When students first started bringing laptop computers in to wireless classrooms, many teachers were concerned about keeping their students’ attention away from the infinite number of distractions available on the internet.
Rather than looking at modern communications technology as a hindrance, a kinesiology professor is embracing it and is now using Twitter as a mandatory part of his classroom debates.
Ryan Snelgrove holds weekly debates for the 220 students in his sports ethics class and creates a hashtag for each of one of those forums. Students are required to tweet their thoughts about the issue and during the class, Dr. Snelgrove moderates the debate while monitoring the tweets.
A graduate assistant collects all of the tweets and after the class, Snelgrove grades them for their quality and quantity.
“It’s an effective method of ensuring that students are staying engaged with what’s being discussed in the class,” said Snelgrove, who earned his Master’s degree here and a PhD at the University of Waterloo. “In a class this size, not everyone is going to have a chance to be heard, so the students think it’s a great way to stay involved.”
Snelgrove’s final debate of the semester will be held at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in room 140, Human Kinetics Building.