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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

For the children, please take your finals this week

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For those of you on the hill in the throes of Finals Week at Kansas University, take heart. There is a social media revolution afoot to end finals altogether.

Well, that's not entirely accurate. The revolution is trying to end just one final, in one class, at one particular university. And it's not Kansas University.

Also, I might as well tell you: The revolution has already failed.

In recent weeks students of Communication Studies 498 at the University of Nebraska Lincoln took to Twitter to persuade the world to persuade their instructor to cancel "Exam #2." Using the class hash tag, students were able to get hundreds of people to post thousands of messages asking the world to help get their final canceled. Among the tweeters and retweeters pitching in were UNL football players and comedian Larry the Cable Guy. A Lincoln Journal Star story from Sunday featured the class and its efforts.

A quick disclosure here: The class happens to be taught by my brother-in-law, Dr. Jordan Soliz, a Kansas University graduate and now an associate professor of communication studies at UNL.

The class, titled "Communication in the Digital Age," looks at the role social media plays in identity construction and social relationships. It included discussions about the influence of social media in political and social movements such as those in the Middle East collectively known as the Arab Spring. As part of the course requirements, Soliz had his students engaging in Twitter throughout the semester to get them more deeply involved in the course's material. Apparently inspired by Twitter's potential to cause change, they tried to wield it to get their final canceled.

Soliz declined to axe the exam.

A response video by Soliz on Youtube featured earnest-looking children holding signs imploring the students of Communication Studies 498 to take Exam 2. If you're looking for inspiration this Finals Week, or just need a short study break to be manipulated by sad-faced children, take a look.

And we here at Heard the Hill want to echo the children in saying: Please take Exam 2, and also send your KU news tips to bunglesbee@ljworld.com

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