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Group Project

Page history last edited by Leslie Chan 11 years, 8 months ago

Link to Group Sign-up page


Group Project: Mapping Social Media and Citizen Movements Around the World


This project is intended to be a collaborative project involving the entire class. However, students will work in small groups (maximum of 4 and a minimum of 3 per group) and the results from each group will actually feed into a real research project being developed as part of the CORD (Collaboration for Research on Democracy) international research network.


The key objective of the class project is to examine how emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs), specifically digital social networks, are changing the dynamics of citizen-state relations, and how network-mediated knowledge and awareness creation catalyzes and drives activism and rights claiming. A central question is how does network-mediated knowledge relate to knowledge that is generated through other more conventional channels? To answer the latter question, there is a need to first map out what is happening in different parts of the world with regard to how citizens have been using technology to claim rights and/or actively engage with policy makers and with other like-minded organizations. For instance, most of us are aware of the use of mobile technology in the organization of recent political uprisings - including Egypt, Iran, Syria, etc. Why was the use of this technology so useful for these events? Did it result in a positive developmental outcome for citizens? These are some of the questions we hope to understand throughout this project. (PLEASE SEE THIS SUPPLEMENT PAGE TO SEE FURTHER BACKGROUND ON THE OBJECTIVE)


Each group will map their specific case studies on a world map. This will allow us to draw comparisons of different practices within the region and between regions around the world. With the data collected, we will be able to see if there are patterns or regularity that allow us to assess the adequacy or gaps in existing theoretical treatments (a number of which are covered in this course) of the role of network technology in knowledge production and social mobilization and what they mean for citizenship and development in the Global South.

The exercise will be developed through several stages:

Stage 1: Forming the group according to regional interest. (Sign-up by Oct. 5th)

Each student will sign up for a geographical region that they would like to explore throughout the duration of the group project. The group sign-up sheet can be found here. Once signed-up, each group will Identify and map [on a Google map] 3-4 different instances (1 case study per group member) in which citizens have utilized technology to actively engage with policy makers, claim rights or demand social change. It is strongly recommended that students pick the region with which they have some familiarity in terms of language, culture and political context. Students must sign up to be a group member on this page by Oct. 5.


Groups should create a collective workspace using the wiki, google docs, or any other collaborative work environment that they wish. Links must be provided to any work completed outside of the wiki space. 

Stage 2: Data collection. (to be completed by Oct. 26th, 5 of 30 marks) 

In this phase, each group member will work mainly independently to answer the following questions in a 3-page (1000-1200 word report). You should use this matrix to help you with the data gathering process:

  • Provide an overview of your case study (social, political, economic circumstances, if applicable) 
  • What form of technology was used in your case study and how wide-spread was the usage and access to this particular form of technology?
  • Which groups of citizens were involved in its usage and why?
  • What is the particular political context of your area? Why do you feel this form of technology was utilized?
  • How successful do you feel that citizens were in terms of making their voices heard and receiving positive change? What evidence do you have to demonstrate this?


This section should be completed independently by each group member, with input from other group members as required. Each group member should have their own workspace on the group's wiki. (see Matthew Wang's Work Space, under the Northern China Group's page as an example of how to set-up your report) Each group members' case study reports should be completed directly on their individual wiki pages. These reports should be 1000-1200 words in length and include a properly formatted Bibliography. The data matrix should also be included at the end of this report. This section will be worth 5% of your overall grade, however this should be considered a work in progress - you will have time to fill in the gaps as the project progresses.


The marking criteria for this section is below: 


  • The student answers all questions clearly and concisely in a report format, with a sufficient amount of information  (2.5 marks) 
  • The report includes a completed data matrix (1 mark)
  • The topic chosen for the case study clearly meets all requirements articulated in the instructions (citizen-led, incorporating ICT, interacting with policy makers/right-claiming, etc.) - (1 mark)
  • Report is posted in the student's newly-created work page and is linked back to the group's main workspace. The report includes a properly cited bibliography, with a link (if possible) back to the main article from which the case study was drawn - (0.5 marks) 



Stage 3: Case Study Comparison Amongst Group Members (To be completed by Nov. 9, 10 out of 30 marks)

Compare and map your individual case studies with other members of your group. What are the similarities and differences amongst case studies in your particular geographical area? What factors contribute to the differences and similarities and why do they occur?


