Theoretical and Applied Approaches to teaching Social Computing in STEM Education (2007-2010)

Lab for Social Computing, Rochester Institute of Technology
Collaboration with Susan Barnes, Stephen Jacobs, and Nick DiFonzo


This National Science Foundation funded research examines the use of social computing tools and practices in the service of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.  Currently, universities have embraced the use of online environments to provide distance and blended STEM courses.  However, educators tend to focus their efforts on content delivery, rather than building social networks. There is little research on how STEM students establish social networks when they interact in online learning environments.  Forming social networks, relationship building, and creating social capital are the new focal points of social media and the development of social software.  To date, undergraduate STEM students are not being trained in this important topic of technology design.  To help solve this problem, it is the intent of this project to create an undergraduate STEM course on the theoretical and practical use of social computing, with an emphasis on building social networks and social capital in STEM online learning environments. This research was funded through the National Science Foundation CCLI program (Phase I project).

Links Related to Effort

ScienceBlog Posting
ScienceDaily Posting
RITNews Posting


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