Internet Meets Society

Subject 800-150 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

1 one-hour lecture per week
1 one-hour “NetShop” innovative student experience per week. This will take one of the following forms per week: panel, interview, video, film, demonstration, podcast, and so forth.
1 one-hour tutorial per week
Optional: weekly one hour ‘technical skills’ laboratory

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (up to 48 including optional laboratory sessions)
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.
Prerequisites: Enrplment in any current or new generation degree
Corequisites: -
Recommended Background Knowledge: -
Non Allowed Subjects: -
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Steve Howard


Subject Overview: The internet is now a familiar part of everyday life. But what exactly is the Internet? What is it used for? And how is it implicated in the transformation of society, culture, community and even our own sense of identity? This subject examines these and other critical questions in exploring the complex interplay between the technical and social dimensions of the internet. Among the topics we cover here are the emergence of new forms of media culture, art, and commerce online, the nature and limitations of virtual communities and the implications for personal identity and intimacy, and the complex legal, ethical, and political issues which arise through activity on the internet. Tutorials and lectures will equip students with the knowledge needed to critically appraise the interrelations between the internet and society, and laboratories will be used to build basic technical skills. Students taking this subject will also have “hands-on” experience in participating in an online community

On completion of the subject graduates should:

  • Possess a critical understanding of the Internet as more than a technical phenomenon, but as a socially transformative and disruptive phenomenon.
  • Be able to provide a multi-disciplinary account of the interplay between technical and social phenomena.
  • Understand the broader ethical, social and legal implications of the Internet
  • Appreciate the open questions that remain in relation to, and conflicting theoretical accounts of, widespread Internet adoption and use.
  • Experience participation in an online community.

Compulsory participation in both on-line forums and in tutorials: 20%
of which 10% is peer review and 10% is tutor assessed participation based on presence, quality, insight and constructiveness (a detailed template will be provided to students). This assessment will take place throughout the semester, on a week-by-week basis.
Two written assignments: 40% each
Students choose 2 out of 3 assignment options, each of which is equivalent in difficulty and required effort.
• Each assignment is worth 40%, 2000 word equivalent per assignment
• Students can choose to complete all three assignments, with the two highest scoring assignments counted towards their final grade.
• The first of the assignments will be due mid-semester, and the second at the completion of the semester.

It is a requirement of passing this subject that students attend 80% of the tutorials.

Prescribed Texts: There are no prescribed texts for this subject. Students will be given a reading pack, and extensive use of on-line resources will be made.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject students should have developed the ability to:
  • Critically appraise the relation between society and technology
  • Entertain diverse and conflicting theoretical accounts
  • Work independently, and as part of a team and community.
  • Communicate in both written and verbal forms
  • Make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources
  • Manage time effectively

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