School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Dr. Joanne E. Gilbreath


Critical Thinking, Engagement, Microblogging, Middle School


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of microblogging as an authentic real-world technology in a middle school classroom in response to the 2010 Department of Education’s call to provide students with more relevant digital experiences. The non-equivalent control group, pretest-posttest design study was used to determine if microblogging used in a writing activity affected middle school students’ engagement and critical thinking. This study was important as it addressed the heretofore understudied middle school sector. This research used a convenience sample of 119 sixth-grade and seventh-grade language arts students in a suburban northwest Florida public middle school. Students completed pretests and posttests consisting of the National Center for School Engagement (NCSE) Student Survey and the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT). Students in the experimental group used microblogging to complete an in-class writing activity, while the control group completed a traditional in-class writing activity without microblogging. The researcher used a mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) and found statistically significant differences in engagement and critical thinking. It is recommended that additional studies be conducted using microblogging among middle school students.