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About the course
In the last decade, Social Media has become a powerful, central tool for the dissemination and discussion of news, engagement and coordination of stakeholders, and rapid deployment of communications campaigns. It also presents new challenges to the effective and accurate dissemination of knowledge. This class will dig deep into the fundamentals of using social media for environmental communications, a critical assessment of the available tools, and how to design effective communications campaigns and assess their results.
This course is six weeks in length and is taught in an entirely online, distance learning format, with both asynchronous (discussion boards, peer review, readings, and written assignments) and synchronous portions (One-hour web conferences once per week). No campus visits are required.
A different theme within the topic of social media will be addressed each week:
Week 1: Introduction to Social Media
Week 2: Demography of Networks and Network Theory
Week 3: Building an Audience and Growing a Brand
Week 4: Designing and Implementing a Communications Campaign
Week 5: Big Listening and Advanced Metrics
Week 6: Crisis Management and Critical Response
Week 7: Student Presentations
This course will require 40 hours over the 6-week class period. Time will include, but is not limited to:
- Each week class will meet for a web conference session where students and instructor will address the week’s theme and materials.
- Please note: Meeting times will depend on registrant availability, which will be elicited via email to registrants.
- Discussion via online conferencing tools. Participation will be encouraged through the posing of various questions based on readings, previous discussion, and future directions of the class. In addition to exploring general course topics, web discussion tools will also allow students to work through issues related to their campaign – exploring opportunities and selecting the correct strategies with help from others in the class and instructor’s guidance.
- Reading of assigned materials.
- Students will become competent in the basic features and functions of popular social media tools.
- Students will understand the advantages and limitations of these tools and be able to choose the most appropriate ones for their programs.
- Students will become comfortable communicating through various social media tools, incorporating these tools into a larger communication plan, and assessing their effectiveness.
- Creation of, and response to, final project actually designing a social media campaign.
Please note: While specific components of outlined class structure may change, it will be expected that students commit to 40 hours over the 6-week class period.
Class Participation One of the most critical elements of this class will be your personal contribution to the course through consistent postings to the course webpage, as well as participation during weekly web conferences. You will receive specific instructions for this requirement before the course commences.
Social Media Campaign: Participants will develop and implement a specific campaign using two or more social media tools at least one of which must be new to them. Assignment details will be given at the beginning of the class.
We understand that participants have different comfort levels with online learning coming into this course. We are happy to answer any questions you have about online learning in general and our online learning software.
Course participants need to arrange to have reliable, high-speed internet access through their local internet service provider (ISP). We encourage participants to arrange for broadband access to the internet. Dial-up or slow connections will not work as effectively for this course. We cannot provide support for your network connection, nor can we help you with any home networking equipment such as firewalls, routers, or switches. For any of those issues, you will want to contact your ISP directly.
Distance Learning Software
The course will be facilitated using WebEx and a private course webpage. The Nicholas Executive Education Program will be available during the course to assist you with any course issues. Contact information will be provided with your pre-course packet. The distance learning software will be available to you at no additional charge (except for the WebCam and USB head-set for web conference participation).
Trust the experts
Andrew David Thaler
Dr. Thaler is a deep-sea ecologist and conservation technologist whose research revolves around how humans use technology to connect with the ocean. He is more narrowly focused on understanding the impacts of deep-sea mining on biodiversity and connectivity at hydrothermal vents, building anticip...
I have a passion for figuring out how knowledge is created and how different forms of knowledge production might bring innovation to persistent environmental issues. My motivations behind this line of research are a commitment to optimism and a search for solutions. My work thus far focuses on co...