Internet and Society
Fall 2019 - This class is poorly structured. She has an overall structure in that she splits up the class in 3 eras, but in terms of her lectures, there is no structure. She just has written notes she reads off of (she never even finishes everything she writes down because of all the tangents). But then, she will create obscure "select all that apply" questions that recall on stuff she barely talked about/didn't talk about for the quizzes. She barely spends time reviewing the readings (btw there are way too many, dense, and overly theoretical). TA (Jonathan) grades unfairly. The reflections are supposed to be engaging assignments, but he just picks them apart for no reason. Too subjective. I have been doing really well on quizzes due to luck (solid As), but I got a bad grade on the first reflection (super short maybe 4 paragraphs total for two different prompts). Took this class hoping it would fulfill a GE and also be something interesting to learn but I regret it. Not an easy GE compared to others. At least with the other classes that may have more material you will know what to study and how to do well in the class. This class is all subjectivity and luck. Class is not worth the GPA drop. Interesting subject though, too bad the professor and TA screwed it up for everyone
Summer 2016 - Took this class as a GE during summer. Overall it covered a range of interesting topics regarding computers and humanities, e.g. social media and human rights, artificial intelligence, big data, crowd sourcing, etc. Readings were assigned each class (usually some online articles and occasionally journal articles), but are manageable. Everyone was also responsible for writing blog posts (usually 100-200 words in length) twice every week. No midterms or finals, only 2~3 projects, some class presentations and a final project which was a short analytical paper about a specific social media. The topics are engaging and closely related to lives, so are the projects (one of them is recording one's "data footprint" - was actually surprising to see so many personal data leaked during daily activities). The professor was nice and willing to help. Considered minoring in digital humanities.
Winter 2022 - I'm super grateful I had the opportunity to take this class with Shawn and TAs Ruth Livier Nunez and Megan Riley this past winter! This class was extremely informative and covered a variety of topics, such as internet histories, social media platforms, the internet of things, ownership issues, digital labor, surveillance capitalism, tactical media, misinformation, etc. Ruth and Megan also provided some lectures on labor in creating audiobooks and information access for incarcerated populations, respectively. While there was quite a bit of reading to do before each class (sometimes necessary to skim), there wasn't too much work besides the weekly discussion posts, two group projects, and three quizzes. Shawn also provided some extra credit opportunities. As a "North Campus" major, I believe this class was an amazing opportunity to meet fellow students from majors all over campus. The variety of perspectives in group work was particularly helpful when putting together a digital campaign to bring attention to a pressing social issue as part of the second project. This also made our class discussions (shoutout to the blue cube microphone) so interesting when the class started to be offered in person again halfway through the quarter. I really enjoyed going to office hours to talk further about nuances in the class beyond the provided texts and getting to learn more about what information studies has to offer. The class and these discussions led me to consider adding a second minor in Information and Media Literacy! The only warning I have about this class is that the grading for the two projects seemed pretty strict. I know quite a few people (myself included) who ended up getting a B+ on both projects, so I would say to pay particular attention to these two assignments the most! They each count for 25% of the final grade. Overall, Internet and Society was an amazing course that had such a passionate and understanding set of teachers. This class provided so much vital information on technology and helped me realize my passion for discussing the implications of different Internet technologies and the solutions in response to their dangers. I also discovered some really intriguing articles I will return to in the near future throughout my academic career.