From Research to Retweets—Exploring the Role of Educational Twitter (X) Communities in Promoting Science Communication and Evidence-Based Teaching

Monica Déchène, Kaley Lesperance, Lisa Ziernwald, Doris Holzberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twitter has evolved from its initial purpose as a microblogging social network to a pivotal platform for science communication. Equally, it has gained significant popularity among teachers who utilize communities like the German #twitterlehrerzimmer (TWLZ; Twitter teachers’ lounge) as a digital professional learning network. (1) Background: To date, no studies examine how science communication is conducted on Twitter specifically tailored to teachers’ needs and whether this facilitates evidence-based teaching. (2) Methods: Answering the three research questions involved a comprehensive mixed methods approach comprising an online teacher survey, utility analysis using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) models, and machine learning-assisted tweet analyses. (3) Results: Teachers implement research findings from the TWLZ in their teaching about twice a month. They prefer interactive tweets with specific content-related, communicative, and interactive tweet features. Science communication in the TWLZ differs from everyday communication but notably emphasizes the relevance of transfer events for educational practice. (4) Conclusions: Findings highlight that dialogue is essential for successful science communication. Practical implications arise from new guidelines on how research findings should be communicated and encourage teachers to reflect on their Twitter usage and attitude toward evidence-based teaching. Recommendations for further research in this emerging field are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number196
JournalEducation Sciences
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • analytical hierarchy process
  • evidence-based teaching
  • natural language processing
  • researcher–practitioner gap
  • science communication
  • sentiment analysis
  • social media
  • teacher professional development
  • teacher survey
  • twitter (X)

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