THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Social networking
platforms such as Twitter can increase university students'
engagement in the learning process and improve their grades, a new
study has found.
The study included 125 students taking a first-year seminar
course for pre-health professional majors. Seventy of them used
Twitter for various academic discussions and the other 55 acted as
a control group.
The students who used Twitter showed a significantly greater
increase in learning engagement than those in the control group.
Twitter not only increased students' contact with instructors, but
also with one another, making it possible for them to support one
another in a virtual learning community, the study authors pointed
The Twitter group also had higher grade-point averages at the
end of the semester.
"The idea that student engagement can be increased outside of the classroom in a low-credit course through the use of technology is one of the key findings," study co-author Greg Heiberger, coordinator of pre-health professional programs in the department of biology and microbiology at South Dakota State University, said in a university news release.
"It was a one-credit course and the contact [instructors] had with students was daily. That's not common with many one-credit courses," he added.
The study was published online Nov. 12 in the
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
To learn more about different learning styles, visit
the George Lucas Educational Foundation.