Learning with Twitter: A Criminal Justice Studies Experiment

Learning with Twitter: A Criminal Justice Studies Experiment

I have used Twitter in my online criminal justice classes. For each class, I create a hashtag (example #MCC123B) (Anderson, 2011). This allows students to use the Twitter search tool to find messages from our learning team to stay connected (Anderson, 2011). I have mainly used Twitter to send out current articles on class related topics to further discussion. I usually send the article out with a comment: “Any thoughts?” This simple technique sparks a lot of exchanging and others share related article of a different article on the same story (Anderson, 2011).

In a study by Carpenter and Krutka (2014) they discovered that classes that use Twitter to stay connected reported feeling less isolated and valued member of the learning community. This article support my own thinking that the students enjoyed communicating freely and shared articles and even study tips on upcoming quizzes socially. Active engagement for the classroom professor will always circle around three concepts: Cognitive, Teaching, and Social Presence. By role-modeling professional and discipline networking strategies, students feel they belong and are active contributors (Carpenter & Krutka 2014).

In the future, I plan to create an assignment link to the class Twitter hashtag. Students will be required to write a reflective paper on three things they learned from the learning team that they discovered on Twitter and how this enhanced their knowledge of the course learning objectives.

Ethical Concerns  

Twitter is an open social networking website. There are always security concerns as well as staying within FERP laws for the class professor. I have sent reminders of quizzes and required readings that have been helpful to students. Stay professional and role model the types of postings that trigger scholarly dialog.


Anderson, S. (2011). The twitter toolbox for educators. Teacher Librarian, 39(1), 27-30. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/902627349?accountid=8289

Carpenter, J. P., & Krutka, D. G. (2014). How and why educators use twitter: A survey of the field. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(4), 414-434. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1632517880?accountid=8289

About the Author

Mark Bond

Mark Bond has worked in law enforcement and has been a firearms instructor for more than 33 years. His law enforcement experience includes the military, local, state and federal levels as a police officer and criminal investigator. Mark obtained a BS and MS in criminal justice, and M.Ed in educational leadership with Summa Cum Laude honors. As a lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in education (EdD) with a concentration in college teaching and learning.  Mark is currently an assistant professor of criminal justice at a university and adjunct professor of administration of justice studies at a community college.