TECH3022 Social Media Practice

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Module Description

Understanding the culture of social media, and how people make sense of the products of this culture in meaningful ways, is essential for future media producers who wish to engage with emerging and dispersed communities of interest, emerging communities of association, and with emerging communities of practice.

This module gives learners the opportunity to practice and develop their social media research skills, social media development skills, social media production skills and an academically oriented conceptual comprehension to an advanced level. This module explores how social media is made sense of and practiced as a technically mediated social phenomenon, offering learners the opportunity to explore critically how social media communication is articulated, understood and experienced by people living in socially mediated lifeworlds.

The underlying principles of investigation used in this module are: online sociological investigation, netnography and symbolic interactionism. These concepts and methods of investigation form the essential methodological underpinning necessary to study the practice and culture of socially mediated community life. Learners will be able to practice their social media production skills, and gain experience in the systematic development of social media projects, based on a conceptually relevant and flexible approach to social media production, circulation and interaction principles, as they relate to the DIY concept of distributed media production, digital activism, and collaborative forms of produc-tion management.

This module gives learners the opportunity to develop their social media production skills by designing and creating social media projects that utilise creative and alternative forms of media, such as online video, podcasts, blogs, social networks, transmedia and technical interactivity.

Module Tutor

John Coster

Queens Building, Q1.25

John's Website

Module Handbook

Download Module Handbook: Tech3022 Module Handbook

Lecture Notes


Term 1:

Week 1: Campaigns

Week 2: #hashtags

Week 3 Symbolic Interaction

Week 4 Thinking Sociologically

Week 5 Netnography

Week 6 Enhancement Week Doc Media Festival

Week 7 DIY Participation

Week 8 Spreadable Media

Week 9 Data Collection

Week 10 Most Important Thing

Week 11 The Story So Far

Term 2:

Week 15 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 16 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 17 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 18 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 19 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 20 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 21 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 22 Enhancement Week

Week 23 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 24 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 25 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 26 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Week 27 'UnTitled' - open conversation forum

Workshop Notes


Term 1:

Week 1: Week 1 Lab Presentation

Week 2 Week 2 Lab Presentation

Week 3 Week 3 Lab Presentation

Week 4 SDG17 Partnerships for the Goals

Week 5 SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Week 6 Enhancement Week Doc Media Festival

Week 7 SDG2 Zero Hunger

Week 8 World Television Day

Week 9 SDG5 Gender Equality

Week 10 SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Week 11 Quiz of the Year

Term 2:

Week 15 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 16 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 17 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 18 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 19 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 20 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 21 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 22 Enhancement Week

Week 23 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 24 Social Media Campaign - development session

Week 25 Component D - Report Writing

Week 26 Component D - Report Writing

Week 27 Component D - Report Writing


Component A - Survey of Campaigns (5%)

There are many different campaigns and campaign groups who are active online and use social media to make their points and to influence people. Your task for this assignment is to survey some of these campaigns and campaigners, and to explain on what basis they are seeking to change the public’s perception.

The result of your survey of different types of awareness campaigns will be presented as a short video presentation, lasting no longer than five minutes, with a short description included as part of a shared DMU Commons Wiki page outlining your groups research planning.

Each student will identify a different example of an awareness campaign, as run by different activists and campaigners, and will write about how those campaign work, what is involved, and what they expect to achieve, before summarizing this description in a short video presentation. The presentation can use creative media techniques, but will be uploaded to your DMU Commons Blog, either as a directly uploaded video, or as an embedded YouTube video.

Minimum Work: One blog with 5 minute video – site personalization, adding social media accounts.

Deadline: Week Six, 12 Midday Monday 5th November 2018.

Submission: Individual Links clearly marked on your DMU Commons Wiki Profile.

Marking & Feedback: 12 Midday Monday 3rd December 2018.

Component B - Social Media Project Investigation (15%)

For this assignment, you will investigate how people use social media to discuss, share and express their views about your chosen social issue, and the debates that are associated with perceptions of it. In identifying how people share their concerns using social media you will be able to identify the issues that you want to address in the next assignment, and what type of social activity other people have developed around this issue.

For this assignment, you will research and write about these issues, as they are discussed and talked about in newspaper articles, in blog sites, in chat rooms, and so on. Your blogs will summarize the key issues of concern, and will use quotes, links and screengrabs to demonstrate what it is that is being discussed in these articles and threads.

The final blog post of this section of your coursework portfolio should be a three-minute reflective video, posted either to the blog directly, or embedded into your blog as a YouTube video. This vlog will give a basic overview of what you have discovered in your investigation and in what way your group will take this information and use it in the next assignment, and turn this into a practical project.

You should aim to incorporate a wide variety of content such as podcasts, videos, blogs and wikis, or whatever forms of media you are asked to experiment with and try out. We want you to experiment with creativity and innovation, so your media skills will be something you want to show off as you learn new skills and use new platforms.

