Postgraduate Course: Data Civics (fusion online) (EFIE11079)
|School||Edinburgh Futures Institute
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||How do you 'see' a city? What platforms and tools can you use? Any raised platform will improve your view of the physical shape of a city but how do you see its social, economic and cultural shape?
This course introduces the concept of Data Civics as a way of observing, consulting and engaging people using a range of internet platforms . From social housing to cycle lanes, you'll learn how to research topics using qualitative digital methods.
This course will introduce you to the concept of Data Civics by exploring the role social media and internet platforms can play in observing the city and informing civic governance. Digitalisation, together with the Covid-19 pandemic, has dramatically reconfigured urban life. Using Edinburgh as a context, the course explores these changes in how people live, work and play in cities, the persistence of patterns of inequality amidst these changes and the kind of local services that might mitigate them.
Throughout the course you will investigate how platforms, including - Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Civicscope, a bespoke neighbourhood mapping tool - can be used to research urban life. You will learn about patterns of change in neighbourhoods, work and retail while developing your skills in creating and analysing social media and platform content both individually and in groups. You will explore the strengths and weaknesses of different platforms for researching different kinds of audiences and questions and use collaborative platforms, including Miro and a workspace networking, to draft, organise and present your findings.
Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:
The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.
As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 3,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 3,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 2,
Online Activities 6,
Formative Assessment Hours 5,
Other Study Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 10
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:
1) Group Assessment (10%)
A group assessment built on the formative assignment to finalise the Miro presentation of platform content (Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, workspace threads) designed by the group. The assessed work is the Miro workspace not a live presentations (10%).
2) 1500 Word Individual Assessment (90%)
1500 word project due 4 weeks after the intensive workshop that critically assesses the concept of 'data civics' using substantive engagement with platforms as tools for research (90%).
||Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.
Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.
Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Feedback and feed forward will be given by course organiser and TA in the pre-intensive period to help set up clubs and platforms. Regular feedback and feedforward sessions punctuate lectures and group work throughout the two intensive days in QAs, planning and reflection exercises on the formative assignment and how it will be developed in the summative assignment. During the post-intensive period support will be available to finalise project plans and individual roles within them.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specialised theories, concepts and principles associated with data civics and its links to the more general theories, concepts and principles associated with civics as a sociological method.
- Apply their critical understanding in practice by creating content using a range of platform-based skills and techniques.
- Develop creative responses to a civic issue.
- Work both independently and in groups to communicate issues through platforms and written projects.
|Indicative Reading List:|
Kath Bassett; Idil Gallip; Elif Doyuran; Liz McFall; Addie McGowan (2021) Covid Arcadia report
Patrick Geddes (2019) Civics as Applied Sociology
Patrick Geddes (1911) The Civic Survey of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh
Karen Gregory & Miguel Paredes Maldonado (2020) Delivering Edinburgh: uncovering the digital geography of platform labour in the city, Information, Communication & Society, 23:8, 1187-1202, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2020.1748087
Liz McFall and Darren Umney (2021) Data Civics (draft)
Liz McFall and Darren Umney (2021) Planning the cities of the future. Understanding Digital Societies, Sage; Carter, S.; Perriam, J. (Eds.)
Shannon Mattern (2021) A city is not a computer: other urban intelligences, Princeton University Press
Oliver Wainright (2021) An experiment in civic activism https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/jun/07/terry-farrell-centre-newcastle-urban-room-planning
Sarah Barns (2018). Smart cities and urban data platforms: Designing interfaces for smart governance. City, Culture and Society, 12(March), 5-12.
Sarah Barns (2019). Platform urbanism: Negotiating platform ecosystems in connected cities. Palgrave Macmillan
Rebecca Madgin & Richard Rodger (2013). Inspiring Capital? Deconstructing myths and reconstructing urban environments, Edinburgh, 1860-2010. Urban Hist 40, 507-529
Walter Benjamin. (2002) The Arcades Project, Harvard Uniersity Press
Ebenezer Howard. (1902) Garden Cities of Tomorrow
Nigel Thrift and Ash Amin (2015) Seeing like a city
Patrick Geddes (1915) Cities in Evolution: an introduction to the town planning movement and to the study of civics. Williams, Oxford
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||The course contributes to the following graduate attributes and skills:
a) Specialist knowledge and intellectual curiosity;
b) The use of innovative methods for local, impactful engagement;
c) Creative problem solving and independent research;
d) Critical and reflective thinking;
e) Cross-platform communication skills.
Students will develop their platforms skills for multiple uses; to research, create content, engage stakeholders and disseminate findings while critically reflecting on the enduring challenges of urban and civic development and planning. This will provide them with a basis for connecting their everyday experience with modes of intellectual inquiry and strategies for lifelong learning. The case-study approach combined with the practice based and collaborative approach to learning will contribute to transferable skills that can be applied in a range of settings.
|Keywords||Platforms,Gig Work,Smart Cities,Urban Planning,Social Media,Civics,Mapping,Technologies of Seeing
|Course organiser||Dr Elizabeth McFall
|Course secretary||Mr Lawrence East