Monday, July 13, 2009

Exploring Twtpoll: do you already have a personal Twitter account?

So we had a great session today exploring creative ways to use Twtpoll in a 50 minute or 1:50 minute instruction session.
We had created ten twitter accounts and my colleague and I went through the tedious task of having all accounts follow each other in an attempt to save time since we only had 45 minutes at the end of the meeting that we could dedicate to Twtpoll & Twitter. Some of the suggestions after a brief exploration included traditional ways that the instructor might use any sort of polling application: pre-tests,post-tests, quiz questions, off-topic questions to wake everyone up... not really! Melissa and I created about 10 twitter accounts for colleagues to use, so we could just jump in and begin using twtpoll with the existing twitter accounts.
Here are some of sample test runs of questions that we later used for classes:
Sample question for upcoming Doctoring 3 class in Veterinary Medicine following a two hour hands-on session where students were a huge class of approx. 100 split into smaller groups to explore which of the ten databases/resources would best answer this question:

These are ony sample responses, not the actual results:

Some Twtpoll samples:

This the protected twitter account that I use to create the twtpolls:

The accompanying web page for the VMD400 class, created by Mary Wood:
Here is our web page: and the related video that we used for the outset of the class (filled with clues for group the activities that followed): We actually had a looped 5 minute version that played while students were entering the room and it included all of the resources they would be using during the hands-on portion of the session.

Brainstorming uses for Twtpoll and Twitter:
Other interesting ideas included having the students work in break-out groups on the same question using different library resources and then create a Twtpoll to share with the other students. I should mention though that a couple of people had trouble using the application... most likely issues with our own connectivity in the Laab.

Using the embed code on the twtpoll site, you are able to edit the size of the chart displaying poll results. The default is 200 as shown. I am assuming this is pixels. You can also use the polls in stand-alone mode on the twtpoll site, rather than embedding or sharing on one of the many liste popular sites, cell phones, email, etc.
The URLs are nice and short! For a small donation, you are able to personalize the pole with your twitter account profile image and short bio.

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