A Jeanne Site
Syllabus for Sociology 335: Social Movements: The Internet
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 15, 2000
Faculty on the Site.
Time:T Th 4:00 - 5:15
Room: SBS B204
Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course requires computer literacy.
- Goals: This course examines the phenomenon of the Internet from the perspective of its effect on public discourse, the social structure within the cultural context, and the extent to which we need to, or want to, control its growth, freedom, and patterns of development. To this end we examine Lessig's new book on code as a form of legislative control without elected representatives.
The course also examines the technology which permits of changing patterns in our cultural context. To this end we explore interactivity, approaches to learning over distance, multimedia effects, and access as a class issue.
- Required texts:
- Lawrence Lessig. Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace Basic Books. 1999.
- Requirements and Grading:
- For each reading preparation please e-mail me when you have prepared that reading and are ready to participate in one of our discussion groups. Instructions on your class page. You may participate in a discussion group that meets at a different time. You may choose to pass if you are unable to prepare. A record of preparations will be kept on site. There is no penalty for taking a pass, but there is a penalty for being generally unprepared, and for failing to notify me.
You should prepare all Pass? or Prepared? multiple choice interactive pieces that are included on your Reading Preparataions. No penalty for being reasonably late, but you must prepare those within a week or so of the actual discussions.
- Attendance at a minimum of six discussion groups is required. Please e-mail me a brief summary (approx. 25 words) of your contribution. No, you needn't write in sentences. Key words will do. It is a reminder to me of what you said, or perhaps, of what you would have said if you could have gotten a word in edgewise. Most often these should result in a dialog. Samples will be posted. As with the Pass? or Prepared? pieces, these should be timely.
- Coming to class prepared and summarizing your contributions should assure me that you understand the basic concepts we have covered. Such understanding provides a passing grade. For a higher grade, you will need to add your commentary and insights to a threaded discussion, or find some other way to show me what you have learned. You will find numerous suggestions in the academic support section of your class page.
- You are encouraged to work in cooperative groups, and are expected to do so, since discourse is one of our primary objectives. Groups must be either face to face, and the parties must be present, or parties must be included by e-mail dialog. CC jeanne. And groups may always change. This is because life happens, and no one can always be there. That's OK. Try to belong to more than one working group, so that you will be able to keep a flexible schedule. Please remember that learning to work like this is one of our goals, so keep me informed of how it's working.
- Mastery of Basic Concepts
There are lecture notes and a set of questions for each reading in the course. Your answers should be short. Try for 25 words or less. Since these questions are answered from at least one perspective in the lecture notes, you will be expected to check your answer for accuracy against those notes. These are required exercises. I will record that you have submitted them. But I will not grade them. I have left this requirement in because I will not be able to completely rewrite all the preparations. Adjust it to fit the other measures of learning you are giving me. I will be posting new materials; please check the class page for What's Required?
About quoting from the lecture notes, which are now called annotations.
- It would be better to put the answers in your own words. This is easiest to do if you read the lecture notes first, then discuss the questions in class and with your collaborative group, then answer on your own. Trust me, you will not recall my exact words if you do that.
- If you have had bad experiences with testing, you may feel uncomfortable trying to describe the concept in your own words. If that is so. Say so. Then quote what you need to. BUT use quotation marks. Don't forget that the lecture notes are in my words, and you must not use them without acknowledging that.
- Use the collaborative group to help you get away from quoting. Make it a learning goal to cut down your dependence on quoting. Make it a learning goal to help someone else practice putting explanations in their own words.
- Basic Measure of Learning
This must include some way to substantiate that you have attained the computer literacy required. This could be a detailed statement that lets me recognize that you have in fact mastered e-mailing and using the Site. Or it could be a demonstration. Or some other measure you discover.
It must also include some learning goals that you set for yourself. There are examples in Forms to Guide Us and in How to Measure Learning. Share measurement ideas with your collaborative group.
Have too tight a schedule for a group? Communicate by e-mail.
Since basic preparedness and contribution to our dialog and discussions will give you a C, this component goes toward raising that grade to a B or an A. How much do you have to do? Well, how good would a term paper have to be? That's where creativity and genuine effort come into play. And this component gives you a chance to tell me what you've learned, what you've accomplished, so you're authenticating your own learning in this interactive way. You have something to say about it.
- Surfing and Debriefing
Howard Richards suggests ways to look at groups of people, with an eye to peacemaking. We will try to adapt this process to evaluating sites, focussing on how they contribute to a free Internet, a vehicle for public discourse. This component is not intended to replace the other components. But it can suffice to raise your grade to a B or an A.
Another option is the process text, the kind of publication we do on Dear Habermas. If there is a sub-topic you would like to pursue, you could locate sources on the Web and in the library, and annotate those sources with brief descriptions, so that others might benefit from your in-depth study. This also could suffice to raise your grade to a B or an A.
- Office: SBS B326. 310-243-3831.