Course Coordinates:
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 8:40 PM
IT 163

Dr. Amy Voida
IT 591
Office Hours: 5PM – 6PM Tuesdays and By Appointment

Teaching Assistants:
Malvika Bansal & Shivin Saxena;


This syllabus will function as a collaboratively constructed contract among all of the stakeholders in this course. It is a living document that will evolve through in-class discussion as the dynamic needs of the students and their research emerge. Students are responsible for being in class, taking ownership of this course and their learning, and noting all changes to the syllabus as it evolves. The instructor is responsible for being attuned and responsive to the needs of the students and to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of the research process. This draft syllabus is a starting point for ongoing dialogue…


Course Description

This is a seminar course in which students will engage with seminal research in collaborative and social computing through a series of genealogical threads linking ‘big ideas’ in the social sciences to the ways in which they have been appropriated in collaborative and social computing research. Through their synthesis of the course readings, students will connect these big ideas to the design and use of seminal ‘historic’ and contemporary social and computing technologies.

Over the course of the semester, students will also carry out research in collaborative and social computing. They will conduct a genealogical literature review about a social science theory of relevance to collaborative and social computing; analyze the ways in which that theory has and has not been applied to the design and analysis of collaborative and social computing systems; construct a design space based on their findings; and produce a series of conceptual design proposals to address either a gap in the design space and/or to flesh out a sweet spot in that space. Research papers will be curated by the instructor and high-quality work will be submitted for review to the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work.

This course does not require any previous technical or design experience.


Draft Schedule

Week Of
Agenda Readings Research Deliverables
26 Aug Introduction to the Course and Your Research  N/A  N/A
2 Sep Introduction to Collaborative and Social Computing

Grudin, J. (1988). Why CSCW applications fail: problems in the design and evaluation of organizational interfaces. In Proc. CSCW. New York: ACM Press, 85-93.

Ackerman, M. (2000). The Intellectual Challenge of CSCW: The Gap Between Social Requirements and Technical Feasibility. Human-Computer Interaction 15(2-3), 179-203.

9 Sep Research Speed Dating N/A

Three project ideas on a paper scrap

Team Covenant Due (11 Sep)

16 Sep Project Workshop: One-on-One Team Meetings N/A Initial Literature Review & Team Assessment Due
23 Sep Presentation of Self Goffman, E. (1956). Introduction and Chapter 1 from The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday.

Voida, A., Grinter, R.E., Ducheneaut, N., Edwards, W.K. & Newman, M.W. (2005). Listening in: practices surrounding iTunes music sharing. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 191-200.

Zhao, X., Salehi, N., Naranjit, S., Alwaalan, S., Voida, S. & Cosley, D. (2013). The many faces of facebook: experiencing social media as performance, exhibition, and personal archive. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 1-10.

30 Sep Awareness & Social Translucence

Heath, C. & Luff, P. (1991). Collaborative Activity and Technological Design: Task Coordination in London Underground Control Rooms. In Proc. ECSCW. Heidelberg/Berlin: Springer, 65-80.

Dourish, P. & Bellotti, V. (XXXX).  Awareness and Coordination in Shared Workspaces. In Proc. CSCW. New York: ACM Press, 107-114.

Erickson, T. & Kellogg, W. A. (2000). Social translucence: an approach to designing systems that support social processes, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 7(1), 59–83.

McDonald, D. W., Gokhman S. & Zachry, M. (2012). Building for Social Translucence: A Domain Analysis and Prototype System. In Proc. CSCW. New York: ACM Press, 637-646.

7 Oct Project Workshop: One-on-One Team Meetings N/A

Secondary Literature Review with Initial Design Space & Team Assessment Due

 14 Oct  Privacy

Altman, I. (1975). Chapter 2, “Privacy: Definition and Properties”  and Chapter 3, “Privacy Mechanisms and Functions” from The Environment and Social Behavior. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., pp. 10–51.

Palen, L. & Dourish, P. (2003). Unpacking “privacy” for a networked world. In Proc CHI.  New York: ACM Press, 129-136.

21 Oct Fall Break — No Class
28 Oct

Communities of Practice & Participation


Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Bryant, S.L., Forte, A. & Bruckman, A. (2005). Becoming Wikipedian: transformation of participation in a collaborative online encyclopedia. In Proc. GROUP. New York: ACM Press, 1-10.

4 Nov Project Workshop: Design as Exploration & Provocation

Choose ONE of the two Gaver papers for your first reading response:

Gaver, W. &  Dunne, A. (1999). Projected realities: Conceptual design for cultural effect. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 600-607.

Gaver, B. & Martin, H. (2000). Alternatives: exploring information appliances through conceptual design proposals. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 209-216.

Everyone writes a reading response for this paper:

Greenberg, S.,  Boring, S., Vermeulen, J. &  Dostal, J. (2014). Dark patterns in proxemic interactions: A critical perspective. In Proc. DIS. New York: ACM Press, 523-532.

