Course Description

In this course, we’ll focus on the implications of digital, online and social media in professional practice. Media is changing rapidly, and you will not only be working with social and online tools, you’ll be developing innovative strategies for the future usage. We will spend time discussing the history and background of the Internet and Web, then address issues related to browsers, search engines and social media companies. The course method is lecture and discussion. You will have regular readings and assignments, as well as midterm and final exams.


Upon completing this course, students can expect:

  • Gain an understanding of the concepts and issues surrounding digital, online and social media
  • Explain the history and background of the Internet and Web
  • Explain how the Web works
  • Apply social media tools in relevant situations
  • Explain how companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Craigslist and others are changing media
  • Analyze the role of mobile devices and data in the future of communication
  • Analyze the role of citizen journalism and user-generated content with professional media


You must use an active Texas State email account. Communication via TRACS uses your Texas State email, and the university is required to send grade information out only through the Texas State email system.   Contact the instructor, if you have questions. Make sure you check your email on a regular basis, as schedule changes will be communicated there as well as on our course site.

Course Requirements

Semester long blog project – turned in twice during semester (midterm review – 10%; final 15%)

Quizzes (10%)

Midterm Exam (25%)

Final Exam (25%)

Forum Posts (10%)

News/Participation (5%)

Required Textbook

No textbook. You’ll have online readings and assignments.

Attendance and Late Assignments

You must do all the readings, assignments and quizzes by the due date. If you are late, you will not be allowed to make it up, so do your best on all assignments so that you won’t need to be worried about one or two late items.

This class moves very quickly, so you will not want to fall behind by missing any assignments. Missed assignments will receive a grade of 0.

Students (and teachers, too) often learn best from one another, so an open environment is encouraged. Ask questions and help each other using online means like Facebook group and Forums. You will be interacting by posting on each other’s blogs and via a Facebook group. This can effect your participation grade, as well as your ultimate course grade.

Supplies and Equipment

You will need a USB storage device (Flash drive) to save a backup of your files for some of the projects you work on in class. You may need to visit a computer lab on campus to complete some of the projects, if you do not have access to certain technologies at home.

Students should also have a TX State email account that they check frequently. This will be the main method of course communication.

Student Conduct

In this class, you should feel comfortable to participate and express opinions and ideas. Please respect the opinions of others and be considerate of their need to contribute and learn. This goes for all communications on blogs, social media or other methods.

In general, please be respectful of others desire to learn and help to create a fun and beneficial virtual environment.

Dropping a Course

Texas State has a new course drop policy. You can drop this or any course by the drop date and receive an automatic W. After that date you cannot drop a single course. You must withdraw from all courses. This drop date is much earlier than in the past.

Academic Honesty

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of mass media professionals and scholars.   Such a mission demands the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity.   Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft, are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions for violations of the standards for academic honesty are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Student Handbook. The policy is also available at

Note to Students with Disabilities

Texas State University seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with disabilities.   This university will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws.   Students with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (512) 245-3451, and register with that office. ODS is located in Suite 5-5.1 at the LBJ Student Center.   If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodations in this class, it is your responsibility to notify the professor no later than the fifth class day of this semester so that accommodations can be discussed and promptly provided.

Instructor may notify you of changes or updates to policies in this syllabus throughout the semester.