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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Study finds students who tweet through class are more engaged

The last thing some students expect to be graded on is what they write in 140 characters or less, but it may be beneficial.

A Michigan State University study called “Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literary Practice,” found that students who tweet as part of their instruction are more engaged in the course content and have higher grades.

“It’s interesting because Twitter is normally used in a social setting, and now we’re using it in class,” said Paige Verhoeven, 20-year-old English and psychology junior at UF about tweeting for her British Romanticism course.

UF social media specialist Bruce Floyd agreed that use of social media in the classroom can be helpful to students.

“It’s also an easy medium for students to use because familiarity is there,” he said.

Floyd said UF’s administration was probably not aware of the study’s results, but many courses utilize Twitter as a teaching tool.

Verhoeven’s class is just one example. She said students are required to tweet at least five times a week about subjects discussed in class. Each tweet should include the hashtag #britlit.

Hashtags can be used to compile all the tweets onto a single page, allowing users to view all at once, Floyd said.

UF journalism professor Dave Carlson said he believed tweeting is especially important for journalism students. He said through tweeting, students are practicing grabbing the reader’s attention.

Floyd agreed Twitter can help students learn to communicate effectively.

“Tweeting is like texting,” he said. “It forces you to get to the point.”

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