Mexico City: Students from two groups of the B.A. program in Communication at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) participated in ‘the world Unplugged‘ experiment, led by Dr. Manuel Alejandro Guerrero Martínez, professor, head of the graduate program in communication, director of Revista Iberoamericana de Comunicación, chair of advanced studies on television audiences and media consumption at UIA, and a faculty member of the 2010 Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change in Salzburg, Austria.
Prior to starting the Unplugged exercise, Dr. Guerrero went over the parameters of the assignment with the students. According to Dr. Guerrero, students were mainly concerned with the length and depth of the writing portion of the assignment. After completion of the experiment, Dr. Guerrero noted that his students complained that the assignment was an “extremely difficult” exercise, in part because they felt “isolated.”
University background: Universidad Iberoamericana has a population of about 11,000 students. It is an urban university, primarily located in the Santa Fe district of Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. The students come from upper socio-economic backgrounds. They have access to campus computers in classrooms, dormitories and other campus areas. They commonly use online resources for coursework and socializing.
Students’ experience: Although the assignment was compulsory, only 45 out of the 50 students representing Universidad Iberoamericana participated in the experiment. Those 45 students who did participate conducted the experiment from October 4 to October 10, 2010. To quote Dr. Guerrero, “the study served as a general reflection on our modern communication patterns and the ways in which we are now establishing our connections with the ‘others’ in the world – even with our ‘significant others.’”