Putting twitter to the test: Assessing outcomes for student collaboration, engagement and success

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Herein, we present data from two studies of Twitter usage in different postsecondary
courses with the goal of analyzing the relationships surrounding student engagement
and collaboration as they intersect learning outcomes. Study 1 was conducted with 125 students taking a ?rst-year seminar course, half of who were required to use Twitter while the other half used Ning. Study 2 was conducted with 135 students taking a large lecture general education course where Twitter participation was voluntary. Faculty in Study 1 engaged with students on Twitter in activities based on an a priori theoretical model, while faculty in Study 2 only engaged students sporadically on the platform.
Qualitative analyses of tweets and quantitative outcomes show that faculty participation on the platform, integration of Twitter into the course based on a theoretically driven pedagogical model and requiring students to use Twitter are essential components of improved outcomes.