Online Course "Introduction to Web Science"

    Greetings to everyone from the city of Koblenz (Germany), whose university student I am (University of Koblenz-Landau). I would like to devote this article to the initiative of our university to make part of the Master of Science in Web Science program available to everyone on the Internet.

    The World Wide Web (or the World Wide Web) unites 2.7 billion people and plays a huge role in the life of all mankind. But despite the significant success of the web, as well as the high development of the computing infrastructure on which the World Wide Web was built, very few institutes study the web from the point of view of science.

    Web as a science

    Web Science is a fairly young field of science, it was first announced in 2006 by a scientist named Tim Berners-Lee (thereby, in 1989, working at CERN, he invented the World Wide Web, URI, URL, HTTP, HTML, and also founded the W3C consortium ) MIT and the University of Southampton ( an article on the habr about their master's programs ) supported this initiative and announced the start of research in this area. At present, the association The Web Science Trust includes about 15 universities, one of which is the University of Koblenz-Landau.

    Web Science is an interdisciplinary science consisting of various sciences and disciplines, for example: computer science, mathematics, artificial intelligence, web engineering, psychology, sociology, politics, economics and many others (even biology).

    Course audience

    The material in this course will be useful to any user of the World Wide Web, especially if you:
    • A programmer who is interested in developing web applications (or a startup / entrepreneur);
    • A company wishing to build a competent Internet behavior strategy;
    • Lawyer, provider, authority considering issues of net neutrality and copyright infringement and making decisions on issues of regulating access to Internet resources.

    Course content

    The course is conducted in English and consists of 10 lessons, divided into 3 large categories:
    • Lessons 1 - 3: Web Basics. A detailed excursion into the history of the web and Internet architecture - Ethernet, IP, TCP, DNS, Internet vs World Wide Web, HTTP, XML, HTML
    • Lessons 4 - 7: Web design and the study of micro and macro behavior of web users and social networks. Social network data analysis using Octave . Search engines, their architecture and ranking of documents, ratings and recommendations. Collective mind and herd behavior. Economic aspects and advertising.
    • Lessons 8 - 10: Web and Society. Law and copyright protection, piracy. Ethics, behavior and network neutrality. Trust, influence and security issues (cryptography, secure communication and certificates, internet money).

    Well, one of the most interesting questions in the end:

    Organization and format of the course

    A rather interesting point is the way to organize and conduct this course. Of particular importance was the openness of the technologies used and the possibility of free distribution of training materials. Therefore, the Wikiversity platform (Russian Wikiversity ) was chosen as the platform for the course .

    The main goal is to replace the classical lectures at the university with MOOC ( massive open online course ) materials with the possibility of open public discussions (including online). Each student is strongly encouraged to participate both in the discussion of the material on the pages of the course, and in editing / supplementing existing lessons. As you know, the best way to learn material is to try to explain it to a friend.

    The format of classes is slightly changed - lectures, as such, do not exist. There are video materials on the course page + links to additional reading / practice. The student independently prepares and parses the material, after which he comes to a lesson at the university (or to broadcast online) and discusses his understanding of the material with classmates / professors.


    From my own experience I can add that each lesson is not just listening to several video lectures or reading an article on Wikipedia. Each topic under consideration requires a thorough and deep hours of study. You will quickly understand this from homework - it requires a deep understanding of the topic.

    This launch of the online course is the first for us, so do not judge strictly, in October 2014 a more complete and finalized version will be released, but I’m sure this is not a reason to postpone studying Web Science for a whole year =)

    At this point, classes have already begun and we examined Ethernet , IP , the TCP . On Thursday (November 7, 2013), a discussion of DNS issues will take place live .

    Course Links

    • Course home page ;
    • Preferred (although not required) registration for the course ;
    • 0 lesson on the subject of discussion of the subject of Web Science and training in working with the MOOC system;
    • Live broadcasts of discussions of questions and answers (Tuesday, Thursday from 19:15 to 20:45 Moscow time);
    • Questions and additions to the lecture materials are accepted under each page of the lesson on wikiversity, as well as on Etherpad and the hashtag on twitter: #websciencemooc

    Also popular now: