- About CMNS
News and Community
- Student Stories
- Celebrating Black History Month across the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology
- Protecting Expert Advice for the Public: Promoting Safety and Improved Communications – A Town Hall
- Peter Anderson: BC floods reveals need for systemic change in emergency management
- Karrmen Crey: Indigenous Epistemologies
- Join the Clubhouse: communication course goes mobile
- Assistant Professors receive SHRCC Grant
- Peter Anderson: Fighting fires with better emergency communication
- Andrew Feenberg retires from the School of Communication
- CMNS faculty members receive tri-council grants to support their research
- Cait McKinney receives the 2021 Gertrude J. Robinson Award
- Ellen Balka and UBC researchers take aim at preventing adverse drug events
- Knowledge Mobilizers: Ahmed Al-Rawi
- Enda Brophy receives Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC Academic of the Year award
- Ahmed Al-Rawi: How did Russian and Iranian trolls’ disinformation influence Canadian politics?
- Martin Laba: What I'm learning about remote teaching
- Ahmed Al-Rawi co-authors The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook
- Listening to the city: Livable Soundscapes soundwalk research workshop
- Labour challenges of food delivery service workers in Metro Vancouver
- Peter Chow-White: Social media during a crisis and how we stay connected
- Communication professors developing tools to tackle online abuse
- Communications professor Adel Iskandar embraces storytelling and active dialogue
- COVID-19 Research Information
- Dal Yong Jin receives the title Distinguished SFU Professor
- Aleena Chia: Inspired to uncover the infrastructures behind addiction vs engagement in the gaming industry
- Cait McKinney: The transformative history of LGBTQ communities and their communication needs
- Ellen Balka - implements software to reduce preventable adverse drug events
- Ellen Balka Receives the Paz Buttedahl Career Achievement Award
- Contract Worker Justice (CJW) launches an examination into the working conditions of contracted-out cleaning and food service staff
- PhD stud
- Alumni Stories
- The Collective Blog
- School Updates
- Get Involved
- Careers & Opportunities
- Faculty and Staff Login
Join the Clubhouse: communication course goes mobile
In CMNS 453, students learn about the mobile information society on mobile applications.
“The idea behind this approach was to teach a course about mobile technology using the mobile phone,” says Instructor Nicole Stewart, who teaches her students on Clubhouse, a popular audio social application where groups of people can connect in audio chat rooms.
“Early May 2021, I submitted a question to Clubhouse Townhall to let co-founder and CEO Paul Davison know my desire to teach a fourth-year communication course on the platform,” says Stewart. Davison noted that he hadn’t considered the platform for a university course, but eagerly added, “That’s awesome. That’s very exciting, and I love that. I want you to teach that also.”
The first audio social university class was taught over applications like Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse, using WhatsApp as a backchannel. With improved accessibility of the Clubhouse app, Stewart now teaches exclusively on Clubhouse. Since the first audio social class in summer 2021, there are now university professors from Harvard, Stanford, and around the world using Clubhouse as a classroom space.
“The history of higher education began with conversations, and we are taking the old tradition and putting it on a new platform,” says Stewart, whose students are excited to attend class entirely from a mobile device.
As a class, students join the Clubhouse floor each week to discuss different topics, including mobile infrastructures, network governance, social media, algorithms, content moderation, and privacy. Throughout the week, students stay connected on other mobile spaces like WhatsApp.
Reflecting on their time in the course, communication students Grey Nguyen and Zeeyan Meghjan were happy to try something different.
“I think Clubhouse is a great platform that provides students with a new approach to learning materials by turning the usual lecture into a discussion board,” says Nguyen. “Clubhouse indirectly encourages students to contribute their thoughts and ideas in every discussion. For students like me, who have problems with public speaking and do not feel comfortable showing my face on camera, Clubhouse is an ideal platform as it does not require much, aside from my name and an avatar.”
“I believe that communicating lectures with students on mobile technologies, and even integrating social media applications like Facebook, Twitter Spaces and WhatsApp can make an amazing learning experience,” says Meghjan. “Students get to think out of the box and use social networking apps that they have been using for so long to connect, now to participate and learn a course.”
The learning experience on Clubhouse raises questions about the future of formal and informal classrooms. Stewart, alongside School of Communication professor Richard Smith, associate professor Frederik Lesage, and doctoral student Ben Scholl are reviewing the experience on Clubhouse in a new research project that extends into 2022. The team will take a closer look at how platformization in higher education is evolving and examine how universities can use audio platforms to elevate knowledge mobilization.
“Even though the course would seem a little different it was one of the best experiences I have had so far at SFU, and CMNS 453 was one of the best courses I have taken so far,” says Meghjan.