Category Archives: Classwork

Final Module Evaluations

Just an update to say that I have sent personal emails to each of you with marks for your reflective assignment, social participation and group marks that goal along with your journal review your final mark for the CS3107 module. Thank you all for your participation and for your varied contributions to Social Computing. If you have any queries about the evaluation or other aspects of the course please do be in touch. If you have not received the email to your TCD account, please also let me know.

Happy New Year and Thanks

Happy New Year to you all and thanks very much for submitting the final assignment:  the critical reflection on the course itself. I thought it was particularly appropriate given the nature of the delivery and as it was so evidently germane to our larger discussion that this reflection formed part of your evaluation – as well as mine!

I really appreciate the tremendous thoughtfulness of the pieces that were submitted right across the board. That you were all able to balance the pros with the cons and to share both directly and without bandying about is very much appreciated.  I have been working through them with tremendous relish as it really forms the first (and really only) opportunity for me to get feedback directly on how things were perceived – and received by you all. Trust me when I share that this has been as much a learning experience for me as well – and I thank you all for that.

I will be returning to with judgements on the last three components of your module mark shortly and sincerely wish that we had been in a position to carry out both face-to-face traditional seminars as well.  There has been some tremendously engaging discussion online that I can only imagine  would have been equally powerful in the physical hall. Best of luck in the current modules and back to you soon.

Thanks again,


Best Wishes

I just wanted to take an opportunity to say that I have really appreciated the participation in forums, blogs and twitter – along with your thoughtful submissions to the assignments. There has been some great discussion and although I am engergised by the online experience, I am disappointed only in that I have not had greater opportunity to engage in discussion face-to-face.

All the best wishes for a restful and safe holiday break.


Solo Journal Review Assignments

Apologies for not having your solo journal review assignment grades to you earlier.
They have all now been graded and you will receive your personal mark directly.

The reviews were generally well done and I thank you all for your thoughtful consideration of the articles themselves. As with any academic journal review (and I appreciate that this may have been a first time to complete such a task) is to be circumspect in your consideration of the material presented and to question the author(s) conclusions, choices of methodologies and to also ask so what? as you attempt to place it within the larger research ecosystem surrounding the area explored.

In terms of general remarks, one of the largest differentiators in the submissions (and they are all there for you to appreciate) was the adherence to the overall structure and ensure that there was a balance between the sections noted for the structure and to avoid simply summarising the article and allowing this to take up the bulk of your 750 words. This was the largest challenge in the assignment and 750 words was (as you all discovered) a meagre space to try and fill. The importance of contributing your own thoughts and not simply reiterating the author’s findings and opinions was key – as there was 25% of your mark reserved for this in the conclusion and also partially in the thoughtfulness component. So it was crucial to balance between the 5 sections requested.

The reviews ranged widely in this respect and this led to the span of grades. Asking questions of the work presented and also attempting to tie to the broader themes discussed in the forums, blogs and on the twitter feed was also a factor used to differentiate your work.

I was lenient towards format adopted, as well as use of point form at times to express findings. I was also less strict on grammar and spelling as well but would expect in printed form for submissions to be well proofread.

Although there was a challenge in some for trying to situate the material presented within discussions that may have taken place online or in your other modules, the attempts to do so were appreciated and generally well done when attempted.

The five sections requested were:

  1. Your précis of author’s argument;
  2. An explanation of the issue being addressed / The question being asked / The larger area of investigation;
  3. Situation of this article into the research ecosystem – i.e. referenced and related articles and arguments;
  4. Your appreciation of how well the author achieves his/her objectives;
  5. Questions that remain in your mind after reading and considering the article.

As discussed perfect balance and division of words/discussion between these areas was not expected not always germane to the particular article, some attempt at each was expected and not providing some attempt towards each reduced marks awarded for the adherence to structure.

Marks were awarded according to the scheme:

25%: Academic / Professionalism
25%: Depth of Thought / Consideration of How it is Related to Larger Module Issues in the blogs and forums
25%: Thoughtfulness of Conclusions
25%: Adherence to Structure

Missing sections ate away at marks awarded in the last area. Additionally conclusions were tied into how much of your own thought was evident and this was difficult within a summary of what the authors’ themselves discussed so if there was too much summary of the article this tended to reduce marks awarded in the middle two areas.

