Our paper on negotiating a Web Science Curriculum was shortlsted for best paper at ACM WebSci'11, and better than being a runner up, we received an honourable mention:-). You can download the PDF here from eprints, and there is also a video of the presentation. The paper provides an account of work to specify a Web Science Curriculum based on the Web Science Subject Categorization which had previously been led by Michalis Vafopolous from Aristotle University of Thesaloniki, Greece
Not surprisingly I have carried on thinking about what we have written. The project to create the repository will be getting underway in the autumn, and there are a few folk from other universities outside the original consotrium who are interested in joining in the collaborative effort to collect and collate a range of the resources we use for teaching Web Science and use them as a bottom up source for specifying the curriculum.
We are also continuting to gather data on how and where web science is cropping up in the curriculum. Undergrad, postgrad, summer schools, electives or just plain intermingled. The survey is still live if you want to make a contributionhttp://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/2290
Reference and Download
White, S., Croitoru, M., Bazan, S., Cerri, S., Davis, H. C., Folgieri, R., Jonquet, C., Scharffe, F., Staab, S., Tiropanis, T. and Vafopoulos, M. (2011) Negotiating the Web Science Curriculum through Shared Educational Artefacts. In: ACM WebSci '11, 14-17 June 2011, Koblenz, Germany.
The paper, abstract and video can all be accessed from the same page on the journal pages hosted by the Web Science Trust http://journal.webscience.org/439/
The next conference WebSci'12 is being held at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois about 20 miles from Chicago. http://www.websci12.org/ we certainly plan to be there one way or another.
There has been some talk about the impact of the web and web science on computer science in general - all of which is relevant to the discussion about the web science curriculum
In April 2010 Ed H. Chi from google posted on BLOG@CACM. Hot on the heels of the then UK government announcing that it had funded the Web Science Research Institute at Southampton to the tune of £30m Ed's blog was titled Time to rethink computer science education: The (social) web changes everything.
Even tho' the subsequent tory government pulled the funding in its headline grabbing 'battle against the deficit' the question of rethinking computer science remains, although it has to be said that the piece did not attract large amounts of comments.
Previoiusly (2007) Ben Schneiderman had published Web science: a provocative invitation to computer science in CACM (download from the University of Maryland), and in 2008 Jim Hendler et al provided ACM members with an insight into Web Science with Web Science: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Web (available from ECS eprints)
Mark Bernstein attended the Web Science Curriculum workshop which proceeded this year's conference in Koblenz, and spotted some tensions in the interdisciplinary agendas which pursuing web science inevitable uncovers....
A thread of angst in the Web Science Curriculum workshop, clearly, is multidiscplinarity. The dominant discipline is computer science, to the extent that computer science is a discipline. The fear that sociology and the rest of the social sciences will be read out of meeting is clear, but the desire for multidisciplinarity is equally evident.
One problem, of course, is that students in most countries enter a discipline in their mid-teens – too young to be expected to do useful research. Worse, new initiates are inclined to be more doctrinaire and less tolerant of deviance than their elders. The old Liberal Arts degree might fit Web Science better than trying to reconcile social science and engineering across disparate facultiescertainly at Web Science 2010 the paper by Susan Halford et al. clearly laid out some of the additional agenda's and prior experience which Web Science needs to embrace. It is very easy for computer scientists to keep doing the same old same old.
I am hoping to take some of these ideas to the 2012 SIGCSE conference in the US in March next year. In particular I would like the computer science community and those in the wider family of computing subjects to engage in a discussion which identified a place for web science. I am also keen to take this discussion further forward with some of our colleagues who work in web science but who come from a distinctly social science perspective. By then we should have more data on what teaching is taking place, and more information on what is finding its way into the curriculum.
- Web Science - YouTube What is Web Science? Why do we need to study the web? what do we know about the web? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02X_h4-qzb4
- ACM WebSci'11 http://www.websci11.org/home/
- Web Science Trust Proceedings of ACM WebSci'11 http://journal.webscience.org/439/
- Video of Web Science Curriculum Development Project presentation at ACM WebSci'11 http://videolectures.net/acmwebsci2011_white_artefacts/
- Web Science Subject Categorization http://webscience.org/2010/wssc.html
- WebSci'12 Northwestern University http://www.websci12.org/
- Survey of Web Science Teaching http://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/2290