Study Proposal

Education in Social Informatics

A few months ago I asked: Social informatics ... How can we promote, learn, teach and use it? (Blog 16 Feb 2018). Today I asked colleagues on researchgate, whether they could offer data and information. Asking on this Social Media Platform induced the description of my research project.




Social Informatics deals with the interrelationship of information- and communication technology and social change. It is
multi- and transdisciplinary.

Rob Kling defines it as "the body of research that examines the design, uses, and consequences of information and communication technologies in ways that take into account their interaction with institutional and cultural contexts." (Rob Kling 2000)

I propose to widen the definition: The task of social informatics is to support the design, the implementation and the maintenance of information systems for the benefit of individuals, groups and society, so that those, who develop, build, sell and maintain these systems, tailor technology to people and not inverse. To afford this social informatics builds upon disciplines like sociology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, historical sciences, economics, law and - of course - computer sciences.

It seems that it is acknowledged among scholars, scientists and practitioners and some stakeholders in economics and politics that social informatics should be a regular topic for study-programs in computer sciences, in informatics and related areas.


Producing an overview on teaching and learning social informatics at universities and colleges world wide. Including: In which programs? What are the contents of the curricula? What are the backgrounds and research interests of the teachers? What are the motivations of the students to learn about social informatics?



Literature research and enquiries via personal contacts and digital social media such as reserachgate.net, twitter and the author's blog.


Expected benefit

To arise the awareness for social informatics both in the scientific community and in the public. To use the insights for the promotion of social informatics and the further development of curricula in study programs and courses.

The researcher

Christa Wessel (Dr., MPH) is an author who also works as lecturer and coach, especially in topics related to social informatics and organizational development.



Personal resources of the researcher.


Start of the research: 02 Feb 2018.
Expected duration: 9 months (never ending story ;)


Question on researchgate on 21 May 2018

Which universities offer social informatics as study-program or course?

My assumption is (or: I have a dream?) that meanwhile there is common sense that social informatics should be a regular topic for study-programs in computer sciences, in informatics and related areas. So far my research showed only a few universities and colleges world wide. I assume and hope this is my fault and not the fact. Thus I would be pleased to hear about both: examples (with contacts if possible) and databases. Thank you in advance.

Of course I would be glad to hear from you, student, teacher, scholar, scientist and practitioner or stakeholder in economics and politics, if you can provide information or - it's the nature of research - further questions.

Christa Weßel - Monday, 21 May 2018


Further readings

I collect in the section Ressourcen for Social Informatics references on education programs and courses at universities, scholars and their publications, research institutes, conferences and more. Books and its subsections contains my work so far.


Blog section Social Informatics

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