Collaboration via Twitter? Lessons from a Marketing Classroom

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[We’re pleased to welcome authors Dr. Alexandra K. Abney of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Laurel A. Cook of West Virginia University, Alexa K. Fox of the University of Akron, and Jennifer Stevens of the University of Toledo. They recently published an article in the Journal of Marketing Education entitled “Intercollegiate Social Media Education Ecosystem,” which is currently free to read for a limited time. Below, Dr. Cook recounts the motivations and innovations of this research:]

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What motivated you to pursue this research?

There are so many ways that technology can enhance our lives. Social media is a great example. Specifically, Twitter allows us to connect with people around the globe and we sought to expand this connectivity into our classrooms. We [the authors] knew each other and we were each trying various ways to bring social media into the classroom. However, we also knew our students may never have the chance to interact with one another, given our geographical dispersion. In response, our intercollegiate Twitter collaboration was initiated. As we continued to see success with this project in the classroom, we thought it would be a great opportunity to analyze the linguistic content of the tweets and capture student perceptions of the project to share the project with our fellow marketing educators. We strongly encourage JME readers to join us to offer the benefits we describe in our paper to more marketing students.

Were there any specific external events—political, social, or economic—that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

For marketers, the Super Bowl is a time to witness top marketing and advertising trends in action. Over the last few years (i.e., prior to the development of this project), live tweeting to discuss ads during the Super Bowl had become a popular practice with marketers around the world. As marketing educators, we [the authors] often participated in these live tweeting events. These experiences allowed us to interact not only with other marketing faculty, but with marketing practitioners and brands as well. As a group, we joined together with the hopes of bringing a similar experience into the classroom for our students through our novel intercollegiate Twitter project. Each week we created questions within the collaboration that centered around marketing hot topics and other current events (i.e. Olympics, etc.). We then measured the impact of this project in terms of student learning perceptions and linguistic analyses. This project has been so successful, it has continued each semester thereafter!

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Our research offers insight into how students can use technology engage with one another beyond the walls of the classroom. In doing so, we offer an ecosystem for collaboration among students who are unlikely to interact in other settings, broadening their educational horizons and understanding of the global business landscape, all while building important communication skills. With our innovative social media education ecosystem (SMEE) we were able to (1) develop and reinforce class concepts; (2) improve learning perceptions and behavioral intent; (3) increase the reach of students’ marketing-related discussions; (4) develop professional identities and communication skills; and (5) grow each student’s network through connections with peers and marketing professionals in the United States.

What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?

Technological advances will continue to be an important part of our society. The challenge will always be understanding how such advances can be used effectively and for the betterment of our society. We encourage researchers to examine how the power we have at our fingertips can be used to foster unique relationships and spread knowledge across our very interconnected world.

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Social Media Photo attributed to Free-Photos (CC)

 

 

This entry was posted in Education, Management, Management Theory and tagged , , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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