I’m glad to see you trying this with different groups of students in professional fields. Take this with appropriate sized amounts of salt.

As is, it is solid, and likely some students will get a decent taste of a twitter experience. Will you be sure this is completely new to all your students? I’d agree with the comment that being extra credit might be an issue for the parts meant to have a community if you only have a small handful of participants.

However I have to see this feels very “Assignment-y” – it begins with a lot of explanation, reading. I might ask if this bears any resemblance to your own learning experience in twitter. It pretty much asserts that twitter is a Good Thing. I would want to meet the reservations students have right away, and let them know that the idea is for them to find the value in twitter.

One thing I have learned in teaching media is the value of listening, reading, observing the medium first. When you start with creating an account, you get bogged down in the mechanics. I might start first with asking students to read some twitter accounts (you have a list) and get a feel for the conversation, and how it flows. Or notice how those people interact with others. Who do they follow? How do you choose who to follow? DO you follow just people like you, who you agree with; or is there value in following wide range of people (I have a habit of following a number of people I disagree with often) Or maybe do something in your intro where you invite your PLN to meet your class, ask the students to think what they might say if they could tweet.

Try to get to the DO part sooner and and the Explain / Discuss later.

Or if you do start with them making accounts, maybe do not start with trying to so something in nursing. A scavenger hunt. Something with observing the world in words and photos. Heck, tweeting what they had for lunch. Or starting first with talking about and finding other people on twitter with a similar personal interest (movies, baseball, cooking, dogs, etc). Look for something that would matter to them as persons first. If not, they will do things because it’s an assignment and they have to do X per week to get Y points. Different kinds of motivations. Look at the activities Maha Bali

Later, when you ask them to stuff related to their field, they can grapple with this idea of overlapping (or not) network spaces. Twitter chats might work, or maybe topical issues for them to discuss and research?

I’m just wild guessing, but if its something just to get some points and tweet 5 times a week, you will get the minimum from a lot of them.

I could be way over the right field fence; you know your students better than I.

Oh, on a practical front, if you are building this around your hash tag, before you start set up a Martin Hawksey Twitter TAGS google spreadsheet http://tags.hawksey.info – this not provides the nifty visualization, but the summary and starts it provides is a usually dashboard for seeing how active your students are.

Good luck. May the Tweet be with you.