Grading Clout?

Alexandra Tilsley, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 30, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have talked off and on recently about grading students according to their network weight. It's not a big leap to say something like "grade them by their Klout score?" But this is manifestly not what I meant - I would want to assess people according to the good they contribute to the network, not the attention they can earn from it - and certainly not in a clumsy manner such as Klout. But it was inevitable someone would make a Klout score part of an overall grade. Before reacting in panic, take note that this is a marketing class. Todd Bacile, an FSU "marketing instructor has been the subject of a lot of discussion – and outrage – since he shared his practiceof grading students based on their Klout score," accoridng to Inside Higher Ed. The Chronicle also jumped on this story. According to the story, "Though some critics contend that Klout is a useless metricbecause it can be manipulated, Fountain said those in his class who tried to beat the system were ultimately disappointed." If that were true, nobody would have passed the course. Kloutcan be manipulated, obviously, otherwise the class has no point - but not by simple "happy birthday" messages.

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