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Social Computing Study to Track College Students' Networking Habits RRS feed

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  • Rochester Institute of Technology professor Susan Barnes is developing an undergraduate online course in social computing, and it will also serve as a case study of technology and social networking. Barnes, a professor of communication who is the co-director of the Laboratory for Social Computing, will head a team of researchers from RIT's College of Computing and Information Sciences and College of Liberal Arts in preparing the course for spring 2008 and about 90 students. An emerging discipline, social computing or media involves the use of software for social and organizational collaboration, and its tools include email, instant messaging, interactive Web, and blogs. For the course, students will be required to complete social computing assignments in text-based myCourses, visuals-heavy Second Life, and a third environment that is open source and can be modified, and the researchers will analyze how the students network and solve problems in the various settings. "How students interact in different environments will tell us a lot about what's going on in online education," says Barnes. The project is made possible by a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
    Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:00 AM