April 24, 2014
April 14, 2014
Movers and Starters: Neven Zeremski of Dubb
April 8, 2014
Pop-up Startup
April 1, 2014
Movers and Starters: Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Hasegawa of Bridgit
December 16, 2013
Movers and Starters: Chris Gory
December 11, 2013
Canada Post Says Goodbye to Door-To-Door Delivery in Urban Areas
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.

By Igor Bonifacic
April 17th, 2014
Industry Movers and Starters: Ian Carnevale of Fora
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 28th, 2014
Industry Movers and Starters: Richard Liang of Preo
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 22nd, 2014
Uncategorized Test post
Read More
By Igor Bonifacic
April 8th, 2014
Editors Pick Pop-up Startup
Read More
  • No article found.
  • By TS Editors
    March 10th, 2014
    Culture Revolutionizing the Beer Drinking Experience with the Sam Can (Sponsored)
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 27th, 2013
    The Sprawl DO MAKE SAY HEAR: Five Things to Do in The City This Weekend
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 26th, 2013
    The Sprawl Over 50,000 Torontonians Still Sitting in the Dark
    Read More
    By Jordan Sowunmi
    December 20th, 2013
    The Sprawl Supreme Court of Canada Deems Prostitution Laws Unconstitutional
    Read More


    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