Exploring the Relationship Between Student-Instructor Interaction on Twitter and Student Perceptions of Teacher Behaviors


The latest issue of International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education features a research article by Dr. John A. McArthur and Kristen Bostedo-Conway. The article – “Exploring the Relationship Between Student-Instructor Interaction on Twitter and Student Perceptions of Teacher Behaviors” – examines the use of Twitter as a classroom tool. The abstract reads:

With much attention being placed on the use of Twitter and other social media in the classroom, educators are grappling with the question, “Is Twitter a valid tool to increase classroom effectiveness?” Yet, many responses to this question come from anecdotal and case-study-based information. The present study offers a preliminary quantitative analysis of Twitter in the classroom. A survey-based experiment (n = 144) was conducted to measure student perceptions of teacher credibility, immediacy, and content relevance alongside instructor Twitter-use. Results indicate significant, positive correlations between student Twitter-use and positive perceptions of teacher behaviors. These results indicate that Twitter may serve as a valuable tool to supplement more traditional forms of course instruction.

Dr. McArthur is an associate professor of communication in the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. Ms. Bostedo-Conway is an alumna of Queens University of Charlotte, graduating in 2012 with a Master of Arts in Communication. The pair are working on a follow-up study on the relationship between Twitter use and non-verbal communication measures.

Readers can gain full access to the journal article in International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education here.


  1. I think that this article is very relevant to several of the issues that we have learned about so far in our readings. The idea of twitter being viewed as a valid tool to increase classroom effectiveness however seems to be a little farfetched at this time. I do see the potential that twitter has in regards to possibly being a useful tool however. When looking in the past at how facebook grew to be a useful tool and was expected to play a much larger role within the education system than it ended up playing it makes me wonder if twitter will follow in the same footsteps as facebook did and just simply never make it to the point where it is more useful for educational purposes than detrimental from the potential distractions that it presents to the users.

  2. I have to admit that I never really saw much point to Twitter, but once I began “tweeting” and got a news feed, I began to see how connected it can make you feel. As our text for Comm 306 “ Practice of Public Relations” says, communication is essential to any relationship. I think being able to communicate or have access to a teacher’s twitter page makes you feel like you know them better. You are able to see what sort of things interest them and hear a bit of their voice in the choices they make as far as what to post. I think like most social media tools, Twitter can be used positively and poorly. However, I imagine teachers are using it in a positive way ( for the most part), so I think it only contributes to the teacher and student relationship.

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