Kassens places second in Economist Educators Best in Class award for Twitter project

by Teresa Gereaux on September 23, 2013

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Dr. Alice Kassens, John S. Shannon Associate Professor of Economics at Roanoke College, placed second in the 2013 Economist Educators Best in Class Award contest for using Twitter to sharpen critical thinking and writing skills.

Kassens added a Twitter component in her Principles of Macroeconomics course to compliment the lecture and help engage students. Kassens had students create a Twitter account and then ask questions via Twitter. Assignments included specific Twitter components and the live Twitter feed was projected on a large screen in the class.

“Given Twitter’s 140 character limit, effective statements and questions must be accurate and precise,” Kassens said in her online entry. “Often it is more challenging to communicate an argument in 140 characters than it is in a 500+ word essay.”

Twitter helped expand the class interaction beyond the walls of the classroom. Students interacted with classes from other institutions and could comment on current events as they unfolded.

Kassens won $1,000 for her second place award and $500 for the Business Administration & Economics department. She’ll also travel to Austin, Texas, next month to receive her award and present her Twitter project.

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