Big Data HE Communities: Could Twitter Support UK Universities Amid the COVID-19 Transition?

Big Data HE Communities: Could Twitter Support UK Universities Amid the COVID-19 Transition?

Farag Edghiem (Institute of Management Greater Manchester, University of Bolton, UK) and Moheeb Abualqumboz (University of Salford, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7513-0.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter intends to explore the use of the Twitter social media platform as a microblog to share COVID-19 prescribed knowledge through observing the Twitter accounts of the five most student-populated UK universities. The chapter provides valuable practical insight to UK universities practitioners, students, and concerned stakeholders on the use of Twitter microblogs to share or retrieve knowledge required to cope with the current COVID-19 transition. The chapter sheds light on the unique characteristics of knowledge shared by UK universities through Twitter in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter also highlights the unconventional use of Twitter by UK universities to share COVID-19 prescribed knowledge with their stakeholders.
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1. Introduction

The current Covid-19 pandemic has transformed many sectors in our society. Among the sectors that have been radically affected is the education sector (Devinney & Dowling, 2020). Universities were forced to move entirely from classroom education to virtual education. Although many Universities have resorted to virtual education, other Universities have not been at the same level able to face the crisis in terms of preparedness and facilitate the creation of new or amendments. It is known in crises that the key to success is not only to implement the right strategy, but rather to implement a quick strategy (Elsubbaugh et al., 2004) that responds to the requirements of the seemingly dramatic transition, this necessitates looking up to knowledge ​​resilience.

Presently, academics work from their homes, presenting their lectures through different screens and different means of communication to large segments of students, carrying out their research, searching for funding opportunities for their research projects and marking students' assignments and submitting their reports. In addition to the mental burden, the emerging work environment raises questions such as how the relationship now between academics and their workplace looks like? How did academic discourse of knowledge regime changed? What is the future of knowledge infrastructures in universities in the next five years? As the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the stifling nature of our academic work, universities have been forced to reinterpret themselves, their priorities and knowledge infrastructures. Therefore, in our article, we shed light on the Use of Twitter by UK Universities to mark the new shape of knowledge regimes in academia implied by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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