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2014/2015  KAN-CINTO1015U  Communication in Action at the Social web

English Title
Communication in Action at the Social web

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Mads Bødker - DIGI
  • Torkil Clemmensen - DIGI
Main academic disciplines
  • Information Systems
Last updated on 12-09-2014
Learning objectives
  • Describing and discussing key ideas of social informatics and the associated theoretical frameworks suggested in the course
  • Reflecting on the need for changing and further developing organizational communication and participation through the use of social technologies
  • Suggesting concrete ways to facilitate the use of social media within and across organizations
  • Assessing and analyzing examples of social informatics and communication processes, including aspects of user and group behavior in social media
  • Synthesizing and integrating social informatics concepts presented in the course
Communication in Action at the Social Web:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

According to Kling, social informatics is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, uses and consequences of information technologies that takes into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts". In the past years, we have witnessed a seemingly profound shift in the use of web-based technologies as lightweight, end-user friendly social tools for communication, socialization, and collaboration have become one of the most popular applications for the world wide web. We no longer have to look at corporate intranets to see web technology be used for massive collaboration and communication. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Sina Weibo, blogs, wikis, recommender engines, - all this, and more, have thoroughly changed the face of networked practices around the world, and the consequences are far from confined to the technological or the virtual. New information practices have “real” consequences.
Going beyond the initial considerations of Social Informatics by Kling, this obligatory course for the IM specialization takes up classic and recent theories from social science and the humanities that critically examine social aspects of networked communication such as the above mentioned. The subjects of analysis will be centered upon work and leisure technologies such as intranets, mobile communication, and recent developments in social software practices such as (micro) blogging, wiki's, and peer-to-peer sharing.
Readings and class structure
The readings are based around research articles from different fields that have implications for the general theme of the course. In addition to the literature suggested by the lecturers, two peer reviewed research articles will have to be chosen by the students in the project groups. These must be approved by one of the lecturers no later than October 1st 2013. The articles should fall within the scope of the student’s planned mini-project essay.
The generic structure for the class is as follows:
0 Presentations by teachers
1 Groups split in A/B, discussion
2 Groups split in A/B, discussion
3 Plenary presentations
4 Wrap up and miscellaneous

Teaching methods
The generic structure for the class is as follows:
0 Presentations by teachers
1 Groups split in A/B, discussion
2 Groups split in A/B, discussion
3 Plenary presentations
4 Wrap up and miscellaneous

The examination for the course will be a mini-project with individual oral exam.

The mini-project will be based on the student groups’ own choice of a digital social technology (e.g. Facebook, Sina Weibo, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tripadvisor, Instagram, Wikipedia, Podio, and FitBit, JawBone, and other quantified self technologies). The groups must then apply (depending on relevance) at least 3 of the principles discussed in class on their case and argue for their usefulness for the analysis and understanding of the particular social medium. The analysis must be based on on-line observations of user behavior and interactions using the chosen technology.

To gain a solid basis for the mini-project, each student group is expected to engage actively in the technology in question, and document this with example screendumps etc. All projects should take point of departure in the uploaded presentation(s) that the group made during the course.
Student workload
Attending class sessions 32 hours
Reading and preparing for in-class discussion 70 hours
Experimenting and using different social media 8 hours
Project work, mini project 72 hours
Preparation for individual exams 25 hours
Expected literature

