November 28, 2014
October 31, 2014
A note on the future of Toronto Standard
October 30, 2014
Vice and Rogers are partnering to bring a Vice TV network to Canada
John Tory gets a parody Twitter account
October 29, 2014
Marvel marks National Cat Day with a series of cats dressed up as its iconic superheroes
Doug Ford is likely going to be fined $11,950 for all the illegal signs his campaign planted
UNC Professor Grades his Students Based on Their Klout Score
"You will only pass this class if your Klout score is greater than 62"

Photo via Flickr user IYFphoto

A professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is basing twenty per cent of his students’s final mark on how much they can raise their Klout score over the course of a semester. Ryan Thornburg, the man behind one of UNC’s Social Media for Journalists classes, is a former editor for the Washington Post and Congressional Quarterly. In a piece he wrote for PBS, the former editor tries to preempt readers concerns over using a seemingly arbitary number to determine a significant portion of his student’s mark: “Boiling a semester’s worth of effort and accomplishment down into a single number has always seemed to me to have a certain false sense of precision to it,” he goes on to contend that, unlike other grading methods, his “is fair because it transforms the class from a workshop on button-pushing to an exercise in hypothesis testing, strategy and critical thinking.”     

Klout is a online metric that gauges how engaging a person is on social networks like Facebook and Twitter – a person can raise their Klout score by gaining Likes, Retweets, and +1s. However, the metric is not without its critics, as the company behind Klout has yet to explain how their algorithm calculates a person’s score. Moreover, raising one’s Klout score is far from an exact science (as many of Thornburg’s students have learned).

In the hands of a lazy professor, such a class could result in a lot of anger over marks and not much learned, but in the hands of Thornburg, this appears to be an interesting experiment, especially when he says, “A high score is something I’d expect from a solidly average student. A B student will be able to pick apart and critique Klout’s system. And an A student? Someone who will one day build a better Klout.” [The Atlantic Wire]

____

Igor Bonifacic is a writer working for the Toronto Standard. You can follow him on twitter at @igorbonifacic

For more, follow us on Twitter @TorontoStandard and subscribe to our newsletter.

  • TOP STORIES
  • MOST COMMENTED
  • RECENT
By TS Editors
October 31st, 2014
Editors Pick A note on the future of Toronto Standard
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
October 30th, 2014
Editors Pick John Tory gets a parody Twitter account
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
October 29th, 2014
Editors Pick Doug Ford is likely going to be fined $11,950 for all the illegal signs his campaign planted
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
October 30th, 2014
Culture Vice and Rogers are partnering to bring a Vice TV network to Canada
Read More
  • No article found.
  • By TS Editors
    October 31st, 2014
    Editors Pick A note on the future of Toronto Standard
    Read More
    By Igor Bonifacic
    October 30th, 2014
    Culture Vice and Rogers are partnering to bring a Vice TV network to Canada
    Read More
    By Igor Bonifacic
    October 30th, 2014
    Editors Pick John Tory gets a parody Twitter account
    Read More
    By Igor Bonifacic
    October 29th, 2014
    Culture Marvel marks National Cat Day with a series of cats dressed up as its iconic superheroes
    Read More

    SOCIETY SNAPS

    Society Snaps: Eric S. Margolis Foundation Launch

    Kristin Davis moved Toronto's philanthroists to tears ... then sent them all home with a baby elephant - Read More