Introduction to Twitter for Assessment

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging social networking tool used to share information in the form of Tweets. Tweets are brief messages which are up to 280 characters in length. Tweeting is a way to communicate with others and to share thoughts and ideas on a topic. Over time, participants will be able to identify trending topics, which are topics tweeted about most often. Striving to compose meaningful Tweets helps learners become critical thinkers about the topics being discussed.

Managing Tweets

Tweets are instantly displayed on the Internet when posted and are visible to the public, even without a Twitter account. If you create a Twitter account you can fully engage with Twitter by contributing to the conversation, searching Tweets, and following other users, topics, lists, and hashtags.

You can check Twitter when you have time, or you can have the Tweets directed to your email, computer or mobile device. You may be interested in exploring other apps which can manage multiple social networking accounts, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

The Use of Twitter in Assessment

Twitter has been used in numerous ways for assessment-related activities. Here are a few examples:

Students journaling regularly (weekly) in a course were asked to Tweet a couple of times a semester while the journals were being reviewed by the instructor. Not only were the Tweets succinct and critically reflective, the subsequent students’ journal reflections were more reflective as well.

Students noted current events using Twitter to share with the class then discussed these in detail in an online discussion forum; giving them plenty of time to think about the post ahead of joining the broader conversation.

Another course (with a larger enrollment) saw the use of Tweeting to discuss course content every second week in place of the discussion forum. Students had to, at a minimum, post one Tweet and reply to at least one other.

How to Get Started with Using Twitter in Your Course

The Twitter setup overview resource outlines the basic steps involved in incorporating this micro blogging approach in your course. Details on how to complete the steps are found on CITL’s Technology Resources site, under Educational Technology. You can also contact CITL’s Support Centre for assistance in setting up a Twitter assignment in your course.

Twitter Articles

  1. Baird, D., & Fisher, M. (2005). Neomillennial user experience design strategies: Utilizing social networking media to support “always on” learning styles. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 34(1), 5-32.
  2. Peters, A.M.F., Crane, D., Costello, J. (2019). A comparison of students’ twitter use in a postsecondary course delivered on campus and online. Education and Information Technologies, February, 1-18. DOI: 10.1007/s10639-019-09888-1
  3. Peters, A.M.F., Costello, J., & Crane, D. (2018). Twitter in Sociology. Deviating from the Traditional Instructional Tools: Integrating Twitter in a Sociology of Deviance Course. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology / La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie (CJLT-RCAT), 44(3), 1-19. DOI: 10.21432/cjlt27792
  4. Rohr, L. E., Costello, J., & Hawkins, T. (2015). Design Considerations for Integrating Twitter into an Online Course. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL), 16(4), 241-249.
  5. Rohr, L.E., & Costello, J. (2015). The use of Twitter as an assessment tool in a large enrollment online course. Online Learning: Official Journal of the Online Learning Consortium: Invited Papers / OLC 20th Anniversary Conference Special Issue, 19(4), 25-36.


  • CITL. (2019). Create a file and insert stuff. Technology Resources Blog. Memorial University of Newfoundland: Newfoundland, Canada.
  • Forsyth, M. (2012). Twitter Use in Music 2011. Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Gahran, A. (2009). Hashtags on Twitter: How do you follow them?
  • Powerful Learning Practice. (2012). Twitter Handbook for Teachers.
  • Roberts, A. (2012). Follow Hashtags on Twitter to Avoid Information Overload.
  • Twitter, Inc. (2013). Embedded Timelines. Twitter.
  • Twitter, Inc. (2013). Using Twitter.
Resource created by Jane C.