Tutor Interview Series: Susan Halford and Les Carr – Introduction to Web Science

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Briefly tell me what your session is going to be about –
Week 1 introduces Web Science – the study of the World Wide Web. The session will trace the origins and evolution of the Web, exploring the social, economic, political, cultural and – last but not least – technical processes that together come to shape the largest human information system in history. The session will include thought provoking introductory and concluding discussions, framing longer lectures and independent student activities.

What are the main aims you want to achieve? –
This session will introduce you to some of the key contributors to the Web Science MOOC and explain our approach to studying the World Wide Web. By the end of this first week, you will have a good understanding of Web Science, which will provide a strong foundation for the weeks that follow

How will the learners benefit? –
Learners will benefit from the expertise and insight of some of the world’s leading Web Scientists whilst the activities will enable learners to begin to do Web Science, constructing a time line of the Web and reflecting on their own web practices.

What excites you most about delivering this session within the Web Science MOOC? –
What exites me about this is that we have the opportunity to show Southampton Web Science to the world! This is a new area of study that we have been developing over the past few years and we are convinced that it should be taken up and studied – whether in a MOOC, an undergraduate degree or as postgraduate study. The Web shapes the lives of billions of people and, in turn, people, governments and corporations across the world are changing the Web as they adapt and use it. Its critical that we find ways to understand this and that’s what Web Science offers.

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