Teaching Social Media

Steph_Rol_Model[1]In the EN504 Multimedia and Social Media class, we did a “critical thinking” exercise; this was in lieu of an exam. As per my custom, I’m posting the material here. How would you answer these questions:

Here’s the set up:

You have been hired for this job: Web Writer for Anywhere Community College, (ACC) which has about 6,000 students, many of them adult learners and immigrants. The school offers associate degrees in business, accounting, computer programming, history, English, political science and communications as well as advanced degrees in nursing and health administration. This is a commuter school, so there are no dorms on campus and the school draws from the Greater Boston area. Most of the students work full or part time in addition to going to school and many live with family members.  (If you have trouble picturing this, see www.BHCC.mass.edu)

As background, here’s the job description. This is based on two real ads:

Under the direction of the Executive Director, the Web Writer will write, edit, design, create content, and update the College’s website and social media pages. In addition, this individual will work closely with academic and administrative departments in the creation and updating of content for a variety of marketing projects that reflect the College’s mission and brand positioning. The ideal candidate is a self-starter, independent thinker, has excellent communication skills and constantly strives for excellence. Working with  the College’s Digital Content Strategist, the Web Writer increases engagement with key audiences by developing web, social media and multimedia (e.g. podcast) content that is optimized for desktop, tablet and smartphone

ACC has a recently re-designed web site, and many of the departments have their own Facebook pages. Twitter is only used for emergencies and school closings.

The Dean has given you a mandate. You must create a report that will:

  1. Decide what to do about Facebook. You have to decide if all the Facebook college pages should be eliminated and one all-purpose Facebook page established. You will have to lay out the pros and con for the dean.
  2. You will also have to advise him about Twitter. Obviously the college has to do more with this, but what?
  3. The Dean has asked you about Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, Vine. Your report would have to make suggestions here.

And there’s something more:

ACC has established a new associate degree program in game design. This program will teach the basics of creating video, arcade, console and online games. The Dean is very pleased that the college has hired as program director Yuji Matsumoto, a game designer known for the popular “Zombie Death Jamboree” and “Troll Quest.” Matsumoto is a visionary who is now eager to teach. Currently there are about 10 students in the program. The dean wants you to use social media to reach out to more potential students. He thinks Matsumoto is a big draw and wants to leverage this. He also really wants to attract young women as well.

How would you start to plan out a social media strategy for this young program?

Think of the various tools that are out there: Blogs, Twitter, Linked-In, Vine videos, Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram? Think about what might be your approach – that games are cool? That this is a growing sector where jobs can be found? How about Matsumoto? What could you do – what could he do – to promote the new program?

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, come in prepared to WRITE out some of your thoughts. You don’t have to do this ahead of time, unless you want to.

I will hand out a template of six questions for you to fill in. You can use the Internet, notes or such as needed.

You will do that – and then there will be a twist.

Here are resources that will help you think about a plan of action. If you are having trouble wrapping your head around this assignment, just read through these links to start.









To consider the Facebook question, look at these pages:

BHCC’s “official” Facebook page:


Other BHCC pages – does this dilute “the brand” as Sherry Paprocki would put it? Does this expand possibilities?






Matsumoto happens to look at the site: http://www.ratemyprofessor.com. There are various positive comments but one student, who has already graduated,  rants about what a poor teacher he is and how his games suck. The teacher is hurt and angered;  he thinks he knows who the student is and Tweets out  some sarcastic comments on  his personal Twitter feed about how stupid some students are.  Several students respond and create the hashtag  #MatsumotoMoron.  The School President becomes alarmed and turns to you for guidance. What do you suggest? Would you shut down any social media or use it in response. What would you tell Matsumoto?