About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1340-1349
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain


Y. Gaedke, S. Mulas, A. Perl, S. Siegel, O. Tacke

TU Braunschweig (GERMANY)
Although the effectiveness of traditional lectures is widely known to be very limited, it is still the prevailing educational method in universities. Plainly, the large amount of students to be taught simultaneously, in some cases hundreds of people, seems to leave no other option. However, microblogs offer the potential to improve even mass lectures.

On the one hand, the lecturer gains an instrument enabling him to become aware of problems which otherwise would remain undiscovered and could possibly hamper the exchange of information: Distraction or unsettled issues, as well as exhilaration or joyful events, can subliminally weaken concentration. According to theme-centered interaction, those disturbances take precedence and have to be handled before serious work can be done. On the other hand, students can be activated, thus leading to higher involvement with the presented subject. For instance, they can comment without interrupting the flow of the course and their thoughts can be automatically recorded for further use, e.g. the examination of particular problems which arose and could be clarified during the next session.

However, the settings related to the microblog affect its feasibility and have to be chosen carefully: quick feedback is possible if the feeds are projected onto a wall continuously, but they can also draw off attention, especially when using microblogs for the first time; allowing anonymous postings can lower the barriers for participation but can also lead to nuisances, etc. Furthermore, individual characteristics and competences of both, students and lecturers, have significant influence on the group's interaction and must be considered when planning the course.

In order to find future pathways for the usage of microblogs in lectures, we were faced with two problems. First, there are hardly any former experiences available that we could base our settings on, secondly the new approach leads to effects that cannot be expected from any theory. So an explorative empirical study as well as a test run were conducted during the last five months. Findings from the usage of a microblog feed during lectures - projected onto a wall - suggest, that the approximately 100 research candidates can roughly be divided into two groups. These can be categorized according to their perception of the microblog's usefulness. The part with a good perception of the tool's usage, again, can be differentiated: Some who already fully accept the usage of Twitter in lectures, and some who recognize the potential and at the same time suggest different improvements for the concept.

The findings from these studies will be used to conduct further research in future projects.
author = {Gaedke, Y. and Mulas, S. and Perl, A. and Siegel, S. and Tacke, O.},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1340-1349}}
AU - Y. Gaedke AU - S. Mulas AU - A. Perl AU - S. Siegel AU - O. Tacke
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 1340
EP - 1349
ER -
Y. Gaedke, S. Mulas, A. Perl, S. Siegel, O. Tacke (2010) APPLICATION OF MICROBLOGGING TOOLS IN MASS HIGHER EDUCATION, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 1340-1349.