Thursday, November 19, 2009

Facebook, Tweet In Class ? You're In The Hotseat @ Purdue

November 2, 2009  / Hotseat Lets Students Facebook, Tweet In Class To Improve Learning / Steve Tally

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - College students have always talked about their classes, and lately the conversations have moved to Facebook, Twitter and text messages, often during the class lecture itself.  Now, in a clever bit of educational jujitsu, an application developed at Purdue University uses those backchannel conversations to improve the students' learning.

"Hotseat is really sort of subversive in a delightful way, taking technologies more often used for things like dating or spontaneous get-togethers, and applying them to learning," says Gerry McCartney, chief information officer and vice president for information technology. " [snip]

Hotseat is a software application that captures student comments about a class and allows everyone in the class to view those messages, including the professor and teaching assistants. Students can post messages to Hotseat using their Facebook, MySpace or Twitter accounts, or they can send text messages or simply log into the Hotseat Web site.

Currently being pilot tested in two Purdue courses, the application has become a favorite of both instructors and students.

Sugato Chakravarty, professor and department head of Purdue's Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing, has used Hotseat in his CSR342 personal finance class.

"Hotseat is turning out to be a nice innovation. I'm seeing students interact more with the course and ask relevant questions," Chakravarty says. "The tool allows us to engage students using media they are already familiar with."

Although students in the pilot courses are not required to use Hotseat, so far in the pilot 73 percent of the more than 600 students enrolled in the classes are participating.


Students in the class most often use Hotseat to ask questions about the material that they don't care to ask in class.


Chakravarty says the open, Web 2.0 nature of the tool means that the content isn't always closely controlled.

"The students say pretty much whatever they want," Chakravarty says. "But this is a valuable tool for enhancing learning. The students are engaged in the discussions and, for the most part, they are asking relevant questions."

Lead developer Kyle Bowen, director of informatics at Purdue, says students can post messages from a variety of social media sites. "We're not asking them to go to a new destination or use a new technology. We're letting them work on their studies from where they already live digitally ... ."

As an advanced Web 2.0 technology, Hotseat requires the extra bandwidth provided by Purdue's new campus network,  ... . The network, and Hotseat, are expected to be fully deployed across the West Lafayette campus during the 2010-11 academic year.

YouTube Videos

Hotseat At Purdue University


What Is Hotseat In Your Own Words?

Hotseat Web Site




Facebook Page (Public) And Facebook App (Purdue Community Only) At


!!! Thanks To / Mashable: The Social Media Guide  / For The HeadsUp !!!

News Coverage

Teaching With Twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart


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