POLIS 3003 - Cyber-Politics: Politics & the Internet Revolution

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

The course examines how the digital age has transformed politics around the world. Information and communication technologies have deeply changed both the private and public spheres, the internet has radically changed the way people communicate with each other and interact with the state and private corporations. It has reshaped our economies, and created new opportunities for political engagement and organization. Citizens use the internet to organise protests and boycotts, but the internet is also a space where individuals may become radicalised. It provides a democratised platform for the production and consumption of information, but also lends itself to the proliferation of ?fake news?, echo chambers and hate speech. Governments attempt to enact laws that control, censor, or monitor online interactions. But private corporations are similarly interested to control and utilize the internet to gather data on current and future consumers, and to exploit commercial opportunities. Similar opportunities are also sought by criminal actors, who seek to use the internet to pursue criminal, aggressive and terrorist activities. How, then, ought the internet be governed? Who should have authority to control internet access and content? In this course, we will explore this complex web of relations, dangers and opportunities by tackling questions such as: should the internet be censored, and by whom? Should hate speech be prohibited? Who should control access to the internet? Should Facebook be nationalised? What is the value of privacy? What impact is the internet, and particularly social media, having on the human experience? What is cybersecurity and how do we achieve it? Does internet communication favour populist and authoritarian leaders? How do these issues relate to one another and to conceptions of network neutrality more generally?

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 3003
    Course Cyber-Politics: Politics & the Internet Revolution
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Course Description The course examines how the digital age has transformed politics around the world. Information and communication technologies have deeply changed both the private and public spheres, the internet has radically changed the way people communicate with each other and interact with the state and private corporations. It has reshaped our economies, and created new opportunities for political engagement and organization. Citizens use the internet to organise protests and boycotts, but the internet is also a space where individuals may become radicalised. It provides a democratised platform for the production and consumption of information, but also lends itself to the proliferation of ?fake news?, echo chambers and hate speech. Governments attempt to enact laws that control, censor, or monitor online interactions. But private corporations are similarly interested to control and utilize the internet to gather data on current and future consumers, and to exploit commercial opportunities. Similar opportunities are also sought by criminal actors, who seek to use the internet to pursue criminal, aggressive and terrorist activities. How, then, ought the internet be governed? Who should have authority to control internet access and content? In this course, we will explore this complex web of relations, dangers and opportunities by tackling questions such as: should the internet be censored, and by whom? Should hate speech be prohibited? Who should control access to the internet? Should Facebook be nationalised? What is the value of privacy? What impact is the internet, and particularly social media, having on the human experience? What is cybersecurity and how do we achieve it? Does internet communication favour populist and authoritarian leaders? How do these issues relate to one another and to conceptions of network neutrality more generally?
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Tiziana Torresi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Apply deep discipline knowledge to understand the internet as a political institution and how it influences political state and non-state actors, private corporations, public policy, and citizens.
    2. Critically discuss and employ a number of normative and analytical theoretical frameworks for thinking about the politics of the internet
    3. Research, synthesize and present written and oral arguments to a high standard
    4. Read reflectively and critically a diverse range of texts, particularly in relation to cyber communication and digital environments
    5. Work cooperatively and communicate effectively in a group, understand and manage groups dynamics and emotional responses and their own role in this context
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    3,4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    52,3,
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3,4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2,5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No required textbook
    Recommended Resources
    A series of reources will be available on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    As this is a coure on cyberpolitics, a number of activities will be related to, and carried out on, online environemnts.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Face to face and online activities. 
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    WORKLOAD – STRUCTURED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS 1-hour lectures per week 12 hours per semester 1 x 2 -hour tutorial per week 24 hours per semester TOTAL = 36

    WORKLOAD – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS 6 hours reading and viewing online content per week 72 hours per semester 2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester 1 hour individual and 1 hour group assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester TOTAL = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Specififc information on the week activties will be made available on MyUni.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will engage in a group based, semester long research exercise on questions relating to internet literacy the result of which will be presented to class in the second half of semester 20%
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT TASK TASK TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S) 2500 word essay Summative 30% 1, 2, 3, 4 Quiz (first half of semester) Summative 20% 1, 4 Quiz (second half of semester) Summative 20% 1, 4 Group Work and Presentation Formative and summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Participation Formative and summative 10% 1, 3, 5
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment Description % weighting

    2500 word essay Students will be required to write a 2500 word research essay on a question they will define for themselves with the tutor’s support 30%

    Participation Students will be encouraged to actively participate both in group and class discussions through a series of both structured activities and unstructured discussions 10%

    Quizzes 30 minute online quizzes at mid-point and end of semester 40%

    Group work and presentation Students will engage in a group based, semester long research exercise on questions relating to internet literacy the result of which will be presented to class in the second half of semester 20%
    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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