CS 6470: Design of Online Communities

Instructor: Amy Bruckman
Email: asb@cc.gatech.edu

TSRB 338

Office Hours: Find me after class, or email for an appointment.


TA: Jose Zagal
Email: jp@cc.gatech.edu

ELC Lab (TSRB 338a)

Office Hours: Find me after class, or email for an appointment.


Location: ES&T L1205

Tuesday, Thursday 1:30-3:00

CoWeb: http://swiki.cc.gatech.edu:8080/cs6470-sp05

Class Schedule

Learning Objectives

Online communties are becoming an increasing part of how we work, play, and learn. But how are they designed? What are they really good for? Why are some communities more successful than others? What are the key issues in this field of research?

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

While students will not actually found a new community as part of this class, students whose designs are promising may be invited to do so either as an independent study or as sponsored research over the summer or next fall. However, please keep in mind that starting such a community implies an ongoing commitment to the real people who chose to become members.

This course counts for the HCI component of the graduate breadth requirement; however, if you have any real interest in HCI, I recommend that you take the graduate HCI class in addition to this class.




Required and available for purchase but also available online:


Assignments and Grading

Your grade is based on one short paper, two longer papers, two presentations, a final exam, and class participation:

Homeworks will be graded on a list of criteria (specified on the assignment) such as quality of writing, completeness, insight into design issues, insight into social issues, etc. For each criterion, you will receive either a check plus, check, or check minus. Most criterion will receive a check. A plus means "you impressed me." A minus means the assignment is incomplete, incorrect, or sloppy in some fashion with respect to that criterion. Pluses and minues are combined to give your grade for the assignment. For most assignments, you start out half way between a B+ and A-. One plus makes it an A-; one minus makes it a B+. These are general guidelines to let you know what to expect. Grading on specific assignments may differ.

Assignments are due at the start of class on the day they are due. Late assignments will be penalized at a rate of 3 pts (one grade step: A becomes A-) per day. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted. Presentations may not be late.

If Engish is not your first language, you may request to not be graded on your writing for a particular individual assignment. This means you won't be penalized for bad writing, but you also won't get credit for good writing. To take advantage of this option, you must mark "ESL" (English as a Second Language) on the first page of your assignment/paper. This option is not available for group assignments. We still of course expect you to try to write in correct English, and will do our best to offer useful feedback on your writing.

This class abides by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly written otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work.

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