CS 57.11 Syllabus
Introduction to Social Media

About this Syllabus

This syllabus lays out the guidelines and rules for the class. You are held responsible for reading and following it.

About this Course

Welcome to CS 57.11 - Introduction to Social Media

This course provides students with an introduction to the history, theory, technology, and uses of social media. Social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc.) are technologies that enable individuals to create, collaborate, and share messages with audiences of all sizes. Students will explore the possibilities and limitations of social media and will have hands-on experience with several forms of social media technology. Those who complete this course will know how to use social media productively, and have a framework for understanding and evaluating new tools and platforms.

In this course you will be required to participate in social networks, forums, blogs, wikis, microblogs, and more. Class discussions, presentations by students, readings, case studies, and invited speakers, will highlight new effective strategies and applications of these platforms.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Create and maintain a blog using a common blogging platform.
  2. Compare and contrast the purpose and features of different types of social media, including: blogs, social networks, wikis, and photo and video sharing sites.
  3. Effectively utilize multiple forms of social media.

About Your Instructor

Donald Laird, CS Full time Instructor
Office: Maggini Hall

Office Hours (best way to ask questions!): Thursdays 3-5pm in my office on the third floor of Maggini Hall.

Email: (usually answered within two business days). All email to me MUST have your section number somewhere in the subject line, or I will not read it. I will check my class email at least three times a week, some time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Voice Mail: 707-524-1809 (checked infrequently)

My name is Donald Laird. I've been teaching in the CS Department since 1993, during which time I've taught a wide range of courses. Over the last several years I've specialized in Photoshop, but have also been working on learning the ins and outs of social media.

When I'm not teaching, I seem to have no trouble finding things to keep me busy:

PALS Support Available

This course is participating in SRJC's Peer Assisted Learning Specialist (PALS) Program. The PALS program seeks to increase student knowledge and skills by fostering community and persistence in the classroom. PALS have the content knowledge and college know-how to help students succeed. They are SRJC students and/or community members who provide tutoring to students and instructional assistance. PALS will attend class, help with assignments, answer course questions, and provide assistance. They are also available to tutor and lead study sessions as needed.

PALS Contact Information: Amanda Janik,

Computer Needs

Obviously, you will need access to the Internet in order to complete this class. You will be able to use your own computer, or even a smartphone or tablet. You may also use any open computer lab in either Petaluma or Santa Rosa during regularly scheduled lab hours, if you don't have any other access.

Online requirements
Whether working from home or in one of the SRJC labs, you will need basic skills for navigating web sites and the ability to send and receive email. You must have an email account that you can check on a regular basis. You will also be making and maintaining accounts on several social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and others. If you have any issues with having these social media accounts, please talk to me immediately - this may not be the class for you!


You will need to check-in to your section (only once) to use its online components:

Be careful that you check into the section you are registered in. Wait-listed students can also check in.

Then, you will need to enter your user name and password each time you take a quiz, upload a file to a class drop box, or view a class gallery. I recommend you pick a short user name and password to make them faster to type. Your user name and password are case-sensitive, which means that capitalization matters.


Required Text: Social Media Marketing All-in-One for Dummies, 3rd edition. Don't let the title fool you - this book has a lot of great information about many forms of social media. You will not need to carry this heavy book to class, though!

Also required: A great deal of material will be presented in my weekly lectures. I will do my best to record each of these in-person lectures.

Using the Class Web site

Nearly every page of our course materials begins with this navigation bar.


Syllabus takes you to the page that you are currently reading (the syllabus page). It describes the course requirements and provides recommendations for class success. The syllabus is a form of contract between the instructor and students. You are expected to read and follow all the instructions and information given here.

Schedule is perhaps the most important page in the class. Bookmark it and check it at least once a week to see what you should do. The Schedule Page summarizes your weekly assignments, with links to the relevant assignment details and quizzes.

Each of the links from the Schedule page is password protected, so that only members of our class can see them. You will have to type in your class user name and password to take a quiz, or submit an assignment to a class drop box.

NOTE: When working in any of the SRJC labs, you will not be allowed to print out any online materials. Print from home if you have a printer or use the college's pay to print facilities.

Assignments takes you to the page with the full instructions for each assignment you will need to complete.

Discussion Forum takes you to our class forum, where we can discuss any and all social media and other topics. Please be courteous to your classmates and use appropriate online etiquette in your posts. Use the discussion forum as the primary location to ask each other questions when you run into questions or issues. Please be sure you are posting in the correct forum for your course. You will also have assignments where you will need to post on the forum.

Grades takes you to a page on which you select your section, and are then taken to the gradebook for that section. The gradebook asks for your class user name and password and then displays your point score and my feedback for each assignment I have graded. I only grade once a week, so your grades will not automatically appear after you submit an assignment. I will send an email to the class each time I update the gradebook - if you haven't received a score on an assignment, or have received a zero score without any feedback, it's because I haven't graded it yet. If you receive anything less than full credit on an assignment, my feedback will be given at the very bottom of the page - be sure to scroll all the way down.

Be sure to scroll down to see everything - my feedback to you will be at the very bottom of the page. It will be a long list before the semester is over. Check your grades often to make sure that you have submitted all assignments and I have a record of them.

