Full classes starting up

Because of the Labor Day weekend, full classes are finally going to be started. At first I was annoyed by the delay, but it’s been a good thing. ICM501 started with the reading and writing, and ICM512 also had some, although I haven’t posted here yet. Between freelance work assignments starting up again with the end of August (the month of death to freelance assignments, usually), and now adding in a graduate assistantship…. I don’t anticipate breathing until the weekend of December 15th when my last final is done.

And now we add in two more classes to the mix, Saturday classes both of them: ICM504 – Information Animation, and ICM508 – Media Imaging and Sound Design. Sound, video, and online animation. All communications-based, to round out the theory of online work and survey of ICM501 and the online course of ICM512 – Online Development.

Egads, I’m going to be busy.

Class Wiki

Given the initial responses, I think I’ll be starting up the wikipedia for ICM. I’m not sure exactly how to roll it out, though. How will the authors work together? Do we need a final editor/moderator type? I’m not going to be signing up for full moderatorship but I’m more than happy to use the wiki since it was a study idea for myself. Best just to have a place to pool all of our reactions to the course materials.

I -really- need to sit down and hash this out so I can answer questions and have something approaching a plan for class tomorrow night. Guess it’s going to be a late night in the library again tonight. 😉

The whole point

For those who might not understand, the whole point of starting up an online wikipedia for collecting ICM thoughts is precisely because a) this is an emerging field of study, so any basic information presented on it provides a starting point for other scholarship, b) we’re all undergoing a master’s level course of study aimed at communicating via interactive media, so perhaps it would be wise for us to put our money where our mouths are even as early as school and really start developing online presence and communication skills, and c) where else are we ever going to find this much new content thrown at us at once? I mean, this is a Master’s program.

The logistics that come into include handing it off or maintaining it, deciding whether or not we begin with just the survey class of ICM501 (an excellent beginning point to be certain) or try to open it up to any and all Master’s classes. I’m also trying to figure out whether or not this is violating any kind of sharing or information rights. I keep reminding myself that publishing online is still publishing, so there must be clauses to allow this, but in today’s hyper-rights-aware world I’d rather find out beforehand whether or not we’d be infringing on some kind of school trademark by utilizing the coursework for the Masters as the fodder for the wikipedia.

How do you cite a course lecture? Is it cheating for those students who are going to take the courses in the future to have this corpus of knowledge speficically aimed at them to be available at the click of a mouse? How does education deal with this kind of thing? Back in the day 13 years ago, this wasn’t really an issue… my first college “email” account was on the SUNY Potsdam VAX mainframe, SPOTVB.

Anyway, I’ll have to read up on things tonight. Alex has offered to post a MediaWiki for us, but I think that this should be at least open to group discussion if the class is going to adopt this media. Is this a class media project or is this independent? In an online attitude of sharing, what happens to credit? Is credit important anymore?

Interesting thoughts for future coursework, methinks. More later.

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One response to “Full classes starting up

  1. Be happy to chat with you at some point about this. I’ve used wikis in my courses before. Kevin Lim, who I linked to in the main blog, tried a similar effort for a slightly different intro course a few years ago, but it quickly stagnated. I tried it in a slightly different format, collaboratively creating a Wikibook (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Communication_Theory). I’m planning on taking another run at this approach next semester in the Communications, Media, & Society course. (We’ll be using the Wikinomics book as the core text and doing background reading around it, then writing a book–in some form–about how this affects the practice of professional communicators.)

    I would strongly encourage you to make the effort–just don’t make the mistake of assuming that if you build it they will contribute. Even for Wikipedia, there is a core of contributors who do a substantial part of the actual writing–so you should have a *small* group of people who will be dedicated and not discouraged if it fails to take off immediately. Start small, build from there. Sounds like you already have an extremely full plate…

    It’s good to think about the question of what faculty will allow & permit to be disseminated. I’m on the fairly extremely open side, though I have limits as well. I know that there are faculty who would be uncomfortable about students posting lecture notes. I’d say it’s a good idea to (a) approach the faculty in courses before posting and (b) decide on copyright or licensing of the material on the wiki and be very clear about how it may be used.

    Finally, I don’t want to intrude, but I’m quite happy to help in any way. I was already planning on hosting some “unofficial” ICM stuff–including work that students are doing and other news–and so, if you like, would be happy to install MediaWiki and set up a domain.

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