The Evolution Of Micro-blogging Over Time And Its impact On Student Learning And Engagement In Higher Education

Concurrent Session 1

Brief Abstract

Active learning and engagement are contributors to students’ success. We followed the use and evolution of micro-blogging over time. We will share our findings regarding how it affected student engagement and success through active learning and assessment. Attendees will be encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences.

Extended Abstract

With the steady adoption of micro-blogging and other social media for teaching and learning in higher education, the need to better understand its impact on the success of student learning outcomes increases. In online courses, opportunities for students to interact with class members and content are important to support presence and engagement and facilitate the development of knowledge. These opportunities ought to be thoughtfully designed and integrated into learning experiences. To do this, an understanding of the tools used is needed. 

Over the course of several years, we have explored the use of micro-blogging in higher education to gain an understanding of its potential use and impact on student learning. An area of focus has been on student perceptions of using micro-blogging for learning and assessment. Insight into students’ experiences has allowed us to identify both benefits and challenges that have influenced learning design decisions. We will share our findings with attendees and, acknowledging our insight is not exhaustive, we aim to explore the use of micro-blogging with participants though discussion. 

With this new knowledge in hand, attendees will be encouraged to begin creating a learning design that incorporates micro-blogging in a meaningful way for their students. Taking time to discuss some of these designs, we hope attendees come away with a few preliminarily ideas they can refine for their specific uses. 

Level of Participation:
The session begins with an introduction to micro-blogging and its evolution over the past decade or so. Having polled attendees to ascertain their level of knowledge and use of micro-blogging, we will share what we have learned about micro-blogging through our exploratory research in higher education. Approaches to using micro-blogging for assessment of learning will be discussed. Attendees will be invited to share their knowledge of and experience with micro-blogging using an online post-it type tool, on their personal devices.  Attendees are encouraged to share and discuss their ideas for incorporation of micro-blogging in their course.

Session Goals:
Participants will be able to discuss the uses of micro-blogging to increase student engagement and learning in higher education. They will be able to examine the usefulness of micro-blogging as an instructional method in higher education. Additionally, participants will be able to begin crafting the learning design of a course that uses micro-blogging for student engagement and assessment.