Title

#worthit? An Evaluation of Twitter's Effect on Student Engagement and Performance in Introductory Psychology

Streaming Media

Submission Type

Event

Abstract

Social media platforms, such as Twitter, have been both pilloried and praised by researchers and teachers alike. While instructors’ (understandable) typical reaction to social media is to attempt to banish it from the classroom, students live in a world saturated with connectivity. Limited studies have pointed out benefits of blending social media into class curricula, but many more emphasize the dangers of multitasking on attention. Prompted by experiences with “accidental” Twitter in the classroom and an undergraduate’s independent research project on the topic, King and a colleague experimented with incorporating Twitter into the curricula for PSY101 General Psychology . During the 2013-14 school year, each taught one section of General Psychology that included student Twitter use as a required component of the course, and one section in a traditional way without Twitter, thus creating a quasi-experiment with course type (Twitter vs. traditional) as an independent variable. Dependent variables in our experiment included change in student engagement over time (measured via self-report instruments at the start and end of semester) and student performance (measured via grades in the course). This presentation details how we blended Twitter into class curricula, quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the experiment, and lessons learned regarding incorporating social media into liberal arts education.

Session

Session 7: Blending in Psychology

Location

Thomas 110

Start Date

5-22-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

5-22-2014 10:50 AM

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May 22nd, 10:00 AM May 22nd, 10:50 AM

#worthit? An Evaluation of Twitter's Effect on Student Engagement and Performance in Introductory Psychology

Thomas 110

Social media platforms, such as Twitter, have been both pilloried and praised by researchers and teachers alike. While instructors’ (understandable) typical reaction to social media is to attempt to banish it from the classroom, students live in a world saturated with connectivity. Limited studies have pointed out benefits of blending social media into class curricula, but many more emphasize the dangers of multitasking on attention. Prompted by experiences with “accidental” Twitter in the classroom and an undergraduate’s independent research project on the topic, King and a colleague experimented with incorporating Twitter into the curricula for PSY101 General Psychology . During the 2013-14 school year, each taught one section of General Psychology that included student Twitter use as a required component of the course, and one section in a traditional way without Twitter, thus creating a quasi-experiment with course type (Twitter vs. traditional) as an independent variable. Dependent variables in our experiment included change in student engagement over time (measured via self-report instruments at the start and end of semester) and student performance (measured via grades in the course). This presentation details how we blended Twitter into class curricula, quantitative and qualitative outcomes of the experiment, and lessons learned regarding incorporating social media into liberal arts education.