Using Social Media to Provide Student Support

Online Classroom

In spring 2012 Angela Starrett, a mathematics instructor at the University of South Carolina Upstate, was teaching calculus, business calculus, and several other higher-level math courses. To provide students with extra support, she invited them to text her when they had questions. They took her up on the offer, sending images of problems they were struggling with, and she responded in a timely manner. This support seemed to motivate her students. They kept working on problems when they received quick responses from her. However, she found that the students often asked the same questions. Her solution was to use social media, initially Twitter and later Facebook and several other tools, to take this basic idea of one-to-one support to one-to-many and, ultimately, many-to-many.

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