Tweeting at Conferences and Talking About Teaching 2017 #YSJTAT

Friday 20th January 2017 9:00am – 4:00pm

Talking About Teaching is our annual event that gives staff the opportunity to engage in conversations about learning, teaching and assessment. The event will create interactive opportunities for sharing practice and networking, helping you to discover what is going on across the institution and to pick up new ideas. This year the key theme is Graduate Attributes.

Over the last few years many universities in the UK have developed a set of graduate attributes.  These typically take the form of statements embodying characteristics that universities want their graduates to possess. The emergence of graduate attributes has largely been driven by the demand from industry to have graduates who are better equipped to enter the workforce on graduation. These are the York St John University Graduate Attributes.

This year the keynote speech will be given by Helen Beetham titled What do our ‘digital students’ need from us? The event will also feature a variety of short teaching and learning conversations, poster lightning talks and longer workshops.

Following on from the success last year, in order to add an extra element of fun, encourage interaction amongst delegates, and to stimulate engagement with the conference, we have decided to ‘gamify‘ the event. The leaderboard will track delegates engagement with a series of challenges based around the use of Twitter.

#YSJTAT Conference Game Challenges

Welcome to the Talking About Teaching Conference Game!

Prizes: The player at the top of the Leaderboard by the end of the afternoon will win a £25 Amazon voucher!

Points will be awarded for the following activities:

Before and during the conference…

  1. Each Tweet with the #YSJTAT hashtag is worth 1 point
  2. Retweets and @Mentions earn you additional points
  3. Photo Challenge: Tweet a photo of yourself with one or more of the conference presenters using the hashtag #YSJTAT

You can view the Leaderboard

Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

When used at conferences, live-tweeting by delegates is a way to publicly share information about the event. Typically tweets may include:

  • quotes from the speakers
  • photos of visual slides or where the font is large enough to be snapped clearly
  • links to papers, books, websites or other resources shared by the speakers and delegates
  • discussion about the presentations/workshops attended
  • sharing what you have learnt with your network

For many live-tweeting at events is a form of note taking to refer back to after the event. It is also a good way to connect with new people you meet and continue the conversations post event.

Conference Hashtag

Many conferences will communicate information about the event prior to, as well as during and post the event, using a website or blog. Updates can then be easily shared via Twitter and re-shared by those that read the tweets as retweets. This helps to disseminate messages to a far wider community.

In addition a hashtag is usually chosen and shared with delegates. Anyone wishing to tweet about the event should include the chosen hashtag in their tweets to help others find the tweets relating to the event. The hashtag shown #YSJTAT is being used for our Talking About Teaching Conference. Tweets containing the hashtag can be found by using the search box within Twitter.

Pre-Event Homework

If you are going to tweet at an event then make sure you have done a little preparation:

  • Check your own Twitter account – have you got a clear bio on your profile and a photo? You are more likely to be followed or retweeted if others can identify who you are.
  • Find out what the event hashtag is and make a note of this
  • Consider the sessions you are likely to go to and identify what the speakers’ Twitter names are in advance. (These are now often included in the programme)
  • If you want to be super organised you may choose to follow the speakers and add them to a named list. You can find out more about how to create lists here.

If you are new to Twitter and need some help, head over to our Ten Days of Twitter Resource for bite-sized information on how to get started.


Small print: The game is just for fun! The game team reserve the right to change the weightings of the scored elements in order to keep things interesting. The leaderboard will be updated daily in the lead up to the conference and in the break periods during the conference (it is not live, in order to let you get on with participating in the conference rather than checking the leaderboard every 5 minutes!). Any questions on the game to @PhilVincent

“Tips for Tweeting at Conferences” section of the blog post adapted from Tips for tweeting at conferences originally posted on the Social Media Blog by Sue Beckingham which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Emma Fletcher

Working to the Directorate’s annual objectives and the TEL Quality Framework, Emma’s role as a TEL Advisor is to proactively support and develop staff in using technology to enhance the student learning experience. Her main focus is to advise academic staff on effective use of learning technologies to develop innovative learning resources, processes and practices. Before joining YSJ Emma was a teacher of computing at Castleford Academy. Emma is interested in mobile learning / BYOD and open education.

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1 Response

  1. Mark Dransfield says:

    A great summary of the conference and really useful tips for engaging in the social media aspect of the day. There’s nothing like a bit of competition to spice things up a little. I wonder if @noddwebb will win for a 3rd successive year!?

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