Twitter at the 2010 Lilly Conference on College Teaching (#lilly10)

I was honored to give the opening keynote at the 2010 Lilly Conference on College Teaching at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, last week. My other role at the conference was to encourage the use of Twitter for conference backchannel discussions. I helped the conference team settle on a hashtag (#lilly10), recruited a few Twitter users who were going to the conference to agree to contribute to the backchannel (our “Twitter Team“), and shared an introduction to Twitter (in video and Prezi formats) with the conference participants. I also set up a Twapper Keeper for the #lilly10 hashtag to archive the tweets.

As seems to be the custom these days, I thought I would share a little summary and analysis of the Lilly tweets. I learned from Twapper Keeper about a tool called Summarizr that does most of this automatically. Here are the results:

Quick Stats:

Total tweets: 491
Total twitterers: 53
Total URLs tweeted: 66

Top 10 Twitterers:

derekbruff, Derek Bruff (179)

dcbphd, D. Christopher Brooks (69)

greenedm69, Dana Greene (66)

evinsmj, Matthew Evins (23)

KWBorders, Kevin W. Borders (22)

rachbarlow, Rachael Barlow (20)

temperedradical, Joanne Munroe (18)

QiDunsworth (11)

Bio_prof, Ana Maria Barral (6)

scastriotta, Sue Castriotta (6)

Interestingly, those last two (@Bio_prof and @scastriotta) weren’t actually at the conference! They participated virtually.

Top 10 Tweeted URLs:

  1. Miami University Lilly Conference (4)
  2. M-Learning Overview (4)
  3. University of Guelph Gap Analysis of NSSE, BCSSE, and FSSE (3)
  4. Will at Work Learning: People Remember 10%, 20%, … Oh Really? (3)
  5. Rachael Barlow on Timing of Course Evaluations (3)
  6. The Truth about Learning Styles by Linda Nilson (3)
  7. Tim Clydesdale’s The First Year Out (2)
  8. Derek Bruff’s Mobile Learning Bookmarks (2)
  9. 2011 Horizon Report Wiki – Electronic Books (2)
  10. The Affective Domain in the Classroom (2)

Word Clouds:

Here’s a word cloud of the tweets created using Wordle. I’ve removed the #lilly10 hashtag (since it’s in all the tweets) but otherwise haven’t edited the text of the tweets. Click on the image below to see a larger version.

The presence of several Twitter user names (including my own…) means not that these users were tweeting often but instead that other users were replying to these users. This gives you a sense of who was having conversations on the backchannel with whom.

If we eliminate those user names, however, we get a somewhat clearer sense of what people were talking about:

My observations: We tweeted a lot about students (sometimes abbreviating students to stdts) and learning. (Note the use of student and learn as well.) Teaching, conference, session, and great were also frequently tweeted words. Perhaps we need to expand our repertoire of positive adjectives beyond great and interesting

What observations do you have about the conference tweets? How does they compare to the tweets at the POD Network conference two weeks ago?

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