- Class Number 3615
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Robert Ackland
- Dr Mikayla Novak
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
The internet, and in particular the web and social media, has transformed the way we socialise, participate in politics, work, collaborate, and engage in commerce. This course focuses on the contribution of social science at large – emphasising classical sociology and social network analysis – to understanding life in the Digital Age. While attention is paid to relevant insights and approaches from other disciplines, for example applied physics and computer science, the primary focus is on theoretical and empirical contributions from social science. This course equips students with the theory and methods for understanding the social, political and economic impact of the internet. Students will also learn how network analysis and big data are being used to answer long-standing questions in social science.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- critically assess the social, political and economic impact of the internet;
- understand how big data are being used in the study of online social behaviour;
- conduct basic social network analysis;
- compare social scientific approaches to studying the internet with those from other disciplines; and
- discuss their learning in relation to the social science of the internet, both orally and in writing.
Examination Material or equipment
The final examinations will be open book and delivered via Wattle.
Course notes and additional readings will be provided.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments
- Verbal feedback to the whole class
Student FeedbackANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction to the Social Science of the Internet; Introduction to Online Networks (Ackland)|
|2||Friendship Formation (Ackland)|
|3||Social Influence (Ackland)|
|5||Cyberspace Norms and Social Norms Online (Novak)||A1.1 feedback provided|
|6||Peer Production, Information Public Goods, and Blockchain (Novak)|
|7||Protest and Social Movements (Ackland)||A2|
|8||Achievement and Inequality in the Network Society (Ackland)||A1.2|
|9||Threats from Digitisation - Piracy and Misinformation (Ackland)||A1.2 feedback provided|
|10||Diffusion of Innovation Online: Perspectives from Network Science and Sociology (Ackland)||A2 feedback provided|
|11||Social Capital and the Digital Divide (Novak)|
|12||Insights from Philosophy and Political Economy (Novak); Course Overview (Ackland)||A1.3|
|13||EXAMINATION PERIOD||A1.3 feedback provided A3|
|Assessment task||Value||Learning Outcomes|
|Online quizzes||20 %||1,2,3,4,5|
|SNA problem set and research note||30 %||1,2,3,4,5|
|Final examination||50 %||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
Assessment RequirementsThe ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.
Moderation of AssessmentMarks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
This course is being delivered in both on-campus and remote modes. It is planned that the lecture will be delivered live on-campus in a dual-delivery lecture room (remote students will be able to participate live via zoom), but in some weeks the lecture may be pre-recorded. There will be both an on-campus and an online live (via zoom) tutorial available.
For those students who are able to attend campus, attendance at all teaching events (lectures and tutorials), while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b). For both on-campus and remote students: your active participation and engagement in the course will assist you in learning the material and thus enhance both your enjoyment of the course and your ability to achieve a high grade.
Tutorials are a discussion-based class. Providing worked solutions would not effectively compensate for missing a tutorial. Students who, through unavoidable and unplanned occurrences, are unable to attend a tutorial class one week are encouraged to work through the problems and attend a consultation session for discussion and solutions.
See Assessment Task 3
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Three times during the semester there will be an online quiz (via Wattle) testing your understanding of material covered in lectures and/or tutorials in preceding weeks. You will be given at least two days notice before a quiz is held and the quiz will be available for two days. You will have one hour (60 minutes) to complete each quiz and you can only attempt each quiz once. Your two highest-graded quizzes out of the 3 will count for 20% towards your final grade. If you miss an online quiz for a legitimate reason, you will be given an opportunity to take a make-up quiz at the end of the semester.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
SNA problem set and research note
This assessment (worth 30% of final grade) covers basic concepts from social network analysis, with particular emphasis on SNA applied to online networks. Students are asked to calculate and interpret some basic SNA metrics (e.g. indegree centrality) for a small friendship network. Other questions will test critical understanding of use of network analysis techniques for studying digital social behaviour.
Word limit: 2000 words
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
A final examination (3 hours duration) covering material from the entire course will be held during the ANU final exam period (time and date to be determined), delivered via Wattle. The examination will count 50% towards your final grade. The examination will be a mixture of multiple choice, numerical, short answer and essay questions. Further information on the content/structure of the examination will be provided. Past examination papers are not available to students, but some example questions will be provided. More information on the examination will be provided by Week 10.
Academic IntegrityAcademic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
Online SubmissionThe ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Hardcopy SubmissionFor some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Late submission (or completion) is not possible for Assessment Task 1 (online quizzes). Students who, for legitimate reasons, are not able to complete an online quiz will be given the opportunity to complete a make-up online quiz at the end of semester. We will follow standard ANU practice/policy regarding completion of the final examination (Assessment Task 3).
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.
Referencing RequirementsAccepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
See the class overview for the timetable for return of grades and feedback for Assessment Tasks 1 and 2.
Extensions and PenaltiesExtensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
Distribution of grades policyAcademic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for studentsThe University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students