About This Course

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Determine motive of informational web platforms and content, and how those motives influence coursework, personal life, and professional life
  • Be aware of various levels of information privilege
  • Create and promote web content sustainability
  • Implement best practices for content management and preservation

Required Course Materials

All students must bring a laptop to each class session. If you do not have access to a laptop, they are available for checkout at the Information Desk in Leyburn Library. Students are also required to create various accounts on social media and academic platforms, while preserving individual students’ privacy.

icon-paperclip All articles and book chapters are linked from course website or are posted to Sakai

icon-video-camera DVDs of Black Mirror are available on reserve in Leyburn Library. Alternatively, students are welcome to use Netflix accounts to watch episodes.

icon-book Kobek, Jarett. I Hate the Internet. We Heard You Like Books, 2016. http://a.co/d/db9b3T0 (may be purchased, borrowed from library, etc.)

icon-book Eggers, Dave. The Circle. 1st edition, Vintage Books, 2014. http://a.co/3dBUq5a (may be purchased, borrowed from library, etc.)

Class Expectations

  • All readings and assignments on the schedule must be completed and/or submitted by 9 a.m. on the day indicated. Completing all assignments is required to pass the course.
  • Students will submit one discussion question per reading before each class meeting.
  • All viewpoints are welcome in the classroom. In turn, using threatening language or gestures to argue viewpoints are not be permitted, and students may be asked to leave the room if either or both professors find it necessary. We will create a “Student Bill of Rights” on the first day of class.
  • If you find it difficult to complete your coursework because of precarious housing or finances, food insecurity, or threatening relationships, feel free to contact me immediately. This will be confidential and I will help you. Alternatively, note the Student Support menu in the sidebar of this website and make use of them.


This discussion-based class requires active engagement from all class members, which includes attendance. Students may miss one class session with no explanation; after that, absences require explanation. Excessive unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

Religious Holidays: Students are encouraged to observe religious holidays of their practiced faith. Please let Professor Abdoney know within the first 2 weeks of class if you will need to miss class in order to observe a religious holiday. This will not affect your grade in any way, but we are required to create a plan to complete coursework in a timely manner.

What is “engagement”?

  • Asking/answering questions during class discussions
  • Submitting discussion questions
  • Coming to your student conferences
  • Coming to office hours
  • Commenting on your classmates’ blog posts

If you have concerns about the Engagement part of your grade, please contact Professor Abdoney.

Late Work

Work submitted after the due date/time will result in a 1 point grade reduction per day.


Students are expected to observe Washington and Lee University’s Honor System. W&L defines plagiarism as “the use of another’s words or ideas without proper acknowledgment.” Familiarize yourself with what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. For assistance, see the resources available on the library website and/or visit Professor Abdoney during office hours.

Disability Accommodations

Washington and Lee University makes reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. All undergraduate accommodations must be approved through the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, Lauren Kozak, Elrod Commons 212, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-4055. Students requesting accommodations for this course should present an official accommodation letter within the first two weeks of the term and schedule a meeting outside of class time to discuss accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to present this paperwork in a timely fashion and to follow up about accommodation arrangements. Accommodations for test taking must be arranged with the professor at least a week before the date of the test or exam, including finals.

Grading Scale

93-100 points: A80-82 points: B-67-69 points: D+
90-92 points: A-77-79 points: C+63-66 points: D
87-89 points: B+73-76 points: C60-62 points: D-
83-86 points: B70-72 points: C-0-59 points: F

Grade Breakdown (100 Possible Points)