Guideline for Course Descriptions
About this Document
Objectives and Organization of the Master Programme
Since about 2005 there is a movement going on to establish Web Science as a new discipline. It aims at studying the Web from multiple perspectives, including socio-cultural, economical, informatical, technical, legal and design perspectives (
In addition to the academic relevance of this approach, there is a growing need in a variety of positions in all sorts of enterprises to analyize the influence of the Web on the performance of the enterprise and to develop concepts for maximizing the use of its potential.
The master programme Web Science at the Cologne University of Applied Science aims at providing future leaders in enterprises with the knowledge and the competencies, that allow them to make competent decisions concerning Web Strategies and Web Projects. The master programme is a further education for graduates with informatical, economical, design, technical, legal degrees. Through this openness and through its curriculum it embraces the multiperspective nature of Web Science.
The programme is a extra-occupational course of studies making extensive use of modern E-Learning approaches, like online lectures and seminars as well as computer mediated communication and collaboration. Students from Germany are welcome as well as international students. All lectures, discourses, materials and communication is in English. Students are required to be present in Cologne for two extended weekends per semester and to be available online for lectures, seminars and group work on two evenings per week during the semester.
The curriculum is organized in modules with typically 12 credit points. It is documented in the Module Handbook. The modules consist of Courses, meant for teaching knowledge and of Seminars and Projects, meant for applying the knowledge and for exercising scientific discourse and project work. The courses with 3 credit points each are composed of the didactical elements online lecture, online groupwork, face-to-face activity, and offline learner activities.
Objectives and Intended Use of a Course Description
The domain Web Science is very young and there is not yet a unanimously accepted body of knowledge, that would be documented in comprehensive teaching material. Therefore the traditional approach in further education, to provide comprehensive and stable teaching material for lectures, cannot be applied to Web Science. The approach here is rather to compose the teaching material of selected parts of monographs, articles from conference proceedings and journals, and online resources. This approach facilitates the adaption of the course material to the evolution of the domain with each supply of the course. In order to allow the students to better cope with the resulting multitude and potential inconsistency of the learning materials, the lecturer should provide a guideline, that
The use of the guideline is twofold: firstly it is used by the students as guideline for their learning activities during the course. Secondy it is the basis for the alignment of the content of the courses among the leturers within a module.
Content of a Course Description
A course description should deal with the topics listed in the sequel, such that the objectives mentioned above are reached.
Formal and Style Requirements
The original of the guideline will be a hypermedium with functionalities for versioning and discussion. This approach has been chosen, in order to facilitate spontanous and in-context discourse about the guideline, activities and contents of the lecture. The discourse should be conducted in a open way between all parties, including the students, the lecturer, the person responsible for the module, other lecturers, and the Fachausschuss Web Science.
Currently a wiki system will be used.
The course description is to supplied in the Media Wiki Syntax, which well known from Wikipedia.
Lifecycle of a Course Description
The guideline will be provided by the lecturer in time so that a discourse with other lecturers can take place prior to the semester.
During the semester comments and proposals for the further development will be collected. Certain adaptations may be applied during the course.
Prior to the next supply of the course, an iteration of the development process will normally be necessary: the dynamics of the domain, experiences of the lecturer, and comments collected will lead to a new version of the guideline.
Supply of Learning Material
The learning material for a course will be made available to the students at different sites including
An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Web“. Communications of the ACM. 2008. vol. 51. no. 7. p. 60-69.
the ACM. 2007. vol. 50. no. 6. p. 25-27.