CMS 4610: Social Media

Isn't all media "social" media?

This course examines the history and practices of Social Media, through the study and use of popular platforms including FaceBook, YouTube, and Instagram. Links to other sections of this syllabus can be found in the header menu as well as the General Class Policies menu.

This syllabus is for the Spring 2024 semester, when it will be conducted 100% online. Check this syllabus frequently to make sure that you have the most current information.

Additional course materials are accessible to enrolled students through D2L.

Desire2Learn Training: Our online course uses the university’s course management system, Desire2Learn. To learn this system, I strongly encourage all students to use the training resources available through the Hub.

Required Reading

No textbook is required this semester. Instead, multiple articles from scholarly journals and news outlets will be linked from each week’s modules in D2L. (Note that many major newspapers and magazines (e.g. the New York Times) are available to students for free through Galileo.)

Required Viewing

  • TV Episode: “Nose Dive” (S3E1) of Black Mirror
    The episode is available for free on Netflix and also can be purchased through Amazon Prime for $2.
  • Film: Generation Like (Douglas Rushkoff, 2014)
    The full episode is available at Films on Demand and

Additional documentary and narrative films may be assigned and will be available for free streaming through Swank and Films on Demand. Links will be included in D2L.

Required Software, Hardware, and Technical Capabilities

In addition to Desire2Learn, the following software programs and capabilities are necessary for success in this online course. The Hub offers training resources to help students master these tools.

Webcam and Microphone

For quizzes and exams, you are required to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser, which includes video monitoring. If your laptop does not have a built-in webcam, you will need to invest in or borrow one to use with your university-mandated laptop computer. (Wikipedia has a useful entry on webcams.)

Also, you will create a video recording for a major assignment and upload this recording to YouTube. If your laptop, digital camera, or phone does not include these capabilities, you will need both a microphone and webcam to use with your laptop.

Lockdown Browser
You are required to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser for quizzes and exams. You will download and install this on your laptop from within D2L. Please complete this process by taking the Sample Quiz during the first week of class.
Web Browser: Firefox or Chrome or Safari
In this media-rich class, using one of these browsers is mandatory. The university’s Top 10 Tips for Success in online courses notes that Internet Explorer is not recommended for use with Desire2Learn.
Microsoft Teams
Students should download the Teams app to their computer, since the Web-based version doesn’t support screen- and video-sharing the Hub’s Knowledge Base article details the necessary steps.
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.

Contact Information

My contact information is collected on separate page.

Vulgarity and Profanity

A note of warning: We are all adults, and we are studying a culture that is often vulgar and profane. As a result, you may hear or see adult content in the materials assigned for our class. Nothing assigned by me or submitted by other students should exceed the MPAA rating of R. When engaging in class discussions, if you submit material that is Not Safe For Work (NSFW) or other venues and audiences, please note this in your subject line as a convenience to your classmates. Please also be aware that your contributions should conform to the class’s rules regarding Online Etiquette.

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;