Design Space Presentation “Blast” due in class

Design Space Visual with Narrative & Team Assessment due Saturday night at Midnight

11 Nov Community & Social Capital

Resnick, P. (2001). Beyond bowling together: Sociotechnical capital. In J. Carroll (Ed.), HCI in the New Millenium. Addison-Wesley.

Ducheneaut, N., Yee, N., Nickell, E. & Moore, R.J. (2006). “Alone together?”: exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer online games. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 407-416.

Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C., Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication 12(4), 1143-1168.

18 Nov Strong Ties / Weak Ties

Granovetter, M. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology 78(6), 1360-1380.

Gilbert, E & Karahalios, K. (2009). Predicting Tie Strength with Social Media. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 211-220.

Bond, R., Fariss, C.J., Jones, J.J., Kramer, A.D.I., Marlow, C., Settle, J.E. & Fowler, J.F. (2012). A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization. Nature 489(7415), 295-298.

25 Nov Project Workshop N/A Conceptual Design Presentations & Team Assessment Due
2 Dec Crowds

Surowiecki, J. (2005). “Introduction” and Chapter 1, “The Wisdom of the Crowds” from The wisdom of crowds. New York: Anchor Books, pp. xi-22.

Kittur, A. & Kraut, R.E. (2008). Harnessing the wisdom of crowds in wikipedia: quality through coordination. In Proc. CSCW. New York: ACM Press, 37-46.

Irani, L.C. & Silberman, M.S. (2013). Turkopticon: interrupting worker invisibility in amazon mechanical turk. In Proc. CHI. New York: ACM Press, 611-620.

Excerpt and Reflection Portfolios Due Wednesday, December 3 at 2PM
9 Dec Project Workshop: Collaborative Writing N/A Final Papers & Team Assessment Due Monday, December 15 at 9AM
4 Jun 2015 Optional CSCW Submission Deadline



The texts for this course will consist primarily of conference and journal publications that are all available online via university site licenses. You will need to be logged in to the university network or connected via VPN to access these articles for free. Students will need to purchase the following book for the course (not used until after fall break):

Other supplementary readings will be provided by the instructor.


Learning Outcomes

By the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  IUPUI Core
Learning Outcome
Assessment & Evaluation
Collaborate in the construction of new knowledge with individuals representing diverse backgrounds, both culturally and disciplinarily Communication Class Participation
Discussion Lead
Team Covenant
1st Lit Review
2nd Lit Review
Final Research Paper
Apply critical reading skills to a diversity of texts, including social theory from a diversity of disciplines as well as informatics research reflecting varied epistemological stances and methodological approaches Critical Thinking
Knowledge & Skills
Reading Responses
1st Lit Review
2nd Lit Review
Final Research Paper
Apply theories and insights from a diversity of texts to the design and use of contemporary collaborative and social computing systems, via both written and oral modalities Critical Thinking
Knowledge & Skills
Ethical Behavior
Reading Responses
Class Participation
2nd Lit Review
Final Research Paper
Conduct an in-depth, genealogical and interdisciplinary literature review Knowledge & Skills
Critical Thinking
Ethical Behavior
1st Lit Review
2nd Lit Review
Final Research Paper
Construct a design space derived from the research literature and from a competitive analysis of contemporary systems Critical Thinking
Knowledge & Skills
2nd Lit Review
Design Space w/ Pres.
Final Research Paper
Create conceptual design proposals to exemplify interesting features of a design space Knowledge & Skills
Critical Thinking
Conceptual Design Pres.
Final Research Paper


Assessment & Evaluation

Reading Responses & Discussion Starters 20%
Excerpt and Reflection Portfolio   5%
Class Participation 20%
Discussion Lead 5%
Research Deliverables:  
 • Team Covenant 5%
 • Initial Literature Review 5%
 • Secondary Literature Review & Initial Design Space 5%
 • Design Space with Presentation 5%
 • Conceptual Design Presentation 5%
 • Final Research Paper 25%


All grades will be recorded as individual grades. All reading summaries and the excerpt and reflection portfolio must be completed independently.

Class participation will be evaluated on the basis of student self-assessment according to the following rubric:

0 points Not physically present OR Behaved in ways that were a distraction to the learning environment
1 point Not mentally present OR Was engaged in other activities not related to the discussion
2 points Was consistently engaged, listening to the discussion
3 points Contributed productively to the discussion once or twice
4 points Contributed productively to the discussion three or more times


Each research deliverable will receive a team score; each individual’s grade will be computed as a modulation of the team score based on their percentage contribution as agreed upon by all team members. The team score will comprise 2/3 of the individual’s grade and the percentage of the team score corresponding to an individual’s percentage effort will comprise 1/3 of the individual’s grade. For example, if a team of four earned a score of 90% on a deliverable and the percentage efforts reported by the team included 2 students at 25% effort (reflecting the weight that could be assumed if all students participated equally), 1 student at 35% effort, and 1 student at 15% effort, the following grades would be earned:

All students are assumed to have unique strengths, which will influence their contribution to each deliverable. If students elect to contribute more on some deliverables than others, the modulated grading will balance out in the end, reflecting each students’ overall engagement over the course of the entire research lifecycle.

