CS 8113h:
The Design of Virtual Communities

Instructor: Amy Bruckman
Office: CCB 255
Tel: 404-894-9222
Email: asb@cc.gatech.edu (Email is best way to reach me.)
Office hours: Tuesdays 4-5:30, and by appointment.
Time: MW 4:30-6:00
Location: CCB 101




Two copies of each book are on reserve at the library. A number of other readings are online.

Online Sites

In addition to the required reading, there is at least one virtual community to examine for each class. A few are available only from Windows 95; one requires an expensive CD. These will be viewable in the Electronic Learning Communities (ELC) Lab, room CCB 270. During weeks when a Windows 95 only site is being viewed, CCB 270 will be open for the two hours preceding class. At other times, feel free to knock and use the room if someone is there to let you in. Please give priority for use of those machines to students doing research in the ELC group.

Focus of the Course

Virtual 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 (CS8503) 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.

Assignments and Grading

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

Late Policy

You get a total of three late days for the first two papers. If you use no more than three late days total, your grade will not be penalized. Note that late papers may be returned to you substantially later than papers handed in on time.

Your presentations may not be late; they must be delivered on the correct day. Your final papers may not be late.

Course Outline

(Some readings may change.)

Related Classes

Question welcome--email asb@cc.gatech.edu