Required Work

[Updated Jan. 5, 2017]


Quizzes 30 percent
Assignments and presentations 50 percent
Social media journal 10 percent
Attendance and participation 10 percent
TOTAL 100 percent

Use of social media apps

Throughout this course, you will be using social media platforms and apps. You will be required to post on an account using your real name. If you are not willing or able to do this, then please drop this course.


There will be weekly quizzes on the assigned reading. Quizzes are in Canvas and are open-book (they cover all assigned readings for the week). On the Course Schedule page on the course website, the readings covered on that week’s quiz are listed under the same week as the quiz. Quiz deadlines will be Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. so that you are prepared for class on Thursday.

The formula: Your total quiz points / Total possible quiz points * 30 = 30 percent of your course grade

Assignments and presentations

You will need a smartphone, with data/Internet access, to complete some assignments for this course. If you do not own a smartphone, you will need to make your own arrangements to borrow one.

Assignments are listed and LINKED on the Course Schedule page on the course website. Exact deadlines: In Canvas. Most deadlines will be Friday at 11:59 p.m.

Presentations will involve a 10-minute demonstration in class, showing how news organizations are using an app/social media tool from a list to be provided by the instructor. Each student should expect to give one presentation during the semester.

The formula: Your total assignment points / Total possible assignment points * 50 = 50 percent of your course grade

Each assignment will be fully explained in a post made to this website a week before the deadline.

Assignments (subject to change):

  1. Personal social media inventory
  2. Twitter sources
  3. Facebook: Analysis of a media account
  4. Instagram/Snapchat assignment
  5. Curation/aggregation assignment
  6. Interview with a social media manager, engagement editor, or similar
  7. Live video assignment
  8. Social graphic assignment
  9. Live-tweeting assignment

One of your presentations will show how news organizations are using an app/social media tool from this list:

  • Google+/Hangouts
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Periscope
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat
  • Storify
  • Tumblr
  • Vine
  • What’s App
  • Yik Yak

Each student will be responsible for one app/social media tool on the list.

We will also look at:

  • Adobe Spark Post
  • Canva
  • WordSwag

Social media journal

The journal will be on an individual Tumblr blog that you will create just for this purpose. All students are strongly encouraged to follow, read, and like/comment on other students’ Tumblr posts. Tumblr will be used because you can add Google Analytics without an extra charge.

Rationale for this journal: You should have something to show at the end of the course that can help you secure a media job. A thoughtfully written and curated journal with well crafted posts would make you stand out among all the other job applicants who claim to “know social media.” Thus this journal is not for your instructor, and it is not a busy-work class assignment. A passing grade for the week indicates that you made posts that reflect well on your intelligence and critical thinking abilities.

Audience: Your future employer is the person for whom you are writing and crafting your weekly posts. This person wants to see that you are careful, thoughtful, detail oriented. This person will not be impressed if you ramble on endlessly or simply parrot quotes from the assigned reading. This person will be interested in your opinions, but not in fake expressions of over-enthusiasm. Typos, incorrect grammar or broken links will cause an extreme negative reaction — more than you might expect (you won’t get the job).

Because of your audience, if you refer to an assigned reading, you will need to cite it and link it accurately. Your future employer will not understand a phrase like “the article from The Atlantic.” Which article?

All graphics and images MUST BE ACCURATELY CREDITED AND LINKED. Screenshots are always acceptable, but use of copyrighted photos and illustrations IS NOT LEGAL unless you have explicit permission from the copyright owner. A resource with details will be provided. No more than one violation in the semester will be excused. Posts that violate copyright will result in a fail for the week.

Your audience does not seek to be amused or entertained, although of course you should strive to be interesting and not boring. Do not state the obvious (e.g. “social media is so important today”).

Highlights from your journal might be posted (with links) on this course website or shared in your instructor’s social media (with links). Your journal is public, not private.

Grading: Each week, you will make one or more posts in your Tumblr journal. The number of posts is up to you (Tumblr is well suited to multiple short posts). Each week is pass/fail. After 10 fails, you would have 0 for this portion of your grade. Posts are due Friday at 11:59 p.m. If you miss the deadline, that’s a fail. The total is 10 percent of your course grade.

Class attendance and participation

Points will be subtracted if you miss more than one (1) class meeting, are chronically late, or repeatedly show inattention. Participation in discussions is expected. At times, you will be working on assigned projects during class. Absences due to illness, serious family emergencies, special curricular requirements, etc., will be handled in accordance with UF policies.


There are no exams in this course.