LOOK WHO’S TALKING: USING HUMAN CODING TO ESTABLISH A MACHINE LEARNING APPROACH TO TWITTER EDUCATION CHATS

  • K. Bret Staudt Willet Michigan State University
  • Brooks D. Willet Birch Wayfinders, LLC
Keywords: Twitter, hashtag, education, content analysis, machine learning

Abstract

Twitter has become a hub for many different types of educational conversations, denoted by hashtags and organized by a variety of affinities. Researchers have described these educational conversations on Twitter as sites for teacher professional development. Here, we studied #Edchat—one of the oldest and busiest Twitter educational hashtags—to examine the content of contributions for evidence of professional purposes. We collected tweets containing the text “#edchat” from October 1, 2017 to June 5, 2018, resulting in a dataset of 1,228,506 unique tweets from 196,263 different contributors. Through initial human-coded content analysis, we sorted a stratified random sample of 1,000 tweets into four inductive categories: tweets demonstrating evidence of different professional purposes related to (a) self, (b) others, (c) mutual engagement, and (d) everything else. We found 65% of the tweets in our #Edchat sample demonstrated purposes related to others, 25% demonstrated purposes related to self, and 4% of tweets demonstrated purposes related to mutual engagement. Our initial method was too time intensive—it would be untenable to collect tweets from 339 known Twitter education hashtags and conduct human-coded content analysis of each. Therefore, we are developing a scalable machine-learning model—a multiclass logistic regression classifier using an input matrix of features such as tweet types, keywords, sentiment, word count, hashtags, hyperlinks, and tweet metadata. The anticipated product of this research—a successful, generalizable machine learning model—would help educators and researchers quickly evaluate Twitter educational hashtags to determine where they might want to engage.
Published
2020-02-02
How to Cite
Staudt Willet, K. B., & Willet, B. D. (2020). LOOK WHO’S TALKING: USING HUMAN CODING TO ESTABLISH A MACHINE LEARNING APPROACH TO TWITTER EDUCATION CHATS. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. Retrieved from https://spir.aoir.org/ojs/index.php/spir/article/view/10512
Section
Papers S