Using Twitter in large lectures to enhance student experience

Student numbers are increasing making lectures a more intimidating scenario in which to ask questions and most students have at least a smart phone with which they access the internet during lectures. When I was a student hardly anyone used a lap top in lectures and now lap tops and tablets are the norm and it’s the perfect way to access resources lecturers refer to “live”and to ask any questions that occur during a lecture.

I attended a seminar on using twitter and storify in large lectures to field questions and provide additional resources for students. I had heard about this before and am basically OK using twitter and hashtags etc but need to brush up on my storify skills so I went along to find out more. All credit here to Jim Anderson and CITE who ran the session I attended and clarified a few questions I tweeted them (NOT a troll). This blog post is just a relaying of the things I found out there.

Response from students 200+ module was positive 🙂 so I am keen to support our lecturers in providing this more interactive aspect to lectures.

I was interested to hear that some students not only used the module twitter hash tag  to ask questions about academic content but they also used it to comment on the lecturer and smaller things such as the state of the chalk board (they wanted to be able to read it more clearly) It seems as though it’s a really good tool for communicating and getting students talking about their subject.


I don’t know how to use Twitter and who’s to say the students do?

There are many guides out there to help you get to grips with twitter and also to help students get used to it if they haven’t used it or haven’t used it to it’s full potential so letting them know about those at the beginning regardless of ability is probably a good idea.

Won’t Students stop putting their hands up?

You will still get students who want to contribute, this is just another way for students to engage with the content.

Isn’t it a distraction?

Yes, well I see your point however this is not intended to replace lecture content and they may well be on their phones or tablets anyway. This gives them a useful platform to question or comment.

Is it really anonymous?

It’s as anonymous as the students want it to be. They can consider creating a different account for it or setting their account to private so only their followers can see what they post.

What if students send something negative?

It’s about setting boundaries or guidelines at the start. Make sure you set out what is expected and what would be deleted (i.e. rude or abusive tweets)it wouldn’t serve a student to post something stupid regarding their course online. It’s not useful or constructive and we would hope putting something rude up there for their course mates to see wouldn’t spring to mind.

Do students answer each other’s questions using this?

According to Jim et al they hadn’t been but it is possible they will do this with more subjective programmes. I came across this when running a study site for Social Sciences on facebook and there was much debate, a lot of which was healthy if there is anything students seem to raise that causes confusion it can be clarified by responding to the tweets or posting on storify.

Isn’t this really resource intensive?

Its’ as much work as you make it for yourself and once you get into the swing of it and dedicate say 10 minutes after a lecture to take a look then it should be OK. You School/Faculty/University should also be able to give support.

Other questions I asked during the seminar included:

And equally why Twitter and not ? The people running this had not considered using wordpress or todays meet and besides:


What would you do if one of your lecturers started using these tools in lectures? Do you think it’s a good idea?

Click the polls below and let me know








Author: eemaa27

Blogging and reflecting to keep my writing skills in tune

6 thoughts on “Using Twitter in large lectures to enhance student experience”

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