I want to thank the many friends and colleagues who provided me feedback on my initial idea for an extra credit assignment for my graduate and doctoral learners on Twitter. After a lot of discussion, reading, and input from some of my students, I finalized the Twitter Extra Credit Assignments for my courses, and want to share them for anybody else who may find them useful.
They generally follow this format (here with my Management and Systems one as an example):
#SPSRPM Twitter Extra Credit
Purpose: The purpose of this extra credit is to introduce you to some professional benefits of using Twitter for content curation, information sharing, and communication and invite you to professionally experience it. This is not intended to be work; rather an opportunity to expand your professional and personal network.
Background: Twitter’s mission is, “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” It has over 320,000,000 active users, including nearly all entertainment, political, religious, and professional bodies who use text-sized posts, called Tweets, to communicate and engage with followers. For our purpose, consider some of those within management and systems who use Twitter in a professional way, such as Richard Branson @richardbranson, Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki, Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell, Jack Welch @jack_welch, the American Management Association @AMAnet, or the Harvard Business Review @HarvardBiz.
Extra Credit Assignment: This is a multi-part assignment stretching over at least a month that is intended to give you a flavor for some of the benefits and uses of using Twitter to learn, ask questions, share questions, and engage with colleagues. More than many other tools, the true value of Twitter is often not understood until it is experienced. This “task” is worth up to 5 points on your final grade.
- Create a Twitter account (if you do not have one already). It should be a public account so others can see your Tweets. It can be anonymous, and does NOT have to include your name (but you may find an anonymous account, such as @IManageALLThings without a real name may not be taken as seriously as one where it is really listed as you).
- Follow me @JeffreyKeefer and (if I know it is you) I will follow you back. Tweet any question or comment to me at any time, though remember DO NOT INCLUDE PERSONAL OR GRADE INFORMATION PUBLICLY (cf. HIPAA, FERPA, etc,.). If you would not announce it publicly in the middle of Grand Central Terminal, don’t do it on Twitter.
- Follow our course hashtag — #SPSRPM
- Find and follow at least 20 accounts (search for your classmates, people you know, employers, professional associations, friends, programs you like . . . anything)! Include some things you are interested in for pure fun as well, such as @GameofThrones or ABC7 Eyewitness News or even the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Considering your areas of practice or interest, find, follow, and consider interacting with hashtags of interest, such as #leadership or #entrepreneur
- Reply at least 2x / week to other accounts. If it relates to our course, be sure to include the course tag #SPSRPM.
- Contribute or share something related to our course at least 1x / week. Include our course tag.
- ReTweet at least 1 post / week with something related to our course. Include our course tag.
- Send me a summary (public or private via Direct Tweet) of what you did or learned each week.
How to use Twitter: In many ways Twitter is like a public conversation in text messages, called Tweets. As such, it is very easy to use, follow people, and communicate. Like everything said in public (like on the train, street, or at work) always consider its source / appropriateness. Consider these starting points for how to use it:
- Getting Started with Twitter
- How to Use Twitter Effectively to Experience its Full Potential
- Is Twitter a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education? Perspectives of Education Graduate Students
- Tweeting in Higher Education: Best Practices
- Using Twitter in Higher Education
Full Educational Disclosure: I find Twitter valuable for my personal, professional, and academic work, and intend this extra credit as an opportunity for you to try some of this on for yourselves in a way that works for your own life. Once you begin, you may find this to be the easiest or most valuable extra credit you were ever offered.
The actual assignments are here in case anybody wants to see or use them:
Twitter Extra Credit:
- For my SPSRPM Research Process and Methodology graduate course in Management & Systems
- For my NURS 761 Teaching and Learning for Primary Health Care graduate course in nursing
- For my NURS 840 Teaching and Learning in Advanced Practice Nursing doctoral course in nursing