For Your Next B-School Assignment, Please Tweet

Posted by: Alison Damast on October 6, 2009

While many business school students and professors have their own personal Twitter feeds, it has not yet become a common classroom tool in MBA programs. But that may be changing, if Babson College Professor P.J. Guinan has her way. She’s teaching a course for Babson’s Fast Track MBA students this fall titled “The IT Enabled Social Business.” The course is based on a single video case study that follows Miranda Guinan, a fictional and larger-than-life CEO of a Boston advertising firm who only communicates assignments to students through social technology tools. To watch a sample of the video, click here. Guinan developed the video by collaborating with Babson’s Curriculum Innovation and Technology Group.

Students ask questions and get help via Twitter; all of their class discussions take place in a wiki format. At the end of the course, they’ll be judged by social media experts on how well they used tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to solve some of the advertising firm’s most pressing problems.

Guinan is not the only professor trying to break ground by using Twitter in the classroom. An item in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired Campus blog last year mentioned a professor who encouraged students to pass notes during class via Twitter, with the idea that it would make for better classroom interaction. Monica Rankin, a history professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, asked her students last spring to use twitter for assignments, questions and classroom feedback. Using TweetDeck, she then projected a large image of their live tweets in front of the classroom, using them as a springboard for classroom discussion. You can watch a video of how she used it in class here.

Rankin wrote about the experiment on her school Web page:

“Overall, I think the twitter experiment was successful primarily because it encouraged students to engage who otherwise would not. Even in smaller classes, only a small number of students actively participate in class discussions,” she says. “Students knew that their class participation grade would be partially determined by their involvement in these discussions and most of them seemed comfortable with using the technology to engage with the reading materials.”

Readers, should more professors be using Twitter as a classroom learning tool? Do you think it has a place in business school classrooms?

Reader Comments

Josh Moritz

October 7, 2009 3:19 PM

Business people have to learn and use the social media tools that are out there. They are not going away, and when used correctly, provide an excellent means for professors and students to stay in touch.

Katie

October 7, 2009 4:05 PM

Go Babson! Tweet Tweet!

Ralph Ebbutt

October 7, 2009 5:46 PM

Twitter has been a great way for Babson's Best (MBA) Cohort Ever to share helpful references on social media, trends & observations, and even good humor during our intensive face-to-face class sessions. The best part of this course is figuring out how to apply and augment the use of social media tools on behalf of real clients. For example, I'm working on some ideas with teammates for Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, Oregon.

John Chehab

October 7, 2009 7:20 PM

Wow, already in Business week. This is amazing. Social media is having its own day. Way to go Babson.

John Chehab

October 7, 2009 7:20 PM

Wow, already in Business week. This is amazing. Social media is having its own day. Way to go Babson.

Danika

October 7, 2009 11:36 PM

Twitter was used to communicate this article to students in the class! I think it is great that college business programs are finally integrating social media usage into their curriculum. Glad to see Babson at the forefront of this. Shameless plug for our cohort: Go Portland! Go BCE! (best cohort ever)

Pearl

October 8, 2009 12:20 AM

This class really differentiates Babson from the rest. As a student using Tweetdeck, I can tweet with my teammates about our project, and watch Tweets from our firm of interest, all on a single screen. Best of all, it’s live and we can communicate with the world. Kudos!!!!!

Jonathan

October 8, 2009 7:24 PM

Tweeter takes the Babson Fast Track MBA distance learning model to a new level and is yet another tool to share and filter. E2 is the new wave and the challenge is knowing what you want to do with it - where to start...

gina

October 12, 2009 12:08 PM

Learning by tweeting.....YAY......I love connecting with my cohorts and their activities- sharing information and fun! Babson BCE (best cohort ever) 2010! We ROCK

Michelle Orrantia

January 20, 2012 8:32 AM

I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again

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Read daily reports from BusinessWeek editors and reporters Louis Lavelle, Geoff Gloeckler, Alison Damast and Francesca Di Meglio and boost your chances of getting into your best-fit B-school.

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