There's a new Klout professor in town. Ryan Thornburg is basing twenty percent of his students' grades on how much they can raise their Klout score. Unfortunately for the kids, that means they're shooting blindly into the ether and hoping for the best. So far, it's barely working.
Thornburg teaches a Social Media for Journalists class at UNC. His twenty percent Klout factor weight is ten percent more than FSU marketing professor Todd Bacile's Klout based class grade that riled people over the summer.
Thornburg justifies his Klout experiment because, like him grading a student's mark, grading one's social media effectiveness is a flawed endeavour. "Boiling a semester's worth of effort and accomplishment down into a single number has always seemed to me to have a certain false sense of precision to it," he writes. The students know a certain set of things will improve their Klout score (retweets, likes, +1s), but there are a huge number of variables we don't know about Klout's algorithm. Students are shooting into the dark, which makes it fair, "because it transforms the class from a workshop on button-pushing to an exercise in hypothesis testing, strategy and critical thinking."