As you know, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to use twitter in my instruction. There’s been lots of trial and error (and revision!) of my approach over the last year. One of my concerns as I got into the current semester was being able to promote twitter use in ways that were relevant to the course but also had students using twitter in a variety of ways.
Enter pop up quests with twitter.
I’d first gotten my head around pop-up quests last fall. The idea is that these are optional quests, and they happen when they happen. They should be designed to promote skill development and/or content knowledge as it relates to the class.
I created a # for these pop-up quests – which I won’t share here because I don’t need the world looking in on us. You could do this too. Just make up something that works for you that no one else is using. Mine was basically #[insert program tag]pop.
I thought having a separate # for pop up quests was necessary as I didn’t want it to blend with the stuff on our regular channel. I sent an email out to both classes (they are in the same program) alerting them to the tag. And then I started.
What Happens on the POP Tag
We’re actually not too far into it yet, but here are some of the things I have done:
- share a picture of something you are doing this week related to the course (3000 XP)
- Saturday challenge: leave a comment on a specific blog post that I linked to (3000 XP)
- Sunday challenge: tweet out one post from the class blog that is not your own; make sure you add an additional # to it (4000 XP)
- challenge for the week: share one educator per day for five days that you love; tag the person & say what you love about them (3000 per day or 20,000 for 5 days)
The very first one that I did – involving the picture – immediately got revised so that students could do it for five days and earn up to 20,000 XP. This was in response to a student who asked if I would accept more. I thought things were going well so, why not? It worked fine. Notice that I intentionally give more XP if you participate all five days.
The Saturday and Sunday challenges were short challenges that had a one day completion for them. With the Saturday challenge, I was trying to drum up some comments on a post written by someone outside this class. For Sunday, I wanted them to look at our own blog and share a post they really loved written by someone else.
Notice I’m usually having them leave tags when they have to tweet that connect to people or larger concepts. I hope this helps them build their network and connect with others.
So far I would say that there is a good response to this, and it has been very simple to score. I try to score it within 48 hours of it ending so I don’t have to dig down deep in the feed later on. Because I post the challenge on the feed it is easy to see where one starts. So far I do not have overlapping challenges. Right now, my second weekly challenge is running so I probably won’t do any additional daily challenges. That could get sticky with scoring. It could be done, but it would be more cumbersome for me to do.
I like the idea of a weekly challenge with daily challenges in between. You could even do shorter challenges that last for 2-3 days. But for me, I think running one at a time works well.