By Nicole Gennarelli
Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest and Instagram are apps people access everyday on their smart phones or tablets without thinking about how it can benefit them and their careers. Social media has grown and will continue to grow, changing the way that people communicate day-to-day.
Social Media Strategies, an online course that allows students to engage in many hands-on and useful learning activities, was introduced to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in spring 2012.
This course, which will be offered again this summer, from May 13 to June 29, is intended to help students and faculty understand the impact social media can have on businesses, society and culture. The course curriculum shows students how social media can benefit their lives by incorporating research, literature and technology into assignments.
“JMC Public Relations Associate Professor Bill Sledzik started the process for this class, and we worked together to outline the course content. From there, I created the content and online lectures,” said Stefanie Moore, JMC assistant professor and instructor of Social Media Strategies. COMM Associate Professor Jeff Child, Ph.D., also assisted in the early planning stages of the course.
At the end of the course, students will develop a strategic social media plan for personal and professional use. This course is open to all majors across campus wanting to learn more skills or perfect their existing knowledge in social media.
“Students have sent me notes saying how much they enjoyed and valued the course,” Moore says. “One of my smaller successes is when students participate in an online discussion that isn’t even required because they enjoy talking about the topic. Social media and technology impact all of us, not just PR majors.”
The class occupancy started with less than 30 students the first semester it was offered and is now full at 50 students, with several students waiting for a seat. The course will be offered again this summer beginning May 13.
Elizabeth Holton, senior advertising major, says she is a social media addict in her personal and professional life. “I say that in the most positive way possible. My passion for media, marketing, and advertising made this course especially intriguing. After completion of Social Media Strategies, I was able to take my prior knowledge of viral marketing and improve it by generating creative, personable, and original online marketing approaches.”
Holton currently works for Undergraduate Student Government as the director of programming where she does a lot of online strategic marketing for upcoming concerts.
“One of the most beneficial things I learned to do was how to advertise via promotions on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,” she says. “These tools help me to promote my organization, concert and myself.”
Social Media Strategies takes everything you will learn in a communication, advertising, PR, and writing course and implements it into one online course that is practical for those students who want to work in the world of mass communications, says Holton.
“Personal branding is something that has been incorporated into a lot of my social media work,” Holton says. “I continue to use the skills I’ve gained in this course in my personal life, school work and job.”
Moore says in addition to the two major projects in the class, she looks for critical thinking and clear and effective writing in the online discussions.
“All students are looking for a job when they leave college,” Moore says. “It’s helpful for them to know how to network and market themselves to potential employers both online and offline.”
Summer registration is available online via Flashline. For more information about the course, email Moore at email@example.com.