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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - MMC6XXX

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Current Status: -
Campus: St Petersburg
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    5426 2016-03-22
    Department College Budget Account Number
    Journalism and Media Studies AP
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Casey Peterson 7277424013

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    MMC 6XXX Social Media

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? Y
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable? N
    If repeatable, how many times? 0

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    3 C - Class Lecture (Primarily) R - Regular
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Social Media
    Course Online? Percentage Online
    O - Online (100% online) 100



    Course Description

    Covers what social media are, who uses them, who gains from them, and how they are transforming our personal, social, cultural, political, economic worlds as well as our media.

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    Replacing Selected Topics with Permanent number; already listed in program

    B. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service?

    This course flirts with its accreditation-required 20 student cap when it is offered each fall. Serves students in the Digital Journalism and Design online M.A. program as well as those in the Food Writing and Photography graduate certificate program.

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?

    Yes, 3 or more times

    D. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.)

    Ph.D. or 15+ years' professional experience in the field of social media

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    Students learn to produce and publish professional, ethical, quality social media content, with respect for own personal privacy and others’. They learn to engage with other professionals; engage with news consumers and followers to perform routine journalistic tasks such as finding story ideas and sources, and fact-checking.

    B. Learning Outcomes

    1) Understand the history, evolution, and current practices of social media in journalism and communication-related professions

    2) Understand consumers’ behaviors, motivations, and gratifications in using social sites; understand how social sites change and drive news and media consumption

    3) Learn about social media branding strategies, techniques, and tools

    4) Learn strategies and tools for growing followers, networking, and engaging with consumers and peers through social media

    6) Learn best guidelines and good practices of writing for social media, including using SM for live reporting, live curating, breaking, news,

    7) Learn how to uphold social media content to traditional journalistic and communication norms and ethics, such as fact-checking, verification, accuracy, objectivity, ethics, etc.

    8) Study top social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.), understand the strengths and specific functions of each site, and the specifics of their audiences

    9) Learn to use social media tools and metrics to analyze account performance, and improve account performance based on these analytics

    10) Understand the ethical and legal complexities, including privacy concerns, posed to journalism and communication professionals while using social media

    11) Understand revenue and monetization potential for SM accounts

    12) Study specialized uses of SM, such as for political campaigning and covering/reporting politics, sports reporting, advocacy and public opinion change, etc.

    C. Major Topics

    • Latest reports and statistics on the users and uses of the major social networks

    • Examples and case studies of social media in journalism and newsrooms, as well as social media marketing

    • Analysis of major social networks in the U.S. such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, as well as social networks commonly used for journalism, marketing and other professional communication

    D. Textbooks

    No textbook. All readings free.

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    A documentary called The Thread is part of required class materials. The documentary is available on iTunes for $9.99 or on Vimeo, $3.99 for 24-hour period streaming or $6.99 to stream and download at any time.

    F. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy

    15 discussion assignments, 69%

    11 social media assignments, 31%

    G. Assignments, Exams and Tests

    15 discussion assignments on Canvas discussion threads.

    10 Weekly assignments

    1 Final project

    H. Attendance Policy

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

    I. Policy on Make-up Work

    Late work is accepted within 5 days of the original assignment deadline but will be penalized 10% of the assignment value for every 24-hour period after the deadline. Late submissions 5 days after the initial assignment deadline will not be accepted and will not be graded for credit.

    Late assignments due during the final week of the semester won’t be accepted at all due to time constraints for grading and submitting final grades to USF Registrar. In other words, late submissions are accepted only for assignments due weeks 1 to 5 of this course.

    Late posts are accepted for up to 5 days from the original deadline. However, if you post late, you will only receive half of the credit/points for the post, and no credit for replying to your colleagues (even if you reply). This higher penalty for missing discussion deadlines comes from one of the requirements of social media: you must be timely. No one is interested in yesterday’s conversation. If you join a discussion after people moved on the next subject, you look slow and outdated.

    This class observes and will enforce the USFSP policy on Academic Integrity

    The followings are the most common violations of Academic Integrity:

    • Cheating is using or attempting to use materials, information, notes, study aids, or other assistance in any type of examination or evaluation which have not been authorized by the instructor.

    • Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has wholly or in part been created by another person. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgment of sources. Students must consult with their instructors for clarification in any situation in which the need for documentation is an issue, and will have plagiarized in any situation in which their work is not properly documented. Check out the USFSP Library section on Avoiding Plagiarism & Accidental Plagiarism (includes tutorials on how to cite sources and when to cite)

    • Multiple submissions are the submissions of the same or substantially the same work for credit in two or more courses. Multiple submissions shall include the use of any prior academic effort previously submitted for academic credit at this or a different institution. Multiple submissions shall not include those situations where the prior written approval by the instructor in the current course is given to the student to use a prior academic work or endeavor.

    Other violations include misuse of intellectual property, computer misuse, fabrication, forgery and obstruction. To read about each one, visit this page integrity-of-students.htm

    Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty will depend on the seriousness of the offense and will range from an F or zero on the assignment to an F or FF in the course. Offenses to the code of Academic Integrity will also be reported to the USFSP Journalism Department chair.

    J. Program This Course Supports

    Digital Journalism and Design M.A., USFSP

  5. Course Concurrence Information

    Digital Journalism and Design M.A. Program

    Journalism and Media Studies M.A. Program

    Food Writing and Photography Graduate Certificate Program

    Master of Liberal Arts M.A. Program

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or