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ERIC Number: EJ984926
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2165-3151
Student Perceptions of Microblogging: Integrating Twitter with Blogging to Support Learning and Interaction
Thoms, Brian
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice, v11 p179-197 2012
Social networking technologies are used by millions of individuals around the globe to foster dialogue and share all types of information. It is therefore common to see that campuses abound with students embracing these technologies, sharing everything from personal experiences to general interests and current events with their immediate and extended social circles. Unfortunately, the adaptation of institutional course management system (CMS) software has not been so progressive, and the inclusion of these popular and powerful technologies, which have the potential to foster learning and interaction from a social context, remain somewhat absent from popular CMS platforms, such as Blackboard and Angel. An objective of Design Science Research (DSR) is to develop technology-based solutions for important and relevant problems. Based on the principles of DSR, we developed software that integrated social technologies into CMS platforms, and the result of our DSR study is the design, construction, and implementation of a comprehensive online learning community (OLC) that integrates microblogging with traditional blogging. As a result, students now have the ability to use their personal Twitter accounts to bring new information into the course OLC, where they can extend the conversation through more traditional blogging and blog commenting features, which have shown great success in fostering learning and social interaction within an OLC. Our software design carefully reflects our theoretical model, which includes theories of Constructivism, Social Presence Theory, and Activity Theory. Each theory offers important guidelines for how individuals use technology to learn and interact within an OLC environment. To measure the impact of our software, we implemented the OLC across upper-division undergraduate courses in information systems with the goal of fostering higher levels of learning and social interaction. The results show that students' experience microblogging was positive and the software helped to foster information sharing and information exploration. From a design perspective, we discovered that directly integrating microblogging with traditional blogging with our OLC did not result in a system that was "more than the sum of the parts," although it did result in important insights for future design iterations. (Contains 11 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A