About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1268-1277
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

“TWEET TO LEARN”: STUDENTS’ PERCEIVED USEFULNESS OF TWITTER IN THE CONTEXT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING DURING FIELD TRIPS

P.J. Mirski, T. Zangerl, C. Gattringer, R.C. Bernsteiner

MCI Management Center Innsbruck (AUSTRIA)
Information and communication technologies have had a profound impact on the academic environment during the last few years, which – according to international studies – will be an ongoing development. The importance of media literacy is constantly growing and can already be seen as an indispensable qualification in higher education. User-generated Web 2.0-content is spreading quickly in the context of education. The success of Facebook, Wikipedia and Message Boards demonstrates perfectly that, a major part of student’s communication and information seeking takes place far away from the university’s orbit.
In this context, the present paper aims at reutilizing these externally used communication channels internally to generate sustainable collaborative knowledge. The larger a group is, the harder it is to lead a reasonable discussion. In a few pilot projects Twitter was used as a tool to facilitate large class education, but empirical studies are scarce up to now. During a field trip to a well-known German IT exhibition and conference, where 56 first-semester IT students were given an opportunity to become more familiar with the IT business sector, the question of whether Twitter is perceived as a useful tool to deepen and support information-sharing and knowledge gathered during field trips was tested.
Previously, within a lecture, a simple show of hands indicated that only one student was an active Twitter-user, but virtually every student had a laptop or, respectively a Smartphone that could enable access to Twitter. For the planned field trip the students had to form groups of three to five persons and organize one laptop or Smartphone per group. The students’ tasks were to post Tweets concerning the topic “IT-Trends 2010”, to provide their fellow students useful information and for example, to give their opinion on presentations and speeches. During the whole field trip the students were also mentored by teaching staff via Twitter.
Shortly after the field trip each participating student had to hand in a written personal statement describing the perceived usefulness of Twitter concerning their learning-experience. Those 56 written statements were evaluated via GABEK® - an advanced qualitative research method providing a number of analysis steps in order to collect unordered knowledge and systematize it – and acted as a pre-study for the conducted focus group, which consisted of both students and lecturers.
Results show that students accept Twitter as a new creative technique that especially supports group dynamics when it comes to large group communication. The short format and ease of use lead to a real-time, fast and up-to-date information flow and, as a consequence of the documentation to a collective knowledge base. Nevertheless some negative aspects were mentioned, especially representing the opinion that the documented knowledge is hard to filter and also unorganized. This aspect is still a consideration. A consequent use of predefined “hashtags” could be a possible solution for this problem and a possible topic for further research.
@InProceedings{MIRSKI2010TW,
author = {Mirski, P.J. and Zangerl, T. and Gattringer, C. and Bernsteiner, R.C.},
title = {“TWEET TO LEARN”: STUDENTS’ PERCEIVED USEFULNESS OF TWITTER IN THE CONTEXT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING DURING FIELD TRIPS},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1268-1277}}
TY - CONF
AU - P.J. Mirski AU - T. Zangerl AU - C. Gattringer AU - R.C. Bernsteiner
TI - “TWEET TO LEARN”: STUDENTS’ PERCEIVED USEFULNESS OF TWITTER IN THE CONTEXT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING DURING FIELD TRIPS
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 1268
EP - 1277
ER -
P.J. Mirski, T. Zangerl, C. Gattringer, R.C. Bernsteiner (2010) “TWEET TO LEARN”: STUDENTS’ PERCEIVED USEFULNESS OF TWITTER IN THE CONTEXT OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING DURING FIELD TRIPS, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 1268-1277.
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