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JM4022  Introduction  to  Social  Media   Class  hashtag:  #jm4022   Module  Coordinator:  Tom  Felle   e:  tom.felle@ul.e  |  Office:  BM029,  main  building  |  Office  hours  Monday  11am-­‐2pm   Other  lecturers  teaching  on  this  module:  Anthony  Quinn  (anthony.quinn@ul.ie)   Tutors:  Sharon  le  Gear  (sharon.legear@ul.ie)  and  Leo  Stiles   ECTS  Credits:  6  |  Grading  system  G1  (A1  =  75;  C3  =  40)   ___________________________________     Plagiarism   Incidents   of   plagiarism,   misrepresentation   of   sources   or   cheating   in   assessments   will   be   awarded  zero  marks  and  can  lead  to  the  award  of  an  F  for  the  whole  module.  SO  DON’T   DO  IT!!!  See  the  University  Code  of  Conduct  for  further  details.       Rationale  and  Purpose  Of  The  Module:     This  module  aims  to  equip  students  with  the  web  -­‐based  research,  organisational  and  value   judgement  skills  necessary  to  examine  and  understand  critically  the  power  of  social  media  in   a   globalised   world.   It   aims   to   enable   students   to   become   better   critical   thinkers   and   researchers  by  giving  them  the  skills  to  understand  social  media,  to  question  its  relevance,   its  accuracy  and  its  legitimacy;  and  to  construct  news  in  a  social  media  format.  It  will  equip   students  with  communication  skills  that  are  appropriate  to  a  first  -­‐year  level  and  which  will   enable  them  to  participate  effectively  in  their  university  degree.       Syllabus:     This   module   is   a   foundation   for   new   university   students   that   will   introduce   them   to   thinking   critically  about  social  media.  Taught  elements  will  include  concepts  drawn  from  theoretical   communications,   social   and   media   studies,   as   well   as   practical   approaches   including   hierarchical   news   writing   and   information   construction.   The   module   will   examine   the   changing   nature   of   how   news   is   disseminated   through   social   media   and   investigate   citizen   engagement  with  news.  It  will  give  a  practical  introduction  to  the  use  of  social  media  for  the   purposes   of   information   gathering,   as   a   source   for   news   and   as   a   potential   agent   of   democratisation   of   media   and   society.   Practical   cases   will   be   understood   through   recent   1    


theoretical  perspectives  on  human  collaboration  and  communication.  The  changing  dynamic   of   news   from   the   traditional   (linear)   model   to   the   new   media   (circular)   model   will   be   explored.   The   course   has   a   strong   focus   on   both   the   use   of   social   media   for   practical   exercises  and  on  evidence  -­‐based  critical  thinking.       Learning   Outcomes:   Cognitive   (Knowledge,   Understanding,   Application,   Analysis,   Evaluation,  Synthesis)     •

Demonstrate   an   understanding   of   the   advantages   and   disadvantages   associated   with   social  media    

Explain  features  of  social  networks  as  an  emergent  consequence  of  adaptation  to  the   capabilities  of  social  technologies    

Describe   and   classify   the   kinds   of   technologies   that   have   been   developed   to   make   social  media  possible.    

    Affective  (Attitudes  and  Values)     •

Evaluate   the   news   values   of   information   placed   on   YouTube,   Wikipedia,   Twitter,   Facebook  and  other  social  media.    

Appreciate   the   difference   between   rumour;   unverified   reporting,   and   verified   news   in  global  contemporary  news  flow.    

Use  the  inverted  pyramid  to  report  a  news  story  in  traditional  form.  Use  social  media   to  follow  an  event  in  non  -­‐linear  manner.    

  Prime  Text   Holmes,  Tim  et  al  (2013)  21st  Century  Journalism  Handbook.  London:  Pearson    -­‐  available  in  the  library  as  an  e-­‐book   Newspaper  articles  and  other  media  as  mentioned  in  weekly  plans     A  book  you  should  read   Ryfe,  David  M  (2012)  Can  Journalism  Survive?  An  Inside  Look  at  American  Newsrooms.  Polity   Press.     Important  Texts:     2    


