I’d love for the More with Les learning community to give me your wise counsel on teaching social media at Towson. As we’ve said before, this blog is constructivist in theory and practice. That is, it is a participatory learning environment. We co-construct the learning from our own collective experiences with me as coach and helper. So, give me your thoughts. There is no letter grade attached to it.
But first, here is what we are doing in my classes. In my MCOM 671 Special Topics in Mass Communication graduate class, we begin each Monday night class with “Reports from the Blogosphere”. Each of the 11 grad students in this class reports on a particular blog entry that he or she has found interesting and instructive since the last class. This is a simple way to weave in cutting edge Blog Thought into the classroom. It pleases me to see and hear my beloved students quoting my revered friends like Robert Holland, Shel Holtz, Steve Crescenzo, Allan Jenkins, Bill Sledzik (see posting below), the IABC Cafe, et al., a veritable pantheon of communication/PR/IMC/tech luminaries. These students frequently start with my Blogroll and work their way into many others’ Blogrolls. Soon, they are reading and reporting on blogs from all over the communication/PR/IMC world. So cool.
The MCOM 671 students always relate their reports to a valuable lesson that is shared with the class. We find this so stimulating that we spend almost half the class on these reports. The discussions are deep, rich, lively, and varied, just as learning should be. Socrates would love it.
In my MCOM 453 class, a strategic public relations planning and management course, we weave social media into everything we do. I teach this class, always refered to as the “Campaigns” class, by Case-Based Reasoning. In this specific class it is really Case-Based Learning, for students are assigned one major case study to work with all semester. That case study contains a healthy dose of social media that has an impact on the case study company being treated. Students develop a strategic communication/PR plan based on this challenging case study, and in so doing, work with the impact of social media on a contemporary organization. Classroom discussions in the “Campaigns”class always include social media as well. We share information, and the learning magnifies for us all.