MSc Web Science – Week 3

Kitten Baby Steps/RSPCA WOAW ©2006/CC BY-NC 2.0

Catch up, cats and kittens. Don’t get left behind…” (Monkberry Moon Delight, Paul McCartney, 1971).

This line from a song has been going through my head all week – an annoying ‘earworm‘ but also an important note to myself to get the balance of home, study and work right. So this weeks’ post is brief and to the point – no prevaricating around the bush.

Quantitative Research Methods
This week I found out about hypothesis testing and t-testing (for small samples). I dislike Powerpoint-driven lectures, but in this module the tutors use them to build a narrative about using different approaches to analysing datasets, and (for me) it works reasonably well.

Computational Thinking
This week we moved into the self-study phase and I spent much of the time working out the deadlines and requirements for the assessed work. Something that is not easy to do, as module information is presented in different ways in different locations, and it isn’t always clear if it’s up to date.

Independent Interdisciplinary Review
I will be looking at corporate policy on open data via the disciplines of Anthropology and Economics – for more details see my blog post.

Hypertext and Web Text for Masters
More talk and Powerpoint. I am very much looking forward to working either individually or in groups on this topic.

Foundations of Web Science
We had a very brief group-centred debate on “Do Artifacts Have Politics“. I took notes and acted as rapporteur for our group, and uploaded our outcomes to the class wiki (we’re ‘Team Alpha’).

I’ve also been thinking about pop culture representations of the technological-determinism, social-determinism debate, sparked by watching the 2009 film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs during the week. The film neatly rehearses some of the arguments and presents some well-drawn popular stereotypes involved in technological development, as well as playing out myths about the unforeseen consequences of technology. Another film on the topic –The Man in the White Suit, also comes to mind, so this could be a useful theme to follow.

Digital Literacy Student Champions
I produced an online resource and ran 3 x 30 minute WordPress Workshop sessions with third years taking the ‘Arab World’  Curriculum Innovation Programme module.

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