Bull,  Andy  (2010)  Multimedia  Journalism  ,  London:  Sage     Biagi,  Shirley  (2011)  Media  Impact  ,  London:  Wadsworth     Couldry   Nick   and   Curran,   James   (eds)   Contesting   Media   Power:   Alternative   Media   in   a   Networked  World,  Lanham,  MD:  Rowman  &  Littlefield   Manovich,  Lev  (2002)  The  Language  of  New  Media.  Cambridge  ,  Massachusetts:  MIT  Press     Wardrip   -­‐Fruin,   Noah   and   Montfort,   Nick   (2003)   The   New   Media   Reader,   Cambridge,   Massachusetts:  MIT  Press       Other  Relevant  Texts:     Hicks,  Wynford  (1998)  English  for  Journalists  ,  London:  Routledge     McKane,  Anna  (2006)  News  Writing  ,  London:  Sage     Plotnik,   Arthur   (2007)   Spunk   and   Bite:   A   Writers   Guide   to   Bold,   Contemporary   Style   ,   New   York:  Random  House.   Truss,   Lynne   (2003)   Eats,   Shoots   &   Leaves:   The   Zero   Tolerance   Approach   to   Punctuation.   ,   London:  Profile  Books     Chomsky,   Noam   and   Herman,   Edward   ()   Manufacturing   Consent:   The   Political   Economy   of   the  Mass  Media  ,  New  York:  Pantheon  Books.     O  Reilly,  Tim  and  Milstein,  S.  (2009)  The  Twitter  Book,  Sebastopol,  CA:  O’Reilly  Media       Class  content  and  structure   Lectures   will   take   place   weekly.   Labs   will   take   place   in   computer   rooms   and   attendance   is   required,  and  will  begin  in  week  two.  Tutorials  will  be  discussion  lead  and  will  also  begin  in   week  two.  Attendance  is  required.  Full  details  of  lecture  /  lab  content  is  detailed  below.       Re-­‐sits   Please   refer   to   School   of   Languages,   Literature,   Cultural   and   Communication   policy   for   information  on  re-­‐sits.               3    


Assessment   Part  1:  45  per  cent   Working  in  groups  of  up  to  four  (choose  your  own  groups  but  group  must  be  from  your  lab   class   and   should   contain   at   least   one   student   from   different   programme/and/or   Erasmus/Study  Abroad  person)  conduct  the  following  social  media  project:   1.  Follow   a   hashtag   using   Tweetdeck   on   a   current   issue   for   a   one-­‐day   period.   Use   sound  editorial  judgement  to  pick  an  issue  that  will  lend  itself  to  being  followed.     a.   Analyse   what   news   has   been   shared   (under   appropriate   headings)   and   distinguish  from  fact  and  unverified  comment  /  statements.     b.  List  all  media  shared  and  analyse  the  veracity  of  the  shared  media.     c.  Analyse  the  intensity  of  sharing  (ie  what  is  being  shared;     i.  what  is  being  shared?   ii.  when  is  it  most  likely  to  be  shared;  and  by  whom?     iii.   whom   are   the   likely   leaders   (posters);   and   whom   are   the   likely   followers  (re-­‐tweeters)?     iv.  why  in  information  being  shared?   d. Analyse,  with  reference  to  findings,  the  results.  Include  screen  grabs  and   other   evidence   to   support   your   conclusions,   ensuring   you   contextualise   the  work  in  a  broader  theoretical  framework  (20).     2.  Begin  a  Twitter  list  using  twitter  accounts,  adding  appropriate  accounts  to  monitor   posts  on  a  current  issue  (use  editorial  judgement  to  define  the  issue)  for  a  period  of   seven  days.     a.  Defend  the  addition  of  all  members  of  the  list.   b.  Verify  beyond  all  reasonable  doubt  one  Twitter  user  on  that  list  who  is  an   active  and  regular  tweeter.     c.   Analyse   what   news   has   been   shared   (under   appropriate   headings)   and   distinguish  from  fact  and  unverified  comment  /  statements.     d.  List  all  media  shared  and  analyse  the  veracity  of  the  shared  media.     e.  Analyse,  with  reference  to  findings,  the  results.     f.   Include   screen   grabs   and   other   evidence   to   support   your   conclusions   and   contextualise  the  work  in  a  broader  theoretical  framework  (20  marks).     4    


3.  If  a  YouTube  video  has  been  shared  as  part  of  your  hashtag  follow  (or  list  follow)   take  appropriate  steps  to  verify  the  video.  If  not,  choose  an  appropriate  video  and     a.  verify  it.     b.  Outline  the  steps  you  took  in  the  verification  process,     c.  the  degree  of  certainty  this  affords;     d.   and   what   further   steps   (if   any)   would   need   to   be   taken   to   verify   the   content.  (5  marks).   Combine  your  work  (including  screenshots)  into  an  appropriate  narrative.  While  there  is  no   word  count,  as  a  guide  2,000  words  to  3,000  words  is  adequate.  Submit  in  hard  copy  to  Tom   Felle  in  Lab  classes  during  week  6.  The  deadline  is  Thurs/Friday  week  6  (depending  on  which   lab   class   you   are   in).   Feedback   will   be   provided   via   SULIS   and   small   group   meetings   if   required.     Part  2:  45  per  cent     Work   in   groups   of   four   (choose   your   own   groups   but   group   must   be   from   your   lab   class   and   should   contain   at   least   one   student   from   different   programme/and/or   Erasmus/Study   Abroad  person)  conduct  the  following  social  media  project:   1.   Using   social   media   tools,   design   and   put   online   a   website   (wordpress   or   similar)   that   incorporates   (but   not   limited   to):   YouTube   clips;   SoundCloud   clips;   WordCloud   clips;   Tumbler;  Social  media  sharing;  Twitter  feed  –  and  other  media  as  appropriate.     2.  Reflect  on  what  you  have  learned  in  this  module  (individual;  400  words)   Depending  on  which  lab  class  you  are  in,  the  deadline  is  Thurs/Friday  week  12  (April  25/26).         Part  3:  Tutorial  assessment  (10  per  cent)   Working   in   small   groups   (3-­‐4,   chose   your   own   groups   within   your   tutorial   class)   prepare   a   presentation  on  a  topic  of  your  choice  relevant  to  social  media.  The  presentation  should  be   made   using   Powerpoint   and   all   member   of   the   group   should   prepare   part   of   the   presentation,  and  must  be  in  class  to  present  on  it.  Marking  as  follows:   •

