Last month, as part of a craft of writing session, English and Writing students were invited to contribute to their lecture via twitter. Including a real time conversational element to the lecture seemed apt given that the nature of the session was dialogue. Prior to the lecture students were emailed a hashtag and invited to contribute should they wish.
During the session the live tweets were broadcast to all in the lecture theatre. This was the first time a session like this had been run with the cohort and it was as much of a learning exercise for staff as it was for students. Purposefully no rules were implemented as part of the activity, and although conversation occasionally diverted away from the lesson having staff who were tweeting with the students meant conversations were steered towards the subject should they veer too far off topic. The addition of a digital dialogue element to the session gave an extra dimension to an already engaging lecture.
Particularly interesting was that one of the most engaged students in the session via twitter wasn’t even studying on the course and had instead contributed after seeing the hashtag on his friends twitter wall and decided to get involved.
The decision by academic staff to incorporate this interactive element was really encouraging, they wanted students to become involved in the session and went with a method that they had not used previously. Sometimes it is difficult to try new things because you are unsure of how they will go and if it will be a success. Hopefully the english team will build on this experience, reflecting on the dialogue session to include further methods students can contribute to taught sessions. We’re really pleased Rupert and Fréa got in touch and hope to be working with them again soon.
As a team we are always happy to support academic staff wanting to introduce a technical element into their teaching, if you’ve been inspired by this session or want to discuss any ideas you have please get in touch with the team: firstname.lastname@example.org