Synthesis of Social Media Messages and Tweets as Feedback Medium in Introductory Programming

  • Sonny Kabaso
  • Abejide Ade-IbijolaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1136)


Social Media have been recognised as supportive tools in education for creating benefits that supplement students’ collaboration, class interactions, as well as communication between instructors and students. Active informal interaction and feedback between instructors and students outside class belong to the main reasons behind social media pedagogy. Despite the prevalence of traditional email methods of providing feedback to students, the literature shows that they do not check their emails as frequently as they check their social media accounts. In this paper we present the automatic generation of feedback messages and tweets with context-free grammars (CFG). Our system takes a class list of students and their mark sheets and automatically composes Twitter tweets concerning statistical ‘fun facts’ about programming problems, exercises, class performances, as well as private messages about individual student performances. A survey with 116 participating students showed that the majority of them would like to receive such notifications on social media rather than emails. Lecturers found our system promising, too.


Introductory programming Social media Tweet synthesis Context-free grammar Procedural generation 



Many thanks to Nikita Patel for having drawn the pictures which appear in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Information SystemsUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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