Birnholtz, J.P. Retelny, D., & Hancock, J.T. (2013). Tweeting for Class: Co-Construction as a Means for Engaging Students in Lectures. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013).


Motivating students to be active learners is a perennial problem in education, and is particularly challenging in lectures where instructors typically prepare content in advance with little direct student participation. We describe our experience using Twitter as a tool for student “coconstruction” of lecture materials. Students were required to post a tweet prior to each lecture related to that day’s topic, and these tweets – consisting of questions, examples and reflections – were incorporated into the lecture slides and notes. Students reported that they found lectures including their tweets in the class slides to be engaging, interactive and relevant, and nearly 90% of them recommended we use our co-construction approach again.