A comparison of students’ twitter use in a postsecondary course delivered on campus and online
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Social media’s reach has extended into our personal, professional, and educational lives. Related to the latter, research has examined how technologies, such as Twitter, can be used as communication and evaluation tools in postsecondary settings. No known studies have considered students’ experiences using Twitter in different course delivery formats (e.g., on campus compared to online courses), yet this can inform instructor decision-making on whether Twitter can be more effectively incorporated as an instructional tool in one format over another. This study sets out to examine whether differences existed between students’ perceptions and use of this social media platform as a device for learning and “classroom” connectedness. As students’ perceptions can reveal the effectiveness of pedagogical strategies given their position at the center of the learning process, the present study relied on anonymous, voluntary online survey results from 37 students enrolled in an upper-level Sociology of Deviance course delivered by the same instructor both online and on campus to ascertain students’ use of Twitter and their perceptions of using Twitter in learning, as a course evaluation tool, and in connecting students. Our findings suggest there are interesting differences in the social networking platform’s use between the two course formats. These differences were used to recommend strategies for how instructors can integrate Twitter into their courses, both online and on campus.