If you presented a well worded, smooth review you scored well in the first section but needed to demonstrate your own contributions to do well in the next two.

The grading is accomplished with the following in mind:

1 70% + Excellent performance – all areas addressed as requested and delivery is beyond expectations and worthy of note in all areas.

2:1 60-70%: Very Good performance – meets all the criteria expected and delivers beyond requested in one or more areas.

2:2 50-60%: Good performance – meets all the criteria as requested.

If you have any further questions regarding your individual evaluation when you receive your own grade please do be in touch.

All the best for the holiday season and thank you for all your thoughtful participation across all media and in this rather new online experience,



Thank you all for your submissions to the forum for the journal article review.

A reminder and my apologies as there will *NOT* be a physical class/lecture on 12 November 2013.

I hope that you found the journal review experience useful and possibly even enlightening. I know from some of the commentary that this was the case and I trust that the solo nature was appreciated, but grew through online engagement. I will send you personal assessment on this within two weeks.

So now onward to the group assignment. I am informed that although groups do exist in a couple of the other modules, not everyone is taking this elective and that those groups cannot be simply relied upon. Can I propose the following: over the next week (set Monday 18 November as the deadline) you will be in touch with members that you are already working with and if you are happy to hold those groups and communicate same names and group to me via the forum topic (Group Composition and Topic). Anyone who is left out of this, and doesn’t belong in a group from another module, etc, please be in touch with me by Friday 15 November, but do feel free this week to be in touch with others and join a group. I will take those who feel lonely and slot them as available into other groups when names are submitted on Monday.

I realise that this is somewhat haphazard, but this I think has less bearing on the nature of grouping because this is a largely online assignment.

Once assembled, can I ask then you take a look at the group instructions, choose a topic and indicate that choice in the forum as noted in those instructions.

As with the journal article this will be first come first served. I will accept group topic decisions posted from 12 noon on 18 November Monday.

The deadline for the wiki pages to go cold will be as noted 12:00pm (noon) 19 December 2013.

Please be in touch with any questions after taking a look at the instructions and the short video posted.

I will be posting this weeks articles and video links shortly. I had forgotten last week was reading week so had restrained from assignment last week.

I hope all goes well.

Week 3 – Free versus Open

Let’s think about the concept of ‘free’ software and open source – both in terms of a development strategy, but additionally and more broadly as a philosophical set of principles.

Please take a look at this video from Richard Stallman – Free vs Open (2009)

richard_stallmanRichard Stallman is an American software freedom activist and computer programmer. He campaigns for the freedom to use, study, distribute and modify software; software that ensures these freedoms legally (via its license) is termed free software. Stallman opposes proprietary software. In September 1983, Stallman launched the GNU Project to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software.Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law as a contract to preserve the right to use, modify and distribute free software, and is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most widely used free software license.In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. In 1989 he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom.Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws.


Week 2 – Collaboration

I hope that you have all had a chance to consider a choose an appropriate article from the bibliography. I note that we have about 22 choices so far. Great. If you haven’t please do so and as I said not constrained by the list included, if you would like to do one in another area – perhaps that you have found in locating your own article through TCD’s Stella – please just let me know.
Continue reading Week 2 – Collaboration

Week 1 – Introduction

beginningI hope that you have found the first face-to-face meeting congenial and hopefully has excited you about the content that we will explore together. As we are studying Social Computing it certainly seems only natural that we employ the tools and processes that we are studying as a part of our own practice. So … from today we will only occasionally be meeting in person but instead will interact through a variety of online means to reflect on how these change the way in which we interact and how they can be effectively employed to share knowledge. We are going to learn and see by doing. Your participation is crucial and I hope that what you do here will benefit your performance not only in your other modules but in your work life and next year’s major project.
Continue reading Week 1 – Introduction

Digital Artefacts and a Life of Bits

An interesting paper from a conference at NUIG at the weekend has made the Irish Times. Latest precedent suggests that legally the rights to your life online are to be included in your will. The article reports that Damien McCallig speaking at the ‘Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond’ symposium suggested that it inevitable that the rights to accounts on Twitter, Facebook and similar social media will soon be subject of legal estates much like the shoebox of physical memories that loved ones have come to treasure. However, our digital artefacts are beginning to pose a new conundrum to the courts as they are caught up in the T&C and locked behind passwords.