H. Hisamatsu, T. Hatanaka

Osaka Electro-Communication University (JAPAN)
In this paper, we propose a new course support system that aims to maintain and enhance student motivation based on intrinsic motivation as part of self-determination theory. The proposed system provides support to students by enabling them to exchange opinions and ask questions freely via Twitter. Thereby, students can easily discover other students who are using the same system. It is known that motivation increases if relatedness needs are satisfied. Therefore, it is expected that motivation for a course will develop in students when they discover other students and exchange opinions by using the proposed system. Moreover, the system is expected to aid the process of establishing real-world friendships between students, not just virtual friendships in the proposed system.

The proposed system consists of a course management feature and a communication support feature, where the former contains three subfeatures: problem exercises, course material distribution, and report registration. Furthermore, the communication support feature also contains two subfeatures: a Twitter client and a bot. The bot is an automated program that creates posts on Twitter. By utilizing the Twitter client, students can easily see when posts are created by other students taking the same course, regardless of whether those other students are followed on Twitter, which can improve the connectivity of students. Moreover, the purpose of the bot is to post content prepared in advance into the system. In a situation where nobody posts in the system, students seldom take the initiative to post, and the bot can alleviate the mental barrier that prevents students from posting first. This provides students with an environment where other students tend to post. By displaying posts from other students who are taking the same course, students can discover other students, which can satisfy their relatedness needs as described by self-determination theory. Furthermore, by discovering other students through the system, the number of friends on Twitter can be increased, and real-world friendships between students can be established.