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This course is designed to give you an introductory level of understanding of the manner in which individuals interact with one another via the network. Possession of this understanding is absolutely critical to your ability to design effective learning environments on the network. This course takes an immersion approach to helping you develop your understanding by requiring you to make extensive, reflective use of several representative interactive media. You will also read several representative pieces of writing in each area.

Required Meetings

All the requirements of the course can be completed asynchronously as per the schedule below.

Optional Chats and Socials

For those who enjoy synchronous interaction, David will be available for Office Hours in the Course Chat. For those who enjoy face to face meetings and food, during the semester we will hold three informal socials at times to be determined.


Assignment Due
Introduction None
Histories of the Internet and Social Software Hello World , Questions
USENET / Newsgroups Personal History , Questions
Cooperation / Support / Incentives Newsgroup Newbie , Questions
Blogs, Part the First Thread Mini-analysis , Questions
Blogs, Part the Second Blog Hopping , Questions
Fan Fiction Edublogging , Questions
Reputation and Trust You're the Fan , Questions
MUDs & MOOs Synthesis 1 , Questions
IRC MOO, Y'all , Questions
Identity, Deception, & Accountability IRCed Online , Questions
MMOs Synthesis 2 , Questions
MMO2 Lineage , Questions
Self-organization More Gaming , Questions
Final Synthesis OSOSS


Each week you will be required to complete the assignments listed in the table above. Assignments are due by 10:00 AM local time (10:00 AM Logan, UT time).

  • The Questions assignment should be completed every week. Each thoughtful question is worth 3 points, making the Questions assignments worth 45 points total. See the assignment description for more information.
  • There are ten weeks when you are required to spend 5 hours in the interactive medium being studied that week. You must report the number of hours you spent in the medium in your weekly blog post. You receive 2 points per hour, making the immersion assignments worth 100 points overall. If you forget to report your hours one week, you get no points for the week. So don't forget!
  • There are thirteen weeks in which you are asked to write brief pieces. These are not graded according to length. They wil be graded as follows: 3 points for spelling and mechanics, 10 points for addressing all the elements required in the specific assignment, and 7 points for thoughtful insights which demonstrate that you're thinking and not just writing. Awarding of the final 7 points will be admittedly subjective, so do your best to show that you've thought about the week's materials. For example, instead of just describing what you did during the week, you might make additional comments about patterns you observed or connect the week's readings to your own experiences in interesting ways.
  • Finally, there is a final writing assigment worth 100 points. These will be distributed in the same ratio as the weekly writing pieces described above.
  • Although there are readings assigned each week, points are not directly awarded for having read. I will be able to tell from your writing whether or not you read.

Late work will be penalized accordingly to my completely subjective, mood-biased feeling. Please do not submit work late without making arrangements in signficant advance of the due date (3 hours is not signficant advance). I will, of course, be understanding of true emergencies. However, problems relating to procrastination ("I finished 25 minutes before the deadline, but couldn't get connected to the Internet!") will not be treated as true emergencies.

Design and Development Credits

The Credits file names individuals who have made significant contributions to the design and development of the course. It also contains links to similar online courses whose structure, readings, and assignmnets are openly accessible and were very helpful in the design of the course.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Syllabus. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
Online Degree Program
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