In terms of a deliverable for this stage, we would like to see some form of visual, such as a chart, that depicts the similarities and differences amongst your case studies. The chart should be followed by a collective summary and explanation of findings, up to a maximum of 5 pages. (We are open to other suggestions for ways of presenting information at this stage)


The group will also begin to compile an annotated bibliography at this stage (with a minimum of 5 academic sources from each member). (See this site for instructions on how to write and format an annotated bibliography)



Stage 4: Final Write-up (To be completed by Dec. 4, 15 out of 30 marks)

This stage entails a report (written collectively by group members) summarizing the findings as well as assessing the appropriate theories and literature (from the bibliography compiled) for the data and observations collected by the group. At this stage you will also want to review the findings of your classmates and their respective geographical areas, to draw comparisons within your own work.  What limitations are present in the existing literature on this topic? What are your conclusions about the role of ICT in facilitating citizen actions and democracy? (12 pages; 15-20+ annotated sources)


View Mapping ICT and Citizen Movements in a larger map

Comments (Show all 45)

Katie Ahern said

at 10:34 am on Oct 5, 2012

Hey Leslie, the googlemap works well. However, in order for the Edit box to appear you have to first sign in with your own personal google account. Ie I think each student will have to have, or just create, a google account, in order to add their case study to the map. Otherwise it worked well! Cheers.

Sukaina Tejani said

at 5:28 pm on Oct 11, 2012

Hey prof! Just want a clarification : For stage 2, we have to work independently but the 3 page report would be a combination of all 4 group members independent research or each member has to produce a 3 page report? Thanks

bermema.anna@... said

at 2:17 pm on Oct 12, 2012

Anyone in group :
Jenna Davis
Daria Urakova
Mary Lee

How can we communicate about the project? Can you email me : bermema.anna@gmail.com


rabia said

at 9:27 am on Oct 14, 2012

Hi..I'll be doing a case study on Pakistan. The exact topic will be detailed later after do a proper writeup :)

rabia said

at 9:39 am on Oct 14, 2012

Oops, sorry wrong thread.

Matthew NeeFa Wang said

at 3:25 pm on Oct 18, 2012

Hi Prof Chan and Becky,

Regarding the Data Collection for the IDSB10 Group Project (Stage 2), what is the citation style you prefer? In-text citation? May I use endnotes/footnotes as a substitute for the bibliography?
Do all of the information in the matrix you provided need to be answered in the 3-page report? The case study I am doing Chinese government response to Beijing floods vs. effect of social networks/media on floods (here is a link: http://irevolution.net/2012/08/01/crisis-map-beijing-floods/) may not have all the information you posted on the matrix. Is that okay?
Is the report required to be in any particular format (i.e. essay)?
Would the citation (i.e. number for endnotes/footnotes after a sentence) come after the period or before?
Does all of the information stated on the following link need to be filled out and required in the data collection report, if not all the information applies to my case study?:

Thank you.

Becky Hillyer said

at 6:03 pm on Oct 18, 2012

Hi Matthew. That looks like an interesting choice for a case study. Just make sure your focus is more so on how the flood caused tension between the citizens and the government, instead of just the damage caused by the floods. For the matrix, we would like you to be able to include as much information as possible in order for us and your group to get a full understanding of the case study. Remember - you should be looking at multiple sources, not just the one blog post you mentioned. For the citation, I believe we stated that we want APA formatting. Therefore, you will need to do both properly-formatted in text citations for the report, as well as a complete bibliography.

rabia said

at 12:31 pm on Oct 21, 2012

I have an important query:
I'm from the South Asia group and I have picked Pakistan as my subject. However, despite a lot of research, I was unable to find a significant movement that brought about a massive change, ie, like what happened in the Arab Spring. However I have numerous examples of how social media helped bring about many other smaller social issues to light and actually compelled our lazy government to take steps for it! Is it possible to focus on those smaller cases, write about them and combine them into a case study?
Thank you!

