“…here is an inescapable fact. Many firms are sizing up college student’s Klout scores as a quantitative metric to use for job applicant screening. Therefore, I decided to create a class project in which the final grade earned is solely determined by a student’s Klout score.”
This is a quote from a post by Todd Bacile ( @toddbacile ), a new PhD from FSU on Mark Schaefer’s Blog http://www.businessesgrow.com/2012/08/26/florida-state-university-class-using-klout-to-determine-student-grades/
This blog post generated a bit of a storm in the comments on the Grow blog (my comment must have been screened out…) and on FB and other social media sites. Todd is likely now the most talked about marketing job candidate. USNews even ran a tepidly critical comment: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/08/29/professor-sparks-controversy-for-klout-based-grading?page=2
Todd’s curious wording – some readers interpreted “the final grade earned is solely determined” as meaning the class grade – and provocative use of “gaming” helped incite the ire. However his key premise that since some employers are using Klout scores to screen job candidates, Universities must teach students to achieve high scores is also widely criticized.
I am a fairly consistent Klout-basher. [For example see http://servicecocreation.com/2011/02/16/will-klout-kill-twitter/ ] I think the measure itself is faulty, even somewhat silly (and worse since the recent modifications – more later on this). More importantly I believe that the service becomes harmful to social media as participants game their scores under pressure from imbecile employers who screen with Klout or perhaps by professors who specify that a “final grade earned is solely determined” by the measure.
I think most social media participants have already seen clear evidence of the coarsening of social media due to J0e Fernandez and his Klout henchmen in their Facebook stream. Why has there been an increase in:
- Artificial or photo-shoped pics?
- Vapid posts that sound like campaigns for Miss American? (Why can’t we have world peace?)
- Exhortations to click “like” – Please “like” for world peace, Please “like” to support our veterans, please like if you love the Hokies (local).
Answer: Pumping up the K-score!!!
What should an academic do? Klout and its competitors do exist, try to measure something important, and are widely followed. I personally think Todd may have pushed too far…
BUT I do offer extra credit in my social media courses to the two or three students who over the course of the semester: (1) end the semester with the highest Klout score, (2) show the largest increase in their Kred and /or PeerIndex scores.
What is your opinion:
- Does Todd go too far in promoting Klout in his class?
- Do I go too far in promoting Kred, Klout and PeerIndex in mine?