computer support for collaborative learning: Learning 2005: the next 10 years! (pp. 450–459). Taipei: International Society of the Learning Sciences.Google Scholar
  22. Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, D. (2005). Is it age or IT: first steps toward understanding the net generation. In D. Oblinger, & J. Oblinger (Eds.), Educating the net generation, p. Online. Retrieved from Educause.Google Scholar
  23. Official Twitter Blog. (2011). Retrieved online 6/11/2012 from http://blog.twitter.com/2011/03/numbers.html.
  24. Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  25. Quan-Haase, A. (2005). Trends in online learning communities. SIGGROUP Bulletin, 25(1), 2–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Redfern, S., & Naughton, N. (2002). Collaborative virtual environments to support communication and community in internet-based distance education. Journal of Information Technology Education, 1.Google Scholar
  27. Rhode, M., Reinecke, L., Pape, B., & Janneck, M. (2004). Community-building with web-based systems — investigating a hybrid community of students. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 13(5–6), 471–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Savery, J., & Duffy, T. (1996). Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. In B. Wilson (Ed.), Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design. Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology.Google Scholar
  29. Short, J. A., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  30. Solimeno, A., Mebane, M. E., Tomai, M., & Francescato, D. (2008). The influence of students and teachers characteristics on the efficacy of face-to-face and computer supported collaborative learning. Computers & Education, 51(1), 109–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stacey, E. (2002). Social presence online: Networking learners at a distance. In Education and information technologies. Kluwer Acad. Publishers, vol. 7, (287–294).Google Scholar
  32. Thoms, B. (2011). A Dynamic Social Feedback System to Support Learning and Social Interaction in Higher Education. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 4(4), 340–352.Google Scholar
  33. Thoms, B. (2012). Perceptions and Outcomes of Microblogging in Higher Education. Journal of Information Technology Education, 11(1), 179–197.Google Scholar
  34. Thoms, B., Garrett, N., & Ryan, T. (2009). Online Learning Communities in the New ‘U’. International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 6(5), 499–517.Google Scholar
  35. Thoms, B., Garrett, N., Soffer, M., & Ryan, T. (2008). Resurrecting Graduate Conversation through an Online Learning Community. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 4(3), 341–350.Google Scholar
  36. Tu, C. H., & McIsaac, M. (2002). The relationship of social presence and interaction in online classes. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16, 131–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. U.S. Census Bureau. (2009). School enrollment—social and economic characteristics of students: Oct. 2009. Retrieved 7/3/11, from http://www.census.gov.
  38. Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Wakefield, J. S., Warren, S. J., & Alsobrook, M. (2011). Learning and teaching as communicative actions: A mixed-methods twitter study. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal, 3(4), 563–584.Google Scholar
  40. Williamson, D. A. (2007). Social Network Marketing: Ad Spending and Usage, Social Network Marketing, Report by Debra Aho Williamson, Dec. 2007. Retrieved 6/2/08 from http://www.emarketer.com/Report.aspx?code=emarketer_2000478.
  41. Zhao D. and Rosson, MB (2009). “How and why people Twitter: The role that micro–blogging plays in informal communication at work,” Proceedings of the ACM 2009 International Conference on Supporting Group Work. New York: ACM, pp. 243–252.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY FarmingdaleFarmingdaleUSA
  2. 2.Bloomsburg UniversityBloomsburgUSA
  3. 3.Computer Systems Department, School of BusinessFarmingdale State CollegeFarmingdaleUSA

Personalised recommendations