Becky Hillyer said

at 4:09 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Rabia, your case studies certainly don't have to focus on "massive change." As long as they are citizen-led movements that incorporate ICT for the purpose of interacting with policy makers, it should be fine. Perhaps you could provide links to some of the smaller examples you've been considering so that we can clarify whether they would be suitable for the project...

rabia said

at 4:50 pm on Oct 21, 2012

For example, there was a mob-lynching incident that happened in a city in Pakistan and video of it that circulated the internet and created awareness of the incident. It helped bring the perpetrators to justice because the killers were clearly caught on camera. Same goes to another video of an incident in Pakistan where a young boy who was 'allegedly' a threat was shot by an Army ranger. That video, too circulated on Facebook and it turned out that the boy wasn't a threat and the ranger who shot him was punished heavily. So it brought perpetrators to justice through the help of a video.

I have a lot of other similar examples. Will combining all these incidents and writing a report on them okay?

rabia said

at 4:51 pm on Oct 21, 2012

*be okay

rabia said

at 4:56 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Oh and I completely forgot to mention. Just a few days ago, the daughter of a Cheif Minister of the Punjab province in Pakistan was caught on video treating a shop worker badly. She later allegedly got the shop worker beaten up by her guards later. A video circulated on the internet and the TV channels took note of it and the offenders were identified.

Jannat Nain said

at 6:23 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Rabia, its just a suggestion, since you are so keen to base your case study on Pakistan, why don't you research about the Malala Yousafzai situation in the Swat Valley of Pakistan because it is a very hot topic currently fighting for the right to education for girls and it started by media such as BBC and new york times. Also there are facebook and twitter counterparts along with a lot of other campaigns regarding the same :)

rabia said

at 6:28 pm on Oct 21, 2012

I've been thinking about that but I'm not sure if we can write about ongoing issues can we?

Becky Hillyer said

at 7:30 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Jannat, that's a really good idea. I think it would be fine to talk about on-going issues, as long as the focus is on the actions and reactions of Pakistani citizens/the government, instead of just Western groups and media. As long as you have enough information to respond to the majority of information in the matrix outlined in the instruction section, it should be fine!

Rabia, the other examples you mentioned might also work... I'm just concerned about the amount of information that would be available to you for such small examples.

rabia said

at 7:38 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Okay, so I'll do my report on the Malala issue. I actually had been thinking about it, but I was hesitant to use it because I thought an ongoing issue might not work because we haven't seen it's full impact/ effects to it.

Thank you so much Becky!

Jannat Nain said

at 8:51 pm on Oct 21, 2012

Of course we can , this is a citizen based movement and it maybe a begining of a change of mindset and assertion of rights for Pakistani women. Incidentally, this issue is well covered and promoted by the western and pakistani media and has also been taken up in a big way by the society at large through social media.

Naseem Khan said

at 9:32 am on Oct 22, 2012

Professor Chan or Becky: Is there a time on Friday when the paper is due? Thanks!

Jannat Nain said

at 7:22 pm on Oct 22, 2012

Hey becky,Thank you for the additional information you added, but you mentioned the data matrix in the end....will that be a part of the 3 double spaced pages?
Secondly could you clarify the time we have to submit this along with the time and date for the second survery since professor Chan was willing to change it to 27th?

Kirthika Umasuthan said

at 10:39 am on Oct 23, 2012

Are embedded citations necessary in the matrix?

Leslie Chan said

at 8:46 am on Oct 24, 2012

I don't think so. It would make it too cluttered. Better to put the citation in the text of the report. However, perhaps a numbering system could work?

rabia said

at 1:47 pm on Oct 26, 2012

How about adding a direct link on the cited text like we used in the Student directory? I did that just temporarily.

Danielle Phan said

at 12:43 am on Oct 24, 2012

Where do we upload our paper? Is there a private folder we have to link to? Or just have to post somewhere on our workspace?

Leslie Chan said

at 8:46 am on Oct 24, 2012

Danielle, I believe the answer is in the second paragraph under Stage 2.

Kirthika Umasuthan said

at 9:19 am on Oct 24, 2012

Yup a numbering system would be more efficient. Thank you!

Anika Ahmed said

at 9:20 pm on Oct 25, 2012

To be clear, since it says "the matrix & stage 2 is a work in progress" will we be receiving feedback on them as we go along (i.e. they'll be marked before the final write up is due on Dec. 4th) OR will each stage be marked after the final report is handed in?

