CMS 3720: Social Media for Professionals

Clayton State University logoCMS 3720 is an elective in the Communication and Media Studies program at Clayton State University. Links to other sections of this syllabus can be found in the main navigation menu as well as the “General Policies & Resources” menu. Additional course materials, including a detailed schedule of the semester’s topics and due dates, are available to enrolled students through Desire2Learn. This syllabus is still being updated  for the Spring 2021 semester.

This hands-on course focuses on professional uses of social media platforms including FaceBook, YouTube, and Instagram.

Students will gain practical experience using these platforms as well as professional development tools like Canva and Adobe Photoshop. Assignments will result in a portfolio of work demonstrating skills in scheduling, image processing, writing, and video production.

The official course information is

  • Title: CMS 3720 New Media Design
  • CRN: 22378
  • Format: 100% online

No Required Textbook

No text will be required for the course. Instead, online materials will be assigned.

Required Software and Imaging Devices

Class projects will require Adobe Photoshop, which is installed on the computers in the VPA Design Lab, M144. Adobe also offers 30-day free trial versions of this and other programs. At one point during the semester, you may want to download these free versions to your laptop. Unfortunately, I cannot provide technical support for software running on computers outside the lab.

Students also must possess a device that can record video in a format readable by Adobe Premiere (e.g. MP4) as well as record images in a file format readable by Photoshop (e.g. JPG). Most smartphones fulfill these  requirements.

Required Online Platforms

You will be required to create user accounts and post work using Canva, Hootsuite, and other online media platforms. You must use your real name or an assigned pseudonym for these accounts. Your use of these services is either free.

Required Social Media Platforms

Class projects will require you to create or maintain user accounts on three social media platforms, to associate your real name with these accounts, and to make content on these accounts visible to the public. Maintaining public accounts and posting your work on the following social media platforms is a course requirement:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

In some cases, you may request and I will assign a pseudonym that you can use if you wish to keep your identity private. However, you should be aware that using pseudonyms violates the terms of service for some platforms. In addition, students who created pseudonymous accounts in past semesters were locked out of them and could not complete their projects. Be aware that projects must be submitted in the required format and appear on the required platform to earn full points.

Further details on our class’s social media requirements:

You will not be required to divulge your password for any of these accounts.
Facebook Friends
You will not be required to accept friend requests for your primary Facebook account. However, you will be required to create a separate Facebook Page and to make this page public. You also will be required to join and post to our class’s Facebook group.
Following and Followers
You will be required to follow other users and to accept follower  requests that are related to our class.

Required Content Permissions

The work you produce for class projects may be posted to the VPA department’s social media channels. You may request that the department include attribution with the content (e.g. “© 2019, Jane Student”), or you may remain anonymous.

Other Requirements

Lab Time

Course requirements include substantial work using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Canva, Hootsuite, etc. If you do not have or cannot run these programs on your personal laptop, your schedule must allow you to spend time in the Design Lab during available hours.

The lab schedule posted outside the door lists times that the lab is available for your homework.

In addition, you will need the following.

Desire2Learn (D2L)
Also known as Georgia View and Brightspace, this is the university’s mandated courseware tool.
Modern Web Browser, e.g. Safari, Firefox or Chrome
In this media-rich class, using an up-to-date browser is mandatory.
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader)
Students must be able to read PDF files.
Media Player: VLC or equivalent
Students must be able to play mp3 and mp4 files. Many software tools will enable this, including VLC, which is available for free download.
Microsoft Word word processing
Students must be able to compose and read documents saved in the Microsoft Word “docx” format.
Clayton State email
Students must access their CSU email accounts on a regular basis. They must be able to use these accounts to attach and retrieve attached files. They must use only their CSU accounts (not, e.g. a gmail account) to communicate academic information to instructors.

Contact Information

My contact information including office hours is collected on separate page.

Diversity and Disability Services

It is my intent that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity along multiple dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

Students with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center, Edgewater Hall, Suite 255; 678-466-5445;