Based on 2 Users
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.
Shawn is a very understanding, accommodating, thorough professor. During week 1, we had an assignment due, but most of the class didn't know we had an assignment, so he extended the deadline. We had 2 group projects (each worth 25% of total grade) in this class, and some people said that the instructions/expectations weren't very clear, so he made an additional document laying out explicit expectations & a grading rubric so students knew what was "A" level work & what was "B" level work.
He often asks for feedback because he wants to be a better professor & provide a better learning experience. He harps on the importance of having a non-judgmental, open-minded learning community, so everyone feels comfortable sharing. He's very open to discussing your grade with you, and explaining to students why they received the grade they did. Grading is very straightforward and clear to students. We had 3 quizzes (each worth 10% of total grade) that basically assess whether you understand the main ideas from the readings, and can put those main ideas in your own words. If you put an answer down, but it's not completely correct, he often gives students partial credit for trying, which is very nice of him.
He offered 3 points of extra credit over the course of the quarter, which equated to about a 1.33% grade boost. Lectures are not recorded & full attendance/participation during lecture is expected. He does break out rooms & expects students to engage with one another. The TA for this class when I took it was Brian & he was an awesome, chill, laid-back, interesting, engaging TA.
Overall, this class was super interesting and not very hard imo, the only thing you really need to do to get a good grade is understand the main ideas from the readings (I didn't read all the readings thoroughly, I often skimmed just to get the main idea), participate in class, and be able to work in a group/delegate/work with peers.