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Unit of study_

ARIN6902: Internet Cultures and Governance

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

The internet plays an increasingly important role in all aspects of social, cultural and economic life. This unit of study explores cultures and governance of the online world and investigates how politics manifest not only in public debates and policy, but also in the struggle to develop new information architectures and digital ecosystems.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ARIN6902
Academic unit Media and Communications
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Olga Boichak,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Class Presentation
Upload a presentation and pose questions to facilitate class discussion
20% Ongoing
Closing date: 18 Jun 2021
1,000 words (slides)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Blog post (journalism piece)
Critical in-depth analysis on the topic of your submitted presentation
30% Ongoing
Closing date: 25 Jun 2021
2,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Essay
Write a critical research piece on an assigned theme related to the course
Due date: 12 Jun 2021 at 23:59

Closing date: 25 Jun 2021
3,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Seminar participation
Quality of contributions to seminar discussions
10% Weekly -
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial exercise: Develop and provide a presentation in the seminar, based on the lecture topic for the week you have selected, and required and additional reading.
  • Blog post: Your public-facing analytical blog post will be based on the topic you have selected for your class presentation and will provide critical analysis and insight into the topic.
  • Essay: Write a critical essay on a theme related to the course.
  • Participation: Quality of your contributions to class discussions

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Work not submitted on or before the due date is subject to a penalty of 5% per calendar day late. If work is submitted more than 10 days after the due date, or is submitted after the return date, the mark will be 0.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction: the Internet as a Transmission System Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 02 Governors Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Platform Architectures and Generativity Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Week 04 Big Data and Algorithms Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 05 Dataveillance Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6
Week 06 Is Privacy Still Possible? Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Internet Cultures and Content Moderation Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Content, Information, Disinformation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6
Week 09 Net Neutrality Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 10 Security Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO6
Week 11 Digital Lives in the Cloud Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO6
Week 12 Digital Divide(s) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 13 W(h)ither the Internet? Dystopian or Dynamic Futures for Internet Cultures & Governance? Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Seminar recording: The seminars are held synchronously via Zoom. A weekly primer to assist with student preparation for seminars will be recorded and made available to students on the LMS. Please note you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. analyse key definitions, stakeholders and models related to internet governance
  • LO2. identify and understand the key issues that relate to governance of the internet
  • LO3. understand the link between culture and governance
  • LO4. understand the links between internet governance and broader governance frameworks such as global governance
  • LO5. monitor and comment on current issues in internet cultures and governance
  • LO6. demonstrate ability to present critical evaluation of internet technologies.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No major changes since the unit was last offered in S1 2020.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.