Sunday, 28 February 2010

How to involve more members in my mobile group?

In my previous post I described how I got my Twitter group off the ground and students were beginning to sign up and make their initial posts. I think now I've got 12 students signed up. To encourage students to respond I tried to post a steady stream of useful language learning links as well as put up a question of the day for them to answer.

Two of the students have really taken to it and they are following the links, responding to the questions, and it's great. But from the rest there doesn't seem to be the same level of interest and they haven't really posted at all.

I need to try to find out why the other students don't seem so engaged. Maybe they thought this group was going to be something different, maybe more SMS based, but I've been trying to avoid doing everything through SMS because of the potential cost to them of responding via text.

Maybe they just aren't reading the tweets! I'm not sure that every member has regular access to a computer, so today I wrote to all of them by SMS and explained how they could send and receive tweets via their mobile phone - as this is after all supposed to be a mobile phone group. Anyhow I think a short survey might be useful to find out what their expectations might be

This week I will continue with the Twitter feed but also try something else to see if it interests or involves more of them. Maybe something via text, a Word of The Day or something similar. Anyhow, I'll keep trying and see what interests/involves them..


  1. Hi Dave, I've been following your posts on mobile ESL for awhile now and appreciate your open reporting and analysis. As an mlearning solutions provider, my customers/partners are all constantly working to identify ways to drive adoption and increase engagement. One such effort that's been successful lately comes via a customer we have called Urban Planet Mobile here in GA whose core mission is ESL instruction via mobile device. In recent months, they've actually found great success combining text and SMS messages with embedded links to both downloaded and voice-accessible content (think dial-in podcasts). Their pilot student audiences-- about 150 students from 3 different local high schools -- all responded well to the daily content delivery (which was SAT word-of-the-day sort of stuff but similar in packaging to their core ESL offerings) and they were able to measure dramatic performance improvement and high levels of engagement/interest from the students as well as faculty and staff. You can read more about at their site if you're interested.

    Keep up the good work....Robert ;>)

  2. hi Robert,

    Wish I'd seen your comment earlier, I would have responded. I never actually check whether anyone has commented on my posts as it had never happened before and yours is the first one! I felt I was writing in an echo chamber for the most part.

    Really appreciate the link and it's interesting to read because I've just started sending my students a word/expression a day and they really seem to like it. I don't give them the definition, just the expression and an example sentence and they have to write back with what they think is the definition. It's certainly been the most successful aspect of my mobile group so far.

    Anyhow, great to have you reading my blog and I'll keep an eye on the comments more closely in the future. ;-)