Tweeting the Night Away: Using Twitter to enhance social presence

Joanna C. Dunlap
Patrick R. Lowenthal


To be truly effective, online learning must facilitate the social process of learning. This involves providing space and opportunities for students and faculty to engage in social activities. Although learning management systems offer several tools that support social learning and student engagement, the scope, structure, and functionality of those tools can inhibit and restrain just-in-time social connections and interactions. In this teaching tip, we describe our use of Twitter to encourage freeflowing just-in-time interactions and how these interactions can enhance social presence in online courses. We then describe instructional benefits of Twitter, and conclude with guidelines for incorporating Twitter in online courses.


Social Presence, Teaching Presence, Cognitive Presence, Online Learning, Twitter, Social Interaction, Microblogging, Microsharing, Community Of Inquiry, Social Networking, Student Engagement

APA Citation

Dunlap, J. C., & Lowenthal, P. R. (2009). Tweeting the night away: Using Twitter to enhance social presence. Journal of Information Systems Education, 20, 129-135.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Information Systems Education
Type of Research
Research Design Not applicable
Intervention/Areas of Study
Level of Analysis
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size 0-99
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