“Pay it Forward” from prior students of COMM601

Every term, I ask students to voluntarily offer a piece of advice they would give to new students of this course. Below is a running compilation of the results:


On the course in general:

I think experienced social media users will expect to cruise through the course. However, this course looks at social media from perspectives you likely never thought of so don’t assume this course will be easy. Keep an open mind and stay engaged.

This course will seem overwhelming the first week or two and then you will get into a rhythm. Trust the process, take advantage of the course resources, and stay openminded.

Don’t be surprised that the course is not about social media marketing and that any preconceived notions about social media should be “parked” and examined objectively and often throughout the weeks of the course.

Use the course to your advantage. Even though this is NOT a course about marketing on SM, there are plenty of topics within the course that provides you the opportunity to explore and incorporate your findings within the assignments.

Be sure to read/watch all course resources. I took notes while watching videos and reading e-book, which made it easier for me to relate my learning in the weekly forums.

ALWAYS cite your resources properly. There are plenty of resources out there to help with this. Purdue OWL is a great one. In addition, give yourself a deadline of getting your discussions done by Tuesday evening, that way, you’ll never mess up and submit late. Online courses are about self discipline, and that’s a fact!

If you are not sure about an assignment, contact the professor sooner. He makes every effort possible to reach out and be able to communicate with you so take advantage of that.

You’re going to think a lot more than you think you would. This isn’t so much a fluff course as it is a thinking experiment.

Make the most of the course, dive in, and be willing to open up. I loved this course and found it well taught and very enjoyable.

If you’re passionate about social media this course would be a great choice for you. I definitely have learned a lot from this course and there is a lot of valuable information I can take with me in my future career so I definitely recommend this course.

Take advantage of all the resources and read them – the information presented in the class is valuable, especially if you anticipate using digital or social media personally or professionally in the future. As a person currently working in this field, these lessons were so helpful and really made me feel more knowledgeable on the subject.

On time management:

Manage your time accordingly.

It’s ok not to take notes on every single thing in the course. But I would make a summary of what was in the source that was in the book to look back at and find information that you need. This will help with posts and the final.

Be prepared to process a lot of information.

Keep ahead of the assignments and write a weekly diary that relates the course topics to your final project. It will save you SOOOO much time in the long run.

Don’t fall behind. The material appears to jump around as the modules go on, but near the end everything seems to fall into place, as long as you kept up with it all.

Watch all the videos and read the articles and the class makes sense, and will get you thinking!

Log on regularly to keep up with all of the media and articles.

Take the time to read the extra material suggested after each chapter in the book. There is minimal reading involved to do so and it provides additional material when posting to the forum, making it easier to create a quality post. Also be sure to back up all of your work, especially your final project! I learned the hard way that just because you have never lost any work to date, it can happen at any time.

On the final project assignment:

Start visualizing your final project as early as possible.

Outside of the forums, start writing parts of your SM app proposal or narrative for each module as you go. You do not need the entire final idea figured out in order to do this. This will be helpful with creating your outline and writing your final paper.

Make notes on each module that relate to your final project.

Work on the draft of your paper throughout the semester.

Do not procrastinate the final project! Try to save aside information each week that could be useful for your project.

Be prepared to write down key points of each module and start transitioning them into your story at the end of every week.

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Trends in Digital & Social Media (V13) by Steve Covello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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