Microblogging Practices of Scientists in E-Learning: A Qualitative Approach

Barbara Kieslinger, Martin Ebner, Helga Wiesenhofer


Microblogging services, in particular Twitter, have experienced an explosive uptake in the last few years with a decelerated grown rate since 2010. Apart from celebrities, PR and news agencies, the bulk of user profiles stems form private individuals. Amongst them, individual scientists have started to make use of Twitter for professional purposes. This paper presents a qualitative approach of discovering microblogging practices and obtaining rich descriptions of few cases that give a deeper insight into how Twitter is used by scientists active in the field of e-Learning and how this practice shapes their social networks. The methodological approach is based on online ethnographic studies. Therefore Grabeeter, a tool for collecting all public tweets of a person in various formats, has been adapted in order to obtain the data appropriate for a qualitative analysis following a grounded theory approach. After an analysis of the current state-of-the-art we will outline the methodological approach for our qualitative analysis that focuses on discovering tacit aspects of microblogging practices such as value or purpose. Finally the results of the online ethnographic approach and individual cases will be discussed and compared to similar studies. This work presents the explorative phase of a detailed qualitative approach towards exploring microblogging practices of scientists.


twitter, microbloggin, research, scientiest, quantiative approach

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Copyright (c) 2017 Barbara Kieslinger, Martin Ebner, Helga Wiesenhofer

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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