Lesson Plan: Using Twitter for Research

Last semester I worked with the DWRL, as well as undergraduate students Chioma Nwosu, Eliza Marks, Kayla Marks, and Jazmyn Griffin, to develop a short podcast describing the research value of Twitter. It centered on searching Twitter for quotes by using the hashtag function, and covered some of the issues that emerge when searching for controversial topics. To start off this semester, I’ve bundled the pod with a lesson plan meant to help instructors talk about Twitter’s academic virtues!

The lesson plan is divided into three simple steps. The first step is preparatory, and can be done by assignment or in class. It uses the short pod, which is only 5:07 long. The second step is practical, and let’s students get a feel for the sorts of controversies they might research by using Twitter. This section has an optional activity that uses TweetDeck. The third step is a review, and allows the students to see in the moment how searching with hashtags can produce quotes from news articles, researchers, and interested parties regarding issues that pertain to contemporary social issues!

Though originally designed for the Department of Rhetoric and Writing’s RHE306 class, the lesson plan and podcast have been retooled so that instructors of any Humanities class can use them. It’s a simple plan that has the ability to expand your students’ academic work. Use it!

A link to the featured image ‘Why-Twitter-Image-600×250’ can be found here!

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