University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 3146-3153
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1683
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Since the introduction of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Spanish universities have improved the use of ICT and the development of Web 2.0 as a communication channel and a means of contextualizing the process of teaching-learning and forming students that work in a comparative way. In this sense, Twitter has become an important resource in education, and is currently rated as the best tool for learning by a broad sector of professionals.

In this work we present a teaching-learning experience which has been performed using the biography of scientists in Twitter and techniques that vary between Role-playing and Role-Taking intended for university students. It was carried out in the framework of the area of History of Science to implement transversal competences as well as basic and general competencies, as part of the Degree in Medicine (2nd year) at the University of Extremadura.

To get started, students enrolled in the subject of History of Medicine and Bioethics created on Twitter the profile of an important scientist. As a starting point a previous analysis on "who's who in the History of Medicine" was done and a number of relevant historical figures (n=43) lower than the number of students enrolled in the course (n=133) were selected to generate a greater complexity in the coordination of interactions that may arise. Students had to develop certain bibliographic searches of a complexity that depended on the author that each student had been randomly assigned. After an analysis of the corresponding scientist, the students narrated his/her life in 1st person tweets. While maintaining scientific rigour, they were encouraged to create the biography with creativity and intelligent humor.

Tweets developed to perform the work were:
a) The date and place of birth of the scientist.
b) The historical context of the society in which he/she lived, and description of his/her personal life
c) His/her scientific training and studies.
d) The post and the place where he/she developed his/her interests.
e) His/her work.
f) Events that marked his/her life, both at the family level and as professional or the historical moment in which he/she lived.
g) Social and cultural impact of the character, that is to say, the impact or mark of his/her work or thought.
h) The date and place of death.

Of the 133 students enrolled in the subject only 115 completed the activity. A simple statistical analysis of transversal descriptive type of the tweets made shows an arithmetical average (μ) of 25.08 with a standard deviation (σ) of 16.97 and a median of 21. Students almost unanimously described the activity as innovative, dynamic, original, interesting, and fun and that it requires dedication and constant effort by facilitating the development of the program in a simple and pleasant mode. In conclusion, the degree of satisfaction of the teachers and students involved in this experience has been high, although it has not been exempt from the difficulties of connectivism and constructivist learning.
Didactic of the Sciences, History of the Science, Biographies, Social Networks, Role Playing, Role Taking, Twitter.