Thursday, May 28, 2009

Does Your College Offer a Social Networking Course?

Starting next Fall, Santa Barbara City College will begin offering just such a course. While any of our students probably know more about social networking than our faculty, it's probably time to develop a course in social media and networking. Unfortunately, as a discipline, social media/networking is not fully-formed and still a moving target. How do you create a credit course focused on such a rapidly-changing subject - especially given the glacial rate of change in academia? Reading about this course, it seems that the goals of the course are not well-defined, including to "to learn and have fun," and the content is described as new, innovative and
. As with any course,  I think it's important to define a clear outcome - what are we hoping to accomplish with social media? Do we hope to build a brand? Get a job? Build a learning network? Market ourselves? All of the above?

My take - create a very amorphous course, which is redefined each time it's taught through student-to-student and faculty-to-student and even web-to-student interactions. I think the outcome is also a personal outcome for each student, that evolves as the course progresses. Some students will be interested in marketing, some in building a business brand, and others in outcomes we haven't even thought of.

Social networking class offered in fall
beginning in Fall 2009, City College will be offering an online class to hone your social networking skills with "Social Media and Social Networking," taught by Library Director Kenley Neufeld. Steven W. DaVega, director of the School of Media Arts Mobile Media Institute, implemented the course.

"It's a chance to explore some new technologies and help develop the future," Neufeld said.

The class will integrate different social networking Web sites that apply not only to self-promotion, but also to media, business and marketing.

"It's really the most relevant thing you can do," DaVega said. He added that teaching a networking class in a multimedia program is new for colleges. DaVega said that while other colleges have offered a social networking class in library sciences or applied communication, this class will focus on applied media.

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