Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 347–360 | Cite as

Teaching Chinese Politics: Microblogging and Student Engagement

Research Article


This article reflects on some of the issues involved in teaching Chinese politics in the west and assesses the rationale for incorporating technology into teaching. The article specifically addresses the potential benefits of using microblogging (Twitter and Weibo) as a supplementary teaching tool in Chinese politics classes. The article argues that microblogging has benefits in terms of helping students develop professional networks, extending contact hours without placing an onerous burden on instructors, contributing to the construction of a supportive and collaborative learning environment and demystifying China for non-Chinese majors. Furthermore, in classes where students possess Chinese language skills, China’s domestic Weibo provide a fascinating window onto social and political issues as they are experienced contemporaneously by Chinese netizens. An assessment of the potential uses of microblogging is timely as the learning preferences of current and future cohorts change and commercial and pedagogical imperatives increasingly impel university teachers to consider the effectiveness of their teaching methods.


Teaching and Learning Chinese Politics Microblogging Student Engagement Student Satisfaction Effective Teaching 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and IRUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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