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Let’s tweet again? The impact of social networks on literature achievement in high school students: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

Author

Listed:
  • Gian Paolo Barbetta

    () (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
    Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Paolo Canino
  • Stefano Cima

Abstract

The availability of cheap wi-fi internet connections has stimulated schools to adopt Web 2.0 platforms for teaching. Using social networks and micro-blogs, teachers aim to stimulate students’ participation in school activities and their achievement. Although anecdotal evidence shows a high level of teacher satisfaction with these platforms, only a small number of studies has produced rigorous estimates of their effects on students’ achievement. We contribute to the knowledge in this field by analyzing the impact of using micro-blogs as a teaching tool on the reading and comprehension skills of students. Thanks to a large-scale randomized controlled trial, we find that using Twitter to teach literature has an overall negative effect on students’ average achievement, reducing performance on a standardized test score by about 25 to 40% of a standard deviation. The negative effect is heterogeneous with respect to some students’ characteristics. More specifically, the use of this Web 2.0 application appears to have a stronger detrimental effect on students who usually perform better.

Suggested Citation

  • Gian Paolo Barbetta & Paolo Canino & Stefano Cima, 2019. "Let’s tweet again? The impact of social networks on literature achievement in high school students: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def081, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie1:def081
    as

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    File URL: http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/economia-finanza-def081.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ICT; education; literature performance; RCT.;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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