Course Syllabus

Course Description

Note: Please read this carefully.  I will be happy to help you find another course if this one is not for you.  I try to be as upfront and honest about what you are in for this semester.

Fair warning, this course will be different....

  • We will use social media and digital technologies as an integral part of the learning process
  • We will look both at what businesses are doing with social media and digital tools, as well as how social media is reshaping identity and society (as solving these problems are often the next great business idea).
  • We do not assume that social media use is always a good thing.

It will take a few weeks to figure out what is going on.

  •  There are many different moving parts in this class that you WILL be lost for the first few weeks.  
  • It takes until about week 3 or 4 until we get into a groove and figure things out.  
  •  I am tolerant of mistakes (e.g. late deadlines) the first few weeks, as long as you are earnestly working to figure things out.  

 It will be HIGHLY interactive.

  • Social media enables groups to organize differently, and we will embrace those characteristics.  "Group action just got easier."
  • You should expect this class to be HIGHLY INTERACTIVE, both be learning about social media and learning with social media.
  • The professor will not be lecturing as much as modeling and cultivating the educational environment.
  • If you do not like such highly interactive classes, you might want to reconsider whether this class is for you. 

The workload will be heavy, but steady. Keep up!

  • The workload for this course will be heavy but distributed throughout the semester (i.e. not "peaking" around tests or projects).
  • Work can be performed whether or not you are able to come to class (i.e. blog and Twitter posts), and you are expected to keep up with all class assignments regardless of class attendance.
  • Instead of a final exam, you are expected to complete weekly feedback reports on your peers.  If you would like NOT to fill out weekly surveys, talk to Prof Kane and he will be happy to give you an exam instead.

Use the flexibility of the course to your advantage

  • The assignments in this course (e.g. blog, individual project, assignment) MUST be related to social media and digital tools, but otherwise they are very open ended in terms of topic.  
  • Use this flexibility to tailor the course to your interests or career goals.  For instance, one student who wanted a job in sports focused her projects on social media in hockey, landing a position with the NY Rangers after graduation, another focused on consumer products and ended up at P&G.

Expect to learn from (and teach) your peers.

  • Consistent with the spirit of social media, we are "crowdsourcing" this class.  Be prepared to learn from and teach your peers.  
  • The vast majority of your grade will not be derived as much from your performance on tests/papers, as it will be from how much you contribute to the learning environment of the class (both during and outside formal class time). 
  • That contribution will be evaluated by both the professor and your colleagues in the course.
  • The professor "job" is to will ensure fairness in the process (i.e. people will not be permitted to grade their colleagues significantly up or down without defensible reason) and ensure that the standards are sufficiently rigorous for the high standards of Boston College and its students (i.e. students will not be allowed to "game" the system by trading votes).
  • Your open and honest participation in this process is both expected and required as a part of your commitment to academic integrity (Links to an external site.). Attempts to circumvent these processes for personal advantage will be treated as academic dishonesty as much as cheating on a test or plagiarism 

Be prepared to "do it yourself."

  • This is an "advanced" class in that you are expected to have some functional knowledge of social media use and are willing to learn by doing.
  • This class is NOT a step-by-step tutorial about how to use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. There will not be alot of "hand holding" by the professor to make sure that everyone is doing it "right." 
  • You are expected to ask for support from your classmates and offer your support to others when needed. Although some classmates will naturally be more skilled users than others, you are expected not to abuse your classmates as a resource (i.e. don't ask questions before trying to figure it out on your own). 

Civility is expected in class and online.

  • All online interactions for class deliverables are considered part of "class time."
  • As such, you are expected to engage in civil and respectful behavior in all course-related interactions, in class or not.
  • If you are already heavy users of these tools (e.g. Twitter, blogs) you may consider setting up separate accounts to use for class-related exchanges if you are concerned about intentionally or unintentionally violating these guidelines.

The class will evolve, feedback is encouraged.

  • My experience is that each class develops its own personality, and I intend to support the unique contributions and developments this semester.
  • As such, policies, procedures, and deliverables may need to be modified along the way to ensure the most conducive learning experience.
  • Your feedback regarding how these processes can be improved is welcomed and encouraged

Portions of this course are - by definition - public.

  • If you are uncomfortable with these public nature of these assignments, alternative work can be assigned, but this route is discouraged in any but extreme situations and must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.  

This class is NOT an Easy A

  • I have very high standards for excellence in this course, and I do not apologize for those standards.
  • It is a joint MBA-undergrad class and I apply MBA grading standards.

If you are uncomfortable with these aspects of the course, you may want to reconsider...

  • This class is not for everyone.  I want to change the way you experience and think about social and digital tools.
  • It's great for those who want to learn and experience what is possible using digital and social media.  
  • BC offers many great traditional classes, but only one like this.  

Deliverables Summary

I expect students in this class to do the following this semester:

  1. Come prepared to and actively participate in class each week.

  2. Prepare insightful, original blogposts that use your unique experience and interests to enhance our knowledge as a class and critically engage your peers' posts through commenting on them.

  3. Actively engage people, companies, and content on Twitter about current events in social media and digital business.

  4. Teach the class once this semester (for 5 minutes) to provide deeper insight on some aspect of social/ digital business that we won’t otherwise cover.

  5. Provide regular feedback on your peers and to the professor about your experience in the class.

Specifically, this means: 

Every other week, you should:

1) Complete your blog by the assigned day

Every week, you should:

2) Complete all of the assigned readings (and videos).  

3) Comment on 3 blogs by your classmates

4) Make 4 Tweets to the #IS6621 hashtag, one of which should contain the #D tag for discussion in class.

5) Complete your weekly survey 

Once this semester, you should:

6) Prepare, practice, and deliver an interesting, creative, and insightful presentation on something that interests you related to social / digital business that we aren't scheduled to cover in class.

Course Summary:

Date Details