ACM Web Science 2012 Conference Workshop: Teaching the Web with Web Science


The Workshop was held at ACM Web Science 2012 Conference
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

June 21st, 2012 – 1pm-4pm

Workshop Convenors:

  • Stéphane Bazan (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut)
  • Su White (Southampton University)
  • Hugh Davis (Southampton University)


    • David Molik (Renssealer Institute)
    • Franck McCown (Harding University)
    • Stéphane Bazan (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut)



This highly interactive half day workshop will enable Web Science researchers to share their views on how the Web, as a social machine, should be approached in interdisciplinary teaching activities at university or even at school. Previous Web Science curriculum workshops have raised the question of the Web Science curricula in Master degrees, this workshop will address the broader issues of how to introduce and integrate Web culture and knowledge in existing curricula.

Individuals with experience of teaching Web Science as a major focus may none the less have valuable contributions to make, and the workshop outcomes aim to benefit the wide range of curricula in existence.

During WS Curricula workshops at Southampton and Koblenz, the idea of “teaching” Web Science at university was raised. We know that quite a number of universities have already developed dedicated Web Science programmes. But, if Web Science is an interdisciplinary field of research, then how do we teach the Web in non-Web Science degrees? Web Science is the fundamental discipline that understands the Web and its impact on society. But the Web is an unknown entity for many university students and an interdisciplinary approach to Web Science can potentially identify and provide the content, resources and strategies to help other disciplines know about the Web, its development, its reality and its impact.

The idea is to move the debate on from theoretical Web Science curricula discussion to a more “content & practice sharing” approach on how to teach the Web. Participants will be asked to bring their references, resources, courses maps, bibliographies and their feedback on experience and propose a collaborative design to share all this material.

The workshop will work to produce 2 different deliverables:

  • A synthesis of experiences presenting good practices, argumentation for teaching the web and proposals for courses design.
  • A proposal for a collaborative platform to share teaching material and create an online teaching community.


We will endeavour to cultivate a discursive and interactive format around a structure of brief, focussed presentations.

  • Summary of previous discussions on the subject
  • Presentation of the WSCD project.
  • 3 presentations of experiences in different contexts.
  • Ccontributions on “community building and resources sharing”
  • Discussion
  • Recommendations.

A core objective of this workshop is community building. Participation is important, but we acknowledge that some potential participants may find it financially constraining to travel to the conference. Exceptionally, for high quality contributions, we will consider participation via a prerecorded video and audio conferencing. If necessary, please indicate this requirement on your submission.

Submission Types
1. Teaching experiences
Web Scientists with “Web related” teaching activities are invited to share their experience in this workshop. From “Fundamentals in Web Development” to “Web Economics”, “Web Sociology” or “Web Culture”, present your teaching activities in 7 minutes oral presentations.

Submissions should detail:

  • Course context (level, students, discipline, etc.
  • Course objectives and targeted competencies
  • Course content (Structure, sections, topics, references)
  • Evaluation methods (Tests, projects, papers, etc.)
  • Experience feedback / Students feedback

2. Community building and resources sharing
Accounts of resource development and sharing initiatives – in progress or proposed. We are particularly interested in examples of collaboration and co-creation, creating the curriculum from the ground up, student led activities

Submissions should provide a well structured account of the activity and progress supported by evaluations and reflections as appropriate.

3. Curriculum design – from rationale to realisation
In some cases, colleagues will have designed curricula which they have not yet taught, or have only been teaching for a short while. In these cases it may not be possible to present evaluations, however and explanation of the rationale may be valuable to the community. Colleagues may be able to offer insights into unexpected problems, serendipitous solutions, or proposals which they consider to be particularly innovative. Submissions should provide a well structured account of the activity and progress supported by analysis and reflections as appropriate.

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