It is essential that you establish the habit of blogging regularly, so you will be expected to post a blog each week, with an updated link on your wiki profile page, and an explanation of what is distinctive and innovative about the blog post. Time will be put aside in the workshop sessions for this.

Minimum Work: Two blogs - posted Week 7 & 9 and three minute reflexive video – posted Week 11.

Deadline: Week 11, 12 Midday Monday 10th December.

Submission: Individual Links clearly marked on your DMU Commons Wiki Profile.

Marking & Feedback: 12 Midday Monday 21st January 2019.

Component C - Social Media Group Project (30%)

Your role in this assignment is to develop and produce a social media awareness campaign that challenges perceptions of your social issue. You will use this campaign to suggest alternative practices and approaches that support the main aims or seek to influence the debate.

You will assume the role of a social media communications activist working to promote a specific agenda that challenges the mainstream and social media channels. The campaign will be based on the evidence that you collected in the previous assignment, and will use creative social media techniques to engage with social media users. What you will actually be marked on is your blog journal. You are expected to keep a journal that records your involvement and level of participation through the process of developing and putting into practice your Social Media Group Project.

Entries will be posted to your blog regularly and listed on your personal wiki profile page as done in the previous assignment.

The final blog post will consist of a video presentation lasting no longer than three minutes, that reflects on what you have personally learnt about this community media reporting project, how you have improved and developed your creative media skills, and how this relates to the content that you will have posted to your own blog site and the module wiki.

Minimum Work: Four blogs - posted Weeks 17, 19, 21 & 23 and three minute reflexive video – posted Week 25.

Deadline: Week 25, 12 Midday Monday18th March 2019.

Submission: Individual Links clearly marked on DMU Commons Wiki Profile.

Marking & Feedback: 12 Midday Monday 15th April 2019.

Component D - Social Media Production Evaluative Report (50%)

This assignment tests your ability to plan, research and write an academic report that answers a specific question of concern related to social media, and which draws on the academic reading recommended for the module. Therefore, you will:

• Relate your answer to the specific reading material listed as essential or recommended in the module reading list.

• Use evidence gathered from legitimate sources.

• Use academic language and analysis conventions.

• Structure your report according to academic standards and conventions.

• Provide suitable objective and verifiable examples that illustrate your points.

• Use suitable academic arguments that will explain your points.

Please answer the following question:

Do digital sociology investigation techniques enhance our understanding of how social media is shared and spread between people?

Minimum Work: 2,000 Word Report.

Deadline: 12 Midday Monday 29th April 2019.

Submission: Turnitin via TECH3022 Blackboard.

Marking & Feedback: 12 Midday Friday 24th May 2019.

Key Texts

It is expected that learners will read all of the material from the key texts list, to broaden and deepen understanding of the subject beyond the basic, and thus enhance performance in assessments.

  • Boellstorf, T. (et al) (2012) Ethnography and Virtual Worlds – A Handbook of Method, Princeton Uni-versity Press, Princeton.
  • Delwiche, A. & Henderson J.J. (eds.) (2013) The Participatory Cultures Handbook, Routledge, London.
  • Jenkins, H. (et al) (2013) Spreadable Media – Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, New York University Press, New York.
  • Kozinets, R. V. (2010). Netnography - Doing Ethnographic Research Online. London: Sage.
  • Lindgren, S. (2017) Digital Media & Society, London, Sage.

Useful Feeds and Links

Research Planning

Production Planning

Social Learning

In this module emphasis will be placed on collaboration, sharing, discussion and participation. The idea is that learning is enhanced if it is shared and collectively developed. Each person has a responsibility to play their part in the activities and the tasks, and to encourage and support other learners as the module unfolds. As a community of learners and practitioners this approach recognises that there is more to be gained from a non-hierarchical approach and by spreading-out the tasks using social media tools that encourage everyone to participate and to share their ideas, thoughts and observations in a constructive, non-judgemental, and practical way.

Face-to-Face Interaction

While the subject of this module is social media, the primary approach of the tutor will be based on face-to-face interaction. This takes places in lectures, labs and arranged tutorials. A typical workshop session will consist of a short introduction presentation, the distribution of instructions via the tutor’s blog site, and then short discussions with individuals and small groups throughout the remainder of the session. This takes an informal approach to interaction between the learner and the tutor.

Verbal Instructions

While many of the tasks and coursework assignments are specified in detail in this handbook, learners are encouraged to listen to the verbal instructions of the tutor, and to ask questions based on the notes that they take. Any questions that relate to the practical work, the reading work, or the assign-ments associated with this module should be noted by learners and asked during the practical ses-sions. This is why attendance is essential, and why good listening skills and a distraction-free environ-ment are important. The assignments described here are starting points and are not prescriptive. Learners are encouraged to go-beyond the tasks and activities that are set here, and to investigate for themselves different ways that social media might be used.


