Discussions

We have setup a Piazza forum for questions and discussion. It is best to ask questions there so the answers are available to all. If you have problems posting questions by email or accessing the forum in a browser, simply request access at the Discussion Forum link.

Sign up to lead a class discussion here.  All reading PDFs for the class are here. The PDF folder is a protected folder. You should be able to log in with your UCSD gmail account. If you prefer to use your non-UCSD gmail account, just send a request through the Google folder or ask Amanda Song to give you access.

Discussants can create Google slides in this folder and put a link in the discussion signup page.

Commenting on papers

Every student must read every paper, start a new discussion for each paper, and comment on two other students for each paper. To foster discussion, you will be placed into smaller Discussion groups.  Since we will be discussing papers on most Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's your responsibility to read and discuss the paper before class according to this basic schedule:

For a Tuesday reading
By Sunday midnight, start a "discussion" about each assign reading for Tuesday (one per article) within your Piazza discussion group. By Monday 9pm, comment on two other student's discussions for Tuesday's readings.  Please don't make two comments about the same post!
 
For a Thursday reading
By Tuesday midnight, start a "discussion" about each assign reading for Thursday (one per article) within your Piazza discussion group.  By Wednesday 9pm, comment on two other student's discussions for Thursday's readings.  Please don't make two comments about the same post!

If you are signed up to lead the class discussion about a paper, you do not need to post a new discussion or comments for that particular paper.  You do need to make new posts and comments for the other papers on that day.  

Leading class discussions

Every student must sign up to lead at least one class discussion (sign up here).  Post your presentation for this to the Paper Presentations folder before class. 

How do I lead a class discussion on a paper?
The idea is to keep the presentation relatively short (5 minutes or so is the goal, definitely no more than 10 minutes), and to bring up interesting topics for discussion in class. Keep in mind that the rest of the class has read the paper and even discussed it already online. Thus, usually it’s not a good idea to spend much time summarizing the reading -- one slide is probably enough.

More time should be spent on highlighting interesting points that came up in the online discussion, and in bringing in additional resources that you have found in researching the reading that you were assigned.

Some of the readings on the list are sometimes old. A common problem with presentations is that the discussant spends too much time discussing what was true in the past, even for things that we now know are different now. Your goal as a discussant is to bring out themes that were identified in this earlier work, how it relates to what’s happening today, and how the issues brought up by the reading has changed things since.

For some readings, especially the ones about recent news events, it might be tempting to take a side on the subject of the story. Generally, this isn’t what is most interesting to us from the perspective of social computing. What we are mostly interested in is how the event has been affected by social technology, and what the event reveals about the social computing. Occasionally, social computing is the subject of the story, in which case the issue itself might be more relevant. Social computing is interesting because it has developed and continues to develop largely in the context of itself -- that is, people are exploring what social computing means using the  Web as a medium.

In preparing the presentation, try to make your slides interesting. Include relevant visuals. The issues covered in the readings generally relate much more broadly than the readings themselves. Include this material when relevant.

Include one or two questions for the class. One of them can be a discussion question. Try to make these questions either (i) build on the conversation that already happened on Piazza, rather than simply repeat it, or (ii) build from additional information you found in your presentation.

For discussion questions, it is usually helpful for the question to not have a clear answer, but rather be one that people might approach from different perspectives. Avoid questions that are too easy or general, e.g., don’t ask a variant of, “Was it good that this happened?” or “What do you think about X?”  Take some time to create an insightful question.

Here are two example presentations.

Grading Rubric for Online Piazza Discussion and Leading Discussions 

For your new "follow discussion" on each paper (due two days before class), we will allocate points as such:
 0- if you did not make a post
 0.5- if you posted after the time deadline
 1- if your discussion offers only a superficial comment about the reading
 2- if your discussion makes a unique point about an issue related to social computing and connects to other readings, lectures, and/or in-class discussions.

For your two replies to followup comments (due one-day before class), we will allocate points as such:
 0- if no replies or posted after the time deadline
 1- if the reply addresses the classmates' discussion point and thoughtfully builds on it

For leading discussions:
0- if you do not present and lead a discussion on a reading
1- if your presentation describes some parts of the reading and raises basic discussion questions
2- if your presentation gives an effective overview of the paper's main points and raises thoughtful questions
3- if your presentation gives an effective overview of the paper's main points, brings in additional information or analysis to support points in the paper, and raises thoughtful questions that lead to a lively discussion in class.


Comments