Email Instructor lets you send a quick email just to me. This link will not work in the CS labs, because you cannot send email directly from a Web page. Remember, you can always open your email program and contact me at . I will do my best to answer your email within two working days. In order for me to read your email, you MUST put your section number in the subject line of your email.

Videos takes you to a list of videos of each class lecture. These will be available all semester. Videos are posted in QuickTime format - you can download the player if you don't already have it installed.

Class Communication

It is important to read your email often. You need to check it at the very least once a week. I will be sending out email periodically as needed to clarify issues, point out book errors, let you know that grading is done, etc. I will communicate with you via the gradebook page feedback if you have submitted things wrong.

Attendance is very important. I will take roll each class.

By using the class discussion forum, one of your classmates may be able to help you. I encourage everyone to use the class discussion forum.


Your weekly reading comes from the course textbook.

Submitting Homework

Drop boxes are special locations where you submit your assignment files. I have created one of these special locations for each assignment where you are to send me a file. The link for each assignment is with the assignment, on the assignment details page. All assignments are due on Sunday nights at 11:59 pm, unless told otherwise on the assignment page - no exceptions.


Each week you will have at least one assignment to turn in. Typically, you will have one week to complete assignments.

After the due dates, work will be considered late and you will lose 50% of the possible points. I won't accept any assignments more than 1 week late, unless you've made previous arrangements with me. Nothing will be accepted after the final exam deadline.

Quizzes will be accepted up to one week late as well, but will be subject to a 50% late penalty if not turned in by the assigned due date. The midterm and final exams will not be accepted late unless prior arrangements have been made.

If you do not turn in an assignment, be sure to email me to confirm that you are still active in the class. If you disappear for three weeks, you run the risk that you will be dropped from the class. If you experience technical problems that keep you from turning in assignments, contact me.

Student Conduct Guidelines

Students who register in SRJC classes are required to abide by the SRJC Student Conduct Standards. Violation of the Standards is basis for referral to the Vice President of Student Services or dismissal from class or from the College. For more information see: Collaborating on or copying of tests or homework in whole or in part will be considered an act of academic dishonesty and result in a grade of 0 for that test or assignment. I encourage students to share information and ideas, but not their work.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

If you need disability related accommodations for this class, such as a note taker, test taking services, special furniture, use of service animal, etc., please provide the Authorization for Academic Accommodations (AAA) letter from the Disability Resources Department (DRD) to me as soon as possible. You may also speak with me privately during office hours about your accommodations. If you have not received authorization from DRD, it is recommended that you contact them directly. (527-4278).

Getting Help

Try this strategy:

  1. Post a message to the class discussion forum to see if anyone else is having the same problem, or knows the answer. Typically, several students have the same question and if it is answered publicly, then everyone can benefit.
  2. Search for the answer online.
  3. Email me. In order for me to read your email, you must include XXXX (where XXXX is the section number) in the subject line. If you have an important question that is keeping you from completing your assignment, also include the word HELP in the subject line. Since I have many students who will be emailing me this semester, the correct subject line tells me to answer you quickly. Do not use HELP for non-critical messages.
  4. Come see me in person. My office hours are at the top of this syllabus. I can also make special arrangements if those times don't work. Remember to always put your section number in the subject line of your email.

Quizzes and Exams

This class has:

  • online quizzes (designed to test whether you understood the presented material)
  • a midterm
  • a final exam
All quizzes and exams are given via Web pages. After submitting the quiz or exam, you will get a message telling you your score.

The time limit for each exam is one minute per question (for example, a 20-question test has a 20 minute time limit). You will not be warned when you approach the time limit - you must keep track of the time you're taking.

You may use your notes when taking a quiz or exam.

The quizzes and exams will be open for a limited period of days. If you need to miss an exam, make prior arrangements with me to reschedule, or you will receive a zero.

Do not load a quiz or exam more than once (the testing system reports to me if you load a quiz or exam more than once). I will subtract points from your final score on the quiz or exam if you load it more than once. This includes before, during, or after you have completed the quiz or exam. The only exception to this rule is if you have a technical problem during a quiz or exam (for example, if your computer crashes or your Internet connection goes down), then you may re-load the quiz or exam. If this happens, send me email immediately, letting me know what happened.


Percentage Grade
90 - 100% A
80 - 89% B
70 - 79% Pass or C
60 - 69% No Pass or D
Below 60% No Pass or F

As I grade, I record my comments in your online grade book. NOTE: my comments will appear at the bottom of the gradebook page. If I have a problem with one of your assignments, I may ask you to re-submit it. You can keep track of your grades by clicking on the "Grades" button in the main navigation. If you see a zero score for any assignment, but do not have and comments in the feedback section of the gradebook page, it means that I have not finished grading the assignment yet. Remember, I will send the class and email each time I finish grading.

Pass-No Pass
You may take this class pass/no-pass. You must decide before the deadline, and add the option online or file the Pass/No Pass form with Admissions and Records. With a grade of C or better, you will Pass. Once you decide to go for P/NP, you cannot change back to a grade.