Lecture notes and lab worksheets will be provided as PDF documents, with any essential information, links, diagrams, references and source material. However, learners are expected to keep notes for themselves, and to record information that is not given in the handouts. Note taking is an essential skill and it is important to develop the habit and routine practice of writing notes, sketching diagrams, doodling and so on. You never know when these notes might be useful.


A register will be kept of attendance at labs and attendance will be monitored. Non-attendance with-out good reason may lead to failure of the module. If you are ill or due to be away from the university due to an unavoidable or urgent matter, please email FOTAC who will inform your tutors, who will mark you as absent. The university may require you to provide evidence to corroborate your absence at some point in the future.

Study Hours:

Lecture: One Hour

The lecture will consist of an examination of ideas and concepts associated with the use and devel-opment of social media platforms and practices, netnographic data collection techniques, digital litera-cies and social media production techniques. The lectures run for no more than fifty minutes, and will start promptly on the hour and finish at ten minutes to the hour. Media examples will be given, along with suggested reading and links to other media.

Lab: Two Hours

Labs will take the form of a workshop in which learners will actively explore and produce content for their project, experimenting with different types of social media and applying problem solving and creative thinking techniques in order to get the best from them. The lab will cover:

  • Discussing issues covered in lectures.
  • Experimenting with different forms of social media.
  • Setting up blogs and wiki pages.
  • Writing blogs and wiki entries.
  • Sharing content and ideas.
  • Reflecting on feedback.
  • Planning for future work.
  • Sharing media content.

Self-directed Study: Eight Hours

As well as attending your classes learners are expected to spend time each week working on course-work, background reading, independent investigation, group work and getting to know different social media platforms. Typically, this might be divided into:

  • One Hour - Weekly social media planning & writing
  • Two Hours - Weekly social media production
  • One Hour - Media investigation
  • One Hour - Personal journal
  • Three Hours - Reading

Tutor Contact

Your module tutor will not answer queries and questions about coursework by email or any other forms of electronic communication. You are expected to make a note of your questions in your note-book and bring them to your weekly lab session, where time will always be given to answer any ESSENTIAL questions that you have. Your tutor has allocated time each week to see students in person if required. These are listed at the front of this handbook.

Module Outcomes

At the end of this module you will be able to demonstrate that you are able to:

  • Design, create and manage a package of creative social media assets and resources for a specific purpose, using social and collaborative research and production techniques, and account for these assets
  • Critically evaluate the use of social media production for forms of participatory media and other network cultures in social and technological contexts
  • Research and evaluate the social experience of people in medited communities, and critically explain how emerging practices of social media facilitate different social accomplishments.

This will include your ability to demonstrate:

  • A systematic understanding of the nature and role of social media.
  • An ability to deploy practices and ideas associated with social media so as to produce and share - responsibly and ethically - content and media products within a social network or group.
  • A conceptual understanding of the social, political and academic debates and policy decisions associated with social media literacies.
  • An appreciation of the demands and challenges of running and supporting social media networks and participants.
  • An ability to manage learning by applying advanced learning techniques that are independent, learner-centric, reflexive and self-evaluative.
  • An ability to apply concepts and techniques associated with social media through practical engagement in the production of social media content, products and services.
  • An ability to critically evaluate the process and the general concepts, ideas and policy debates associated with social media.
  • An ability to communicate to different audiences using different forms of visual, aural, written, interactive or social media.
  • An ability to use initiative and a high-degree of personal self-management and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to apply systematic decision making evaluations and techniques in a timely and strategic manner.
  • An ability to learn independently, to reflect on that learning and to define learning goals and patterns of independent learning for future projects.

Enhancement Weeks

Your programme team are committed to support you through your studies and as you develop your learning through each module that you study. As part of your programme, we are dedicated to helping you to plan for your future after leaving university, and ‘Enhancement weeks’ are a central concept to help you achieve your future goal. As part of the university calendar, week 6 and week 22 are designated ‘Enhancement weeks’ in which you will find timetabled activities focused around your personal and professional development. Enhancement weeks are not simply about getting a job after you graduate, but a method used within career education comprising activities to support your development in areas such as decision making, employment opportunity awareness, the transition to work and self-awareness skills.

As well as activities organised at the university, there are other events taking place in Leicester that you can participate in.

The Doc Media Festival takes place between 6th-10th November.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Media Source Material

How Facebook Changed the World:..., [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 21:00 5/9/2011, BBC TWO, 65mins., (Accessed 05/10/2015).

Key Words

Digital media, new media, the Web, Web 2.0, social web, digital literacies, new media literacies, social media production, attention, participation, collaboration, critical consumption, network smarts, participatory culture, transmedia, creativity, social capital.