Frequently Asked Questions
Revision as of 19:08, 6 February 2011 by Rnlanders
- What is SOCL?
An online social networking platform designed around the needs of college students. It incorporates gaming elements to increase students motivation and satisfaction while simultaneously creating a large-scale sense of community. See the Project History for more detail on the rationale behind SOCL.
- Can my institution/department/course still join the project?
Yes. Institutions that were brought on board before the formal proposal was sent to the National Science Foundation will receive some extra support (e.g. the research team will be flying to deployment sites to provide faculty and student training). However, this is not required to take advantage of the SOCL platform. Individual courses and instructors will be able to sign up independently after the grant is launched to utilize the project in their courses. After the funded period is over, other opportunities to adopt the platform will be provided. If you are interested in any of these possibilities, contact the PI [firstname.lastname@example.org Richard].
- Isn't this just like Facebook?
SOCL incorporates elements specifically designed around the educational needs of college students. This is in contrast to Facebook, the purpose of which is entirely to establish and maintain social relationships. Students gain access to quiz tools which will help them perform well in their courses. Instructors are given special access and privileges. See Proposed Features of SOCL for more detail.
- If we adopt this, won't our faculty all need to include it in their courses to see a benefit?
No. From the data in the pilot study, it appears that regardless of the specific strategy their instructors use to integrate the system into their courses, students 1) talk with each other in their course discussion areas and 2) benefit from the gaming elements of the system. So even if the instructor never logged into socialPsych, students still took the optional quizzes and met socially with their classmates online (to arrange study dates, work on group projects, etc).
- What expenses will our institution be responsible for?
For the bulk of the life of the grant (2 years), almost all resources will be funded from the grant itself. The hardware to host the system, the software itself, and the technical support resources needed for student questions will all be provided. The costs to institutions are minimal, and most only kick in during the final year of the project. These costs include only computer resources to host the software platform and any desired technical support personnel (e.g. a graduate student manager).