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In this paper we explore a combination of social technologies and their use within higher education. Our research builds atop ongoing design science research looking to expand an existing online learning community (OLC) used at our university. Our new design implements the latest version of Elgg, an online social learning platform and integrates it with the popular microblogging site Twitter. The overarching goal of this research is to measure the impact these technologies have on levels of learning and social interaction inside and outside the classroom. We measure this impact across two undergraduate classes taking upper-division information systems courses. Initial findings indicate that while the blogging component of our OLC continues to provide high levels of learning and social interaction in the classroom, microblogging, while effective in bringing new information into the classroom, failed to have a significant impact on learning or interaction.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Jan. 2012