Monika Chmielewski said

at 4:47 pm on Oct 26, 2012

same question :)

rabia said

at 2:00 pm on Oct 26, 2012

The numbering system is good but what if we forgot to add a source to a text in the middle of the essay? We would have to change all the numbers again. Won't that be a bit of a nuisance? How about direct text citation?

Julianne Kelso said

at 7:07 pm on Nov 1, 2012

Could we have some more instruction regarding stage 3? I am particularly wondering if you could provide ideas of how we might visually chart the information from our reports.

Wairimu Njeri said

at 9:50 pm on Nov 1, 2012

Question in regards to stage 3.
When will the requirements for the annotated bibliography be posted?

Julianne Kelso said

at 10:22 am on Nov 2, 2012

Prezi is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how it could be a collaborative effort. Seems like one person will end up doing all the work for the whole group if we use a medium like that.

Leslie Chan said

at 10:57 am on Nov 2, 2012

Hi all,
Glad to see some of you moving along nicely with your project, and thank you to the N. America group with starting their third stage of their project!

However, I am concern that some of you have fallen far behind, and several groups are not working out as well as I would hope. So I am not sure how best to move forward with stage 3 for some of the groups and in particular, how to ensure that members of various groups are evaluated fairly.

As I also noted earlier on this page, we were open to suggestions as to how best to present the deliverable for stage 3. Anika Ahmed for example, suggested the use of Prezi, an online visual presentation tool. There are also other mapping (in addition to the Google map on this page) or visualization tools that you could use.

Please help me brainstorm on these issues so we can make this stage more collaborative and fun! Thanks.

Anika Ahmed said

at 10:33 pm on Nov 3, 2012

Hey everyone!

As professor Chan mentioned, I suggested presenting Stage 3 through an online presentation tool called Prezi.

Prezi is an online website where you are able to create an interactive presentation with anything from charts, videos, text etc. It's a lot like a powerpoint but far more fun and creative, and when I've used it in the past I've always felt it really helped those who were watching to understand specific events/things while also seeing how they fit into the bigger picture. I thought it would make sense to utilize a newer and different kind of communication tool for this course. Presentations can be posted on the wiki through a link and be viewable to anyone. There is also a link specifically for those who are allowed to edit, which would be used amongst group members. Of course, this would just be the visual aspect, it would not replace the 5 page summary.

To check it out go to http://prezi.com/.

katarina said

at 3:19 pm on Nov 2, 2012

How about Thumbstacks.com or sliderocket??

Matthew NeeFa Wang said

at 4:09 pm on Nov 2, 2012

How about Microsoft Powerpoint?
Does anybody know how to add 'Beijing floods'/Beijing onto Google Maps shown on this page?

Thank you!

Leslie Chan said

at 4:23 pm on Nov 2, 2012

This was posted above, but I realize it is hard to spot: " When you click on the title of the map at the bottom of the map, you will be taken to a new map page. You will also see a red "Edit" box. Click on that and you will see some icons appearing on the top of the map on the right. The one in the middle is a drop pin and you can place it at any location and also enter in background information. Give it a try and report any problem. "

Julianne Kelso said

at 9:59 am on Nov 4, 2012

Since there is only 5 days left until the November 9 deadline and we do not yet have instructions on how we should be presenting the second stage of our project, will the deadline be pushed back to allow us time to do the work?

Ketheesakumaran Navaratnam said

at 8:55 pm on Nov 4, 2012

Hi Prof. Chan, you have stated on stage 3 of our group project that we have to do an annotated bibliography of 5 academic articles. I have 2 questions:

For example, if my project is on eliminating social issues, am I supposed to find journal articles on that specific issues in the context of our case study or can we choose journal articles that broadly address the issue that our case-study is aimed at?

Also, should the journal articles , besides addressing the subject matter of the project, be focused on the digital social media aspects as well?


Jannat Nain said

at 10:45 pm on Nov 4, 2012

Professor Chan, Have you and Becky decided on how you would like us to present our case?

Jannat Nain said

at 10:58 pm on Nov 4, 2012

Also the third quiz was meant to be in the week of October 29 so when will that me tentatively Sir?

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