INF215: The Written Word and the Internet Course Syllabus 1) Instructor: Michelle Thuma Mthuma@mail.usf.edu 813-685-4992 Skype: Michelle.Thuma Google Chat, Twitter: Mthuma 2) Course Description: This course examines the current uses of text-based communication on the Internet, with a primary focus on how online text-based interaction changes communication in general and written communication in particular. 3) Course Goals and Objectives: a. Goals Students who successfully complete this course will gain an understanding of the various types of text-based communications on the Internet, the unique aspects of and conventions for each application, and their cultural and social impact, both collectively and individually. b. Objectives At the end of this course each student will: i. be knowledgeable in and comfortable with several different types of text-based Internet communications ii. be aware of the writing conventions and generally accepted practices unique to online communications iii. understand the social and cultural impact of online communications in general and text-based Internet communications in particular 4) Evaluation and Grading: Each student will be evaluated based on the following categories: Class Discussions 25% Personal Blog 25% Writing Assignments Social Interactions 10% Pros and Cons 10% Product Review 10% Group Wiki 20% Class Discussions will be held via the online discussion board. Discussion posts will be graded based on assignment requirements, content quality and relevance to the subject matter. Posts should always be written with academic standards in mind, citing sources where appropriate. When posting, always be respectful and considerate of others. A blog will be created for each student at the start of the class. It is expected that each student will use this blog regularly, posting their thoughts or reflections on class topics at least once per unit. It is also expected that each student will regularly visit and comment on other classmates’ blogs. 5) Course Requirements a. Attendance Since this is an online course, attendance is measured in terms of participation. Students are expected to participate in every class discussion in meaningful, original ways, both initiating discussion threads and responding to the threads of others. Participation is a critical component of this course, and as such is given significant weight in your final grade. b. Materials All reading materials for this course will be online; no textbooks are required. Links to the required reading are listed in the “Reading Materials” section of each Unit. c. Prerequisites At a very minimum, a student intending to take this course should be comfortable with using the Internet. This is an online course that focuses on online technologies; it is therefore in the student’s best interest to own the skills required to navigate the Internet prior to taking this class. d. Plagiarism There is a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism in this course. Any work that is copied in whole or part will earn an automatic zero for the assignment. Furthermore, the student will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the university’s policy on plagiarism. Lesson Plan Unit Topic and Readings Deliverables (due by unit end) Unit 1 Introduction: Discussion Board: Introduce yourself; link to Syllabus your personal blog Blog: Explore your personal blog; post a welcome message; comment on at least one other blog Unit 2 Common text-based Discussion Board: Find an article about one communications: email, instant of these technologies and their impact on our messaging, texting. society or culture. Post it, along with your Readings as outlined in thoughts, to the discussion board. Read an unit 2 materials. article from and comment on at least one other student’s thread. Blog: How has text-based communication changed your personal life? What are the positive and negative aspects of this change? Post your thoughts to your blog; comment on at least one other blog Unit 3 Conventions and norms for Discussion Board: Post at least three online communications: examples of emoticons and/or acronyms, emoticons, acronyms, “L33t”, what they mean, and an example of when it flaming, etc. would not be appropriate to use them. Readings as outlined in unit 3 materials. Blog: Post a link to an article related to text- based communications to your blog, along with your thoughts on the article. Comment on at least one other student’s blog. Writing Assignment: Write a 1-2 page paper exploring how online text-based communications has changed our social interactions. Back up your thoughts with at least one reference. Unit 4 Online reviews: vendor sites, Discussion Board: Select your topic from the review sites; credibility. list of topics (TBA) for your group Wiki, Readings as outlined in and post your idea on the discussion board. unit 4 materials. Begin to form groups based on common interests. Use the discussion board to work out the details. Blog: Post the link to your product review, along with your thoughts about online reviewing: how much weight do you give to reviews before purchasing a product? Does it depend on the reviewing site? Does the quality of the writing change your opinion of the review? Writing Assignment: Write a Product Review for a product you own on either a review site or the review area of a vendor’s website. Unit 5 Blogs and micro-blogs: Readings as outlined in Discussion Board: Post your thoughts Unit 5 materials regarding the Twitter exercise we did in this Experiment with Twitter unit. What are the pros and cons of Twitter? (TBA) Does it have value in education? Why or why not? Blog: Find a blog that deals with education and online interaction; post a link to it in your blog, along with your thoughts about a recent post from that blog. Comment on at least one other student’s blog. Writing Assignment: Continue to work in your wiki groups. During this unit you should be starting to build your group wiki in your assigned wiki spaces. Unit 6 Wikis, discussion boards and Discussion Board: Designate a group online forums member to post a link to your group wiki so Readings as outlined in your classmates can see what you’re doing. Unit 6 materials Post your comments about another group’s wiki on their discussion thread. Monitor your own discussion thread and answer any questions your classmates have regarding your wiki. Blog: Post your thoughts on using a discussion board or online forum. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using this method of communication? Post a comment on at least one other student’s blog. Writing Assignment: Post your wiki to the assigned wiki area. Unit 7 Personal vs. professional Discussion Board: Find an article about the writing: reliability of online news and post it to the social networking (Facebook, discussion board. Include a link to a news MySpace), news sites (CNN, site you feel is reliable, along with your MSN), RSS feeds (i.e. comments as to why. Comment on at least “breaking news”), determining one other student’s thread. credibility Readings as outlined in Blog: Do you have a social networking Unit 7 materials account? Why or why not? In your opinion, what are the strengths and/or weaknesses of social networking? Post your thoughts to your blog; comment on at least one other student’s blog. Writing Assignment: Write a 1 page paper describing your experiences with one of the text-based communications we have covered so far. How is this method of communication better or worse than other more traditional ways of communicating? How is it different? Use at least one reference in your paper. Unit 8 The new normal: How online Discussion Board: What is one thing you writing is changing learned during this class? Will it change the communication way you communicate in the future? Post Readings as outlined in your thoughts to the discussion board. Unit 8 materials Comment on at least one other student’s thread. Blog: Post your thoughts about using a blog. What are the advantages and disadvantages to using this medium, in your opinion? Will you continue to use blogs in the future? Why or why not?