The life of a social media professor is both absolutely fabulous, but also challenging to meet the expectations that are being made by both the profession, and universities.
Let me rewind back a bit. I have been teaching the social media class (COMM 333 as it is listed in the course catalog at the University of Louisville) for a few years now. Each year, the class gets more and more exposure, which has been very exciting.
I am forever grateful for the coverage, write ups, and praise the class has received at the local and national level. The students who have been in my class over the past five years have been what has made this one of the most rewarding classes I have taught. It’s been really exciting for me to see where some of these students have ended up, and where they have gotten internships and jobs.
Now, the social media class has an established reputation, and I have been asked – what does the social media professor have that is new? I feel like I’m Remy facing Anton Ego in the movie Ratatouille.
No pressure, right?
That’s what I thought. This was a conversation I had back in late 2016, and it continued on for 2017. I was asked to create a new class – one that would be dedicated and enhance the overall experience of the social media class I already taught.
There were some challenges involved with this. First, I felt the class I was teaching was already pretty advanced with expectations for students to get real world experiences working with clients, getting certified in Hootsuite, and working on establishing their personal brand. Second, what would be some of the exercises, topics, and even resources I would need to have here in order to provide an advanced class?
However, I am always up for a challenge and I said – bring it on! So, after spending some time chatting, doing some research, bouncing around ideas with fellow colleagues and professionals, I can finally say – I’d like to introduce you all to my new class.
I am pleased, and extremely excited, to announce a new class I am going to be offering in the Spring 2018 semester: Advanced Social Media Strategy, otherwise known as #FrebergSM.
If you have been following me on Twitter, you would have seen some of these updates already in place. I am starting to get more involved with sharing content for the class, but there will be some universal articles both classes will need to be aware of for the spring (since social media is constantly changing). But, this advanced class is going to be pretty awesome.
#FrebergSM is more than just a class. It’s going to be a learning community where we will operate like a dynamic, energetic, and strategic agency that has skills, creative abilities, and innovative approaches for education and thought leadership for each task, client, and activity we have.
It took some time to really figure out how to structure the class, which guest speakers will be coming in, what assignments and exercises will be implemented, and how to take the advanced social media class to the next level.
There are some clear distinctions from my undergraduate social media class and the advanced class, including some of these items:
- Two books will be assigned: Yes, even in a social media class, I do assign books (and online readings). One theory based (research specific since this class will have graduate students) and one practical based book (for personal branding and professional development). This will help bridge the science and art of social media.
- Implementing more real world consulting and thought leadership practices [SUPER excited about this assignment for the students!];
- Demonstration of creative education practices on advanced social media specific topics;
- Assigning and applying key lessons from new advanced certification programs [two certification programs will be used for the class].
Essentially, the social media class I have been teaching has provided a strong foundation for strategic planning and communication for social media practices, which has been really well received and has gotten some great results. This advanced class is going to take this foundation and not only build on it, but focus on developing the strategic thought leadership practices, education expectations, and begin building on the consulting opportunities these students could take advantage of during and after the class.
I’ll be sharing more details about the class as we get closer (topics, assignments, guest speakers, etc), but I am really excited to teach my social media class this spring (#Freberg18) and implement this new advanced social media class (#FrebergSM).
Hope you all are having a great day!