Björneborn, L (2005): Small World Network Exploration, http:/​/​vip.db.dk/​lb/​papers/​bjorneborn_2005_small-world_network_exploration.pdf
Borgatti, S.P, and Foster, P.C. (2003). The Network Paradigm in Organizational Research: A Review and Typology, in Journal of Management, 29/6, 2003, also available here http:/​/​www.analytictech.com/​borgatti/​papers/​borgattifoster.pdf
Ciolfi, L, Fitzpatric, G, and Bannon, L (2008):  Settings for Collaboration: the Role of Place, in  Computer Supported Cooperative Work (2008) 17:91–96
Clemmensen, T. (2012). Adapting e-gov Usability Evaluation to Cultural Contexts In E. Buie & D. Murray (Eds.), Usability in Government Systems: User Experience Design for Citizens and Public Servants (pp. 331-346). NY: Morgan Kaufmann.
Clemmensen, T. (2011). Designing a Simple Folder Structure for a Complex Domain. Human Technology, 7 (3), 216-249. Campos, P., & Campos, A. (2009). SimCompany: An Educational Game Created through a Human-Work Interaction Design Approach. Paper presented at the Human-Computer Interaction–INTERACT 2009.
Contarello, A., Fortunati, L., & Sarrica, M. (2007). Social thinking and the mobile phone: A study of social change with the diffusion of mobile phones, using a social representations framework. Continuum, 21(2), 149-163.
Day, R. (2007). Kling and the “critical”: Social informatics and critical informatics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(4), 575-582.
Dittrich et al (eds.) 2005: International reports on socio-informatics, pp. 15-20, 30-43. 52-59, available here: http:/​/​www.iisi.de/​fileadmin/​IISI/​upload/​IRSI/​IRSIv2i2.pdf
Dourish, P (2004). What we talk about when we talk about context, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 8/1, 2004
Eagle, N, & Pentland, A (2005): Social Serendipity: Mobilizing Social Software, http:/​/​reality.media.mit.edu/​pdfs/​serendipity.pdf
Fortunati (no date): User Design and the Democratization of the Mobile Phone, in http:/​/​firstmonday.org/​htbin/​cgiwrap/​bin/​ojs/​index.php/​fm/​article/​view/​1615/​1530
Gal, U., & Berente, N. (2008). A social representations perspective on information systems implementation. Information Technology & People, 21(2), 133-154.
Granovetter, M.S. (1973): The Strength of Weak Ties, in American journal of sociology, 78, 1360 available at http:/​/​www.stanford.edu/​dept/​soc/​people/​mgranovetter/​documents/​granstrengthweakties.pdf
Harrison, S. Dourish, P (1996). Re-place-ing space: the roles of place and space in collaborative systems. In Proceedings of the 1996 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW '96)
Kaplan, A.M. and Haenleina, M (2009), Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media, in Business Horizons Volume 53, Issue 1, January-February 2010, Pages 59-68
Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design: MIT Press Cambridge, MA. (whole book)
Kling, R. (2000). Learning about information technologies and social change: The contribution of social informatics. The Information Society, 16(3), 217-232.
Messetter, J. (2009) “Place-Specific Computing:
A Place-centric Perspective for Digital Designs”, in International Journal of Design, 3:1. Available at http:/​/​www.ijdesign.org/​ojs/​index.php/​IJDesign/​article/​view/​353/​239
Newman et al (2002). Designing for serendipity: supporting end-user configuration of ubiquitous computing environments, in DIS '02 Proceedings of the 4th conference on Designing interactive systems: processes, practices, methods, and techniques
Orlikowski, W (2010): The sociomateriality of organisational life: considering technology in management research Available at http:/​/​cje.oxfordjournals.org/​content/​34/​1/​125.full
Orlikowski, W, and Iacono, SC. (2001): Desperately Seeking the IT in IT research; A call to theorizing the IT artifact, in Information Systems Research, Vol 12, No.2, 2001
Postill, John, and Sarah Pink. "Social media ethnography: the digital researcher in a messy web." Media International Australia 145 (2012): 123-134.
Sahay, S, Robey, D (1996).  Organizational context, social interpretation, and the implementation and consequences of geographic information systems, in  Accounting Management & Information Technology, Vol. 6, No. 4, 1996
Salovaara, A, Tamminen, S (2009): “Accept or appropriate? A design-oriented critique on technology acceptance models”. Preprint draft available at: http:/​/​www.hiit.fi/​~asalovaa/​articles/​salovaara-tamminen-2009-acceptance-or-appropriation-draft-for-web.pdf
Sawyer, Steve, Eschenfelder, Kristin R (2002). "Social informatics: Perspectives, examples, and trends”, in Annual Review of Information Science and  Technology, 36, 1, 2002
Scott SV, Orlikowski WJ. ‘Getting the Truth’: Exploring the Material Grounds of Institutional Dynamics in Social Media 2009. Paper presented at the 25th European Group for Organizational Studies Conference, Barcelona, Spain, available at  http:/​/​eprints.lse.ac.uk/​26699/​
Thom-Santelli, J (2007) “Mobile Social Software: Facilitating Serendipity or Encouraging Homogeneity? ” Pervasive Computing, 3, 2007
Wakkary, R and Tannenbaum, K (2009) A sustainable identity: the creativity of an everyday designer, Proc. of CHI2009, Boston, 2009
Wittel, A (2001): Towards a Network Sociality, Theory, Culture & Society, Sage, London, Vol. 19(6), 51-76)

Last updated on 12-09-2014