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Twitter channel and CERE

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

CERE14 and 2cc trial with twitter

This year (2014) I'm trying out a Twitter channel as a part of the CERE course. (This was inspired by a talk by Graeme Pate, and my ideas on this in general will appear eventually on this page.)

The Twitter Hashtag for this channel / course appeared on the course Moodle page (we don't really want people not on the course using it).

As explained in the first session, to participate in the lectures:

Formats for re-accessing the tweets from documents posted up in Moodle after each session:

Mining the tweets directly yourself:

Following Graeme, we can crudely classify contributions (tweets) into 3 classes, as in this table. There are 27 students enrolled. The table shows student contributions; Sarah added about as many again.

Period Staff tweets Student tweeters Hallos Total student tweets with content Q&A Links, refs Comments, re-expressions
Session 1 1 11 11 9 2 3 4
Gap 41 0 2 1 0 0
Session 2 75 1 6 3 1 2
Gap 98 0 17 2 0 15
Session 3 71 0 2 0 0 2
Gap 01 0 0? 1 0 0
Session 4 100 1 0 0 0 0
Gap 10 0 0 0 0 0
Session 5 73 1 3 0 3 0
Total up to end of last class 4618 (of 27) 14 39 9 7 23

CERE16 and Tweetchat trial

This year, Sarah Honeychurch offered to lead a one-hour sync Tweetchat #CERE16 with my class, in the week after CERE lectures ended with the aims:
  • Try to give them a CI type experience as a flavour of how well it worked for SLH with the Rhizo MOOCs.
  • And as a demo of the CI ("Constructive Interaction") type of peer discussion, discussed in the course (see Miyake, 1986).
    Her setup web page (to which I directed them) was: here.

    Only 1 of the 16 enrolled students participated. A record is: here.

    My pedagogical analysis of this failure

    Good conversations need careful setting up, as the literature long ago made clear. In two ways probably:
    1. Scaffolding: easing new users into the practices with lots of support. Sarah's plan here was to invite experienced friends, but this alone wasn't quite enough in this case. This idea is pure Vygotsky / Jean Lave's legitimate peripheral participation. The newbies do bits, but could never hold it together into a coherent and functional whole without the more experienced holding it together.
    2. Catalysis. To get discussion going needs a "seed" or catalyst which provokes discussion. With old friends, who meet and chat regularly, this isn't so noticeable as they don't care if intellectually productive conversation happens all the time; but when someone mentions the right kind of thing, then it fires up. This is why (I speculate) that Timmons (??) found that skill at critical thinking in students depends on whom they live with. It is left to accident, but happens enough to make a serious difference over a year or 4 years. In contriving CI as experimentalists have done, requires careful design of a catalyst: a topic of discussion. Miyake did it with pilot studies, till she found a topic that worked on all her participants. Christine Howe not only had a topic (and a topic statement) but also contrived to have pairs of people who definitely differed in their views of it and and them "commit" to their view in advance so that they noticed that what the other person said was different to their view.

      I had just worked this out explicitly in thinking over a partially successful student project in this area, but failed to apply my own theory to this project.

      Fix the Doh: audio, popup but small IMG, clickable.

    Technical / tool links about Twitter

    Work-rounds for char-limit on length of tweets

    Troubles I have getting going on Twitter

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