Social media research seminar offered again this Fall

Posted: July 22, 2012 in Courses
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I’m really excited to teach the graduate social media research seminar again this Fall – TECH 637: Research Focus: The Social Internet.

In Fall 2013, the course will be offered Monday evening from 6-8:50 pm.

Each week, we read and discuss research about core social media topics such as: Internet culture (lolcats!), online communities, crowd sourcing, online identity, attention and distraction, etc. Students’ grades are based on social media immersion (tweeting, blogging, experimenting and reviewing services), article analyses, and an original research paper on a topic of their choice. Last year’s syllabus is embedded at the bottom of this post.

The course is open to all students at Purdue and usually enrolls an interesting and diverse group of people. No technical expertise required.

This is what students who took this course in the past had to say about it (taken from anonymous course evaluations):

The informal operation of the class helps to support an environment of participation and collaboration. I felt like classmates were really my teammates in the learning process.

Prior to enrolling in TECH 621, The Social Internet, I had not received formal education on how to effectively design and carry out a research project at the graduate level. Dr. Vorvoreanu’s course structure not only introduced me to these important aspects of graduate education, but also enabled me to develop my first-ever research paper on society’s use of emerging, Web-based communication technologies. I now look forward to submitting my paper to an upcoming high-tech conference.

Because of this course, I feel ready to undertake new research endeavors in both my academic and professional career. It is my hope that Dr. Vorvoreanu continues to offer her students practical, hands-on research experience.

I really do like the implementation of Twitter into classroom assignments and learning. It was not only epicly awesome, but social media as a whole is something that is going to play a big part in the future of companies development. Though me, as well as other classmates, were not a fan of Twitter to begin with, Dr. V’s assertion of using the media outlet lets one respect how powerful, and helpful it is for not only classroom purposes, but business potential as well.

Finally, I enjoyed how this technology class can be adapted to fit the needs of any student from any department on campus! I hope that you continue to allow the final project and class presentation topics to be selected by the students.

She talks about a fountain of learning and encourages open discussion. I feel like I learn a lot more out of it when the thoughts of myself and others are free flowing. Her readings she assigns are also current to the medium we are studying, nothing it outdated.

Dr. V is a wonderful instructor and always willing to help students in any way possible. She was able to find a good balance of knowledge about social media that wasn’t too challenging for the beginner students, yet introduced new topics to students with quite a bit of experience in social media.
Also, I really liked the lessons about how to effectively read a journal article in a short amount of time. This is something I haven’t been taught in my previous two years of grad school.

If you took this course and would like to comment below, please help others decide whether this course is for them. You can do so by sharing your opinion of the course and/or answering questions such as:

  • what kinds of students should take this course? what majors?
  • looking back, do you think this course helped you? why? why not? how so?
  • what advice do you have for students who want to succeed in this course?

If you are a graduate student interested in this course and have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Looking forward to seeing you in class,

Dr. V

  1. Any body can take this course, no matter your major. If you are getting ready for job hunting or something along those lines, the identity management portion of this class will help you out very much. Everything else is very informative too, and very interesting. Even though you may think you know a lot about the Internet, this class will teach you even more.

    This course helped me a great deal. I am a CGT major and am going to be out looking for a job pretty soon. With all the blog posts you do, the research, and everything else, this helped make me more marketable to future employers. It also helped me to understand more of the culture of the Internet.

    If you want to succeed in this course all you really need to do is keep up with the work. You have to write maybe 16 blog entries the whole semester and write a couple papers. Not too hard. Most importantly, you need to be outgoing, or willing to be outgoing. It will help you more than you know in this course.

  2. This class is one that I highly recommend for anyone interested in any type of social media or Internet research. I’m a political science grad student who was looking for a way to bring my research interests together, and I think this class really helped me do this. Because of many of the readings and class discussions, I’m now really focused on the research I do specifically.

    I should also mention that I’m revising the paper I wrote for the class to take to a conference in the Winter. I got a lot of great feedback from my classmates and Dr. V, and it was very encouraging for me!

    I think Alex hit the final point on the head: be prepared to work! This is a very different class than a traditional class and might require a little more time, but I think I had a lot of fun with it. If you are not as familiar with the technology, you should still take this because everyone is learning how to use the technology together. I also learned a lot about other projects that use SNS and a lot of other bodies of research that I previously hadn’t encountered. I knew how to use Twitter and other SNS before the class, but I did learn how to use it better and how others use it in a better way.

  3. Sapan says:

    I took the course last fall, as one of my committee member recommended, it turns out to be a wise advice 🙂 My background is in construction, the previous study has nothing to do w social media or any related. At first I took the course thinking maybe I would research emergency management and social media, which is quite hot, then I narrowed down to the application of social media in construction.
    The whole class is structured well to facilitate learning and more importantly thinking. The assignments include blogging, twittering, reading others blogs, and so. This is a process that encourage me to actively thinking. And to me thinking is critical to survive graduate school. While in the process of thinking and narrowing down, the help from dr V, classmates, and other bloggers are helpful.
    I am not saying I am the person in construction knowing internet/web2.0 the best, but with what I have learnt in class and by research, I am helping my friends in construction industry adopting social media. Overall it’s a very good course.
    (I tried to post a comment last night, it disappears, hope this will go through.)

  4. I absolutely loved this course and the variety of people in it. Being a graphic designer by day, grad student by night, I assumed that everyone in the class would be more marketing oriented. Majors from Chemistry to Technology to Art & Design were enrolled during my time in TECH 621. I think that is what made the class very enjoyable; different majors, different research, different modes of thought.

    This course taught me the importance of your impact and how to measure it. Why blindly post or comment and not know if people are even reading what you are working so hard on?

    If I had any advice, stay up on the blog entries and reading. This is one of those classes that participation is necessary and if you do not keep up on the weekly work, it will be really hard to engage in the great conversations.

  5. I can easily say that TECH 621 was one of my favorite courses by far in grad school. This class sparked my interest in social media and its implications to the extent that my thesis involves social media. Usually graduate level courses are very formal. However, in TECH 621 we used Twitter to communicate with other classmates, which made the class fun and enjoyable. Even if you didn’t have much experience with Twitter Dr. V will help get you up to date on how to use it properly and effectively.

    The blog posts are not so bad, especially when you start blogging about things that are of interest to you. Oh and reading other students blogs can be quite amusing/interesting and you get to comment on them. If you are going to take the class, enjoy it!! Also, make sure you keep up with the assignments, especially tweeting and blogging.

  6. This is by far the most awesome class I’ve ever taken. We had so much fun there! Also learned so much, of course.