Syllabus for DHM-620



This course gives an investigation of the role of social networking technologies in creating communities in digital and physical spaces. Students will examine how social networking and peer collaboration technologies have engendered participation in campaigns and movements for social change in the digital information age. Students will thoroughly explore the concept of “social change” itself by identifying the values embedded in dominant cultural narratives of progress and decline. Students will then turn their attention to the ways individuals and groups implement social media technologies to support or forestall social, political, and cultural changes. There will be particular focus on the social media tools that communities use to disseminate and preserve valuable cultural information and knowledge when freedoms of expression are limited by external controls. Students will analyze and apply concepts of network theory to create a project that traces the presence and function of social media in relation to a particular community campaign or movement.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

CO1        Evaluate the stages of the historical emergence of social media in the context of the information age.

CO2        Debate values embedded in narratives of social change as expressed in social media contexts.

CO3        Compare the relationship between social media and community-building.

CO4        Integrate concepts of new media studies and network theory in the context of social media.

CO5        Synthesize arguments addressing the impact of social networking technologies on human expression in democratic societies.

CO6        Generate research on a social media campaign targeting a particular social, political, or cultural change.


You will need the following materials to complete your coursework. Some course materials may be free, open source, or available from other providers. You can access free or open-source materials by clicking the links provided below or in the module details documents. To purchase course materials, please visit the University's textbook supplier.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13: 978-0199970780  

ISBN-13: 978-0415819312


Social Media and Social Change is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, publish blog entries, and complete a final project. See below for details. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in six graded online class discussions.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses. All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. For specific details consult the individual course modules.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled. Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Blog Entries

You are required to complete four blog entries. Blogging is a fundamental digital media practice and a significant means by which people communicate about particular issues, establish credibility, and construct online identities. These blog entries provide students the opportunity to practice and refine their blogging skills and offer students another platform to engage in the discussion of course topics. Everyone is encouraged to read their classmates’ blog posts and comment on them.

Note: The blog in this course is a collection of individual blog entries. As such, you will receive one grade for all required blog entries at the end of the course. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