Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Teacher Education

Major Professor

Stewart Waters

Committee Members

Stewart Waters, Pamela Angelle, Joshua Kenna, Joshua Rosenberg


While research has highlighted the multifaceted benefits of Twitter as an informal professional learning resource, there remains a lack of literature that adequately teases apart the dynamic underpinnings of these types of informal professional learning communities (Thacker, 2017; Visser et al., 2014). Greenhow & Gleason (2012) posited that there is a need to better understand Twitter’s place within the education profession, as well as “how participants understand their experiences and place within the Twitter community and beyond” (p. 473).

Grounded in ‘sense of community’ theory, this study examined ‘sense of community’ as a construct supporting the #SSChat community’s sustainability. Additionally, I endeavored to determine whether a statistically significant correlation existed between perceived SOC and sustainability of #SSChat community participants, and whether statistically significant correlations existed between each of the four independent SOC tenets and sustainability.

Findings from this study produced implications to inform future strategic planning efforts to strengthen the #SSChat community on Twitter. Moreover, they support the #SSChat as a viable form of social studies education professional development and have implications for similar social media-based informal professional learning communities, as well as the field of social studies education in general.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."