Evidence  of  original  research/depth  of  analysis  -­‐  3  

Clarity  of  points/question  answered    -­‐  3  

Communication  and  presentation  skills  -­‐  2  

Insight  and  creativity  in  relation  to  chosen  topic  -­‐  2   5    


Submit  your  Powerpoint  slides  to  the  tutor  on  the  date  of  tutorial  in  hard  copy.  Students  will   be  graded  based  on  grading  criteria  and  receive  feedback  via  SULIS.  Worth  10  per  cent.     Note  re  assessments:  Submission  must  be  made  on  the  due  date  otherwise  penalties  will   apply.  A  3  per  cent  per  day  penalty  applies  for  late  submission.  

  Class  lectures   Week  1  Lecture:    

Introduction  to  Social  Media  

Reading:  

See   ‘Week   One’   folder   of   PDFs   for   other   suggested   readings.   Watch   TED  talk  by  Markham  Nolan  (link  in  SULIS  folder)  

  Week  2  Lecture:    

The  Changing  Media  Landscape  (journalism  and  social  media)  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Two’  resources  folder  for  suggested  readings  

Listening:  

 

‘Digital  of  Deadwood’  podcast  (link  in  ‘Week  One’  resources  folder)  

Lab:  

Facebook;  Internet  basic,  intermediate  and  advanced  searching  (text,   files  and  images).  See  lab  handout  in  SULIS  resources  

Tutorial:    

 

Discussion  of  reading.  Please  come  prepared.  

  Week  3  Lecture:    

Social  Networks  and  Communication   (Note:  This  lecture  will  be  delivered  via  electronic  means.)  

Reading:    

 

See  ‘Week  Three’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:      

 

Twitter  and  Tweetdeck  –  basic  functions  

Tutorial:  

 

Discussion  of  reading.  Please  come  prepared.  

  Week  4  lecture:  

Privacy  and  Social  Media  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Four’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:      

 

Twitter  and  Tweetdeck  -­‐  Lists;  hashtags  advanced  search  using  twitter  

Tutorial:  

 

Discussion  of  reading.  Please  come  prepared.  

  Week  5  Lecture:    

Citizen  Journalism  and  UGC  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Five’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:  

 

Media  (photo  and  video)  verification;  Youtube  

 

Discussion  of  reading.  Please  come  prepared.  

 

Tutorial:  

6    


Week  6  Lecture    

Social  Media  and  Democracy  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Six’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:  

 

Social  media  tools  –  Soundcloud  and  Documentcloud  

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

ASSESSMENT  1  DUE  Thurs/Friday  Week  6  –  (March  7/8)     Week  7  Lecture:  

Philosophy  of  technology  1  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Seven’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:  

 

Social  media  tools  –  Soundcloud  and  Documentcloud  

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

Week  8  Lecture:  

Philosophy  of  technology  2  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Eight’  resources  folder    

Lab:  

 

Social  media  tools  –  content  management  systems  

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

Week  9  Lecture:  

Ownership,  control  and  social  media  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Nine'  resources  folder    

Lab:  

 

Social  media  tools  –  content  management  systems  

 

Discussion  of  reading    

 

Tutorial:  

 

  Week  10  Lecture:  

Geolocation  and  social  media    

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Ten’  resources  folder    

Lab:  

 

Social  media  tools  –    going  geographical  

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

 

Week  11  Lecture:  

Visualising  social  data  and  coding  using  HTML  and  Ruby    

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Eleven’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:  

 

HTML  

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

7    


Week  12  Lecture:  

Conclusions  

Reading:  

 

See  ‘Week  Twelve’  resources  folder  for  other  suggested  readings  

Lab:  

 

Website  management      

 

Discussion  of  reading  

 

Tutorial:    

ASSESSMENT  2  DUE  6pm  Friday  Week  12  –  (April  25/26)   Note:   3   per   cent   per   day   penalty   applies   for   late   submission.   Submission   must   be   into   box   in  Millstream  building  by  5pm  on  date  due.      

8    


Introduction to Social Media