Numerical grades will be converted to letter grades based on the following scale:

A+       97 – 100 B+       87 – 89.99 C+       77 – 79.99 D+       67 – 69.99 F          0 – 59.99
A         93 – 96.99 B         83 – 86.99 C         73 – 76.99 D         63 – 66.99  
A-        90 – 92.99 B-        80 – 82.99 C-        70 – 72.99 D-        60 – 62.99  
Incomplete grades will not be given to individuals in this course, except in exceptional circumstances (e.g., long-term hospitalization, death in the family), as any successful research enterprise requires the commitment of all researchers.
If you experience a personal emergency during the semester, please obtain a letter from a doctor or other legitimate source of verification. Although some of the work in this course cannot be made up after the fact, we will work with your research team to re-balance contributions to the research deliverables and to provide any opportunities possible to help you succeed.



All assignments are due by the date and time posted. There is no “late policy” in this class; there are deadlines. If you want to earn credit for your work, you should plan on meeting these deadlines. You may earn partial credit on assignments by submitting whatever you have finished at the time of the deadline.

Reading Responses & Discussion Starters
By midnight two days before before each class for which a reading was assigned (Sunday night, in our case), students will be required to post a reading summary of each text to the Google Drive folder for that week. Each of your reading summaries should be ~500 words and address the following:

Over the course of the semester, the compilation of these reading responses will become your own personal annotated bibliography of social and collaborative computing.

Please note: Students will receive feedback during the first week if their summaries are insufficiently developed and given an opportunity to iterate on their work. After this, it is assumed that students are able to follow the template. Please ask at any time during the semester if you have questions.

Excerpt and Reflection Portfolio
In this summative assessment, you will reflect over all of your reading summaries from this semester and ‘put your best foot forward,’  selecting evidence of your best critical reading and writing. Your portfolio will include one excerpt and reflection for each of the following categories:

For each excerpt, please copy and paste the relevant section from your reading summaries. Follow each excerpt with a personal reflection about why you feel it best exemplifies each category.

Portfolios will be evaluated based on the quality of thinking demonstrated in both the original excerpt and the reflection.

Class Participation
Your participation in class is the primary way in which you will demonstrate your engagement with the material and contribute to our collective understanding of collaborative and social computing. Every student is expected to be in class and to contribute productively to the discussion. Missed classes cannot be made up.

Discussion Lead
Each student will have an opportunity to lead or co-lead the class’ discussion about a set of papers. Each week, the discussion lead(s) will prepare and present a short summary of the day’s texts and will craft a semi-structured discussion protocol for class (posted to our shared Google Drive folder). The discussion lead(s) should use peer questions (found in the reading summaries) as input but should spend time thinking in advance about which questions will build on prior class discussions, how to stimulate thinking across the texts (i.e., the most interesting discussions will likely not move from paper to paper, as if checking them off a to do list, but will engage multiple papers simultaneously), and most importantly how to apply the lessons learned in the paper to your work as HCI researchers and practitioners. We will treat the discussion protocol as a working starting point that can evolve if and when the discussion moves in interesting new directions. The protocol should also be used to reign in and refocus discussion that moves too far afield of the content of this course.

Research Deliverables
In this course, you will conduct collaborative research (in teams of three or more) in collaborative and social computing. The research process will entail a genealogical literature review about a theory (broadly speaking) of relevance to collaborative and social computing; an analysis of the ways in which that theory has and has not been applied to the design and analysis of collaborative and social computing systems;  a design space exploration based on your findings; and a series of conceptual design proposals to address either gaps in the design space and/or to highlight sweet spots in that space. Research papers will be curated by the instructor and high-quality work may be submitted for peer review to the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work.

More details about each deliverable will be provided as the course progresses. Note that for each deliverable, each research team must also submit a corresponding team assessment. These team assessments must be signed by each team member and submitted in hardcopy.


Additional Policies

A complete list of campus policies governing IUPUI courses may be found online at: Selected policies are highlighted below.

Academic Integrity
Each student in this course is expected to adhere to the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct ( Academic dishonesty is completely unacceptable and any persons involved in such conduct will be disciplined in accordance with university regulations and procedures.

Educational Accommodations
I strive to design my courses in ways that accommodate students with a diversity of learning needs and styles. If you have needs that I haven’t anticipated, please register with Adaptive Educational Services ( and notify me during the first week of classes about any approved accommodations.

If you require accommodation for religious observances, please notify me by the end of the second week of the semester using the Request for Course Accommodation Due to Religious Observance Form (


Creative Commons License
This Collaborative and Social Computing syllabus by Dr. Amy Voida is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If you re-use and/or adapt this syllabus for use at your institution, in addition to providing attribution please consider dropping me an email and letting me know. This information is extraordinarily useful for tracking the broader impact of my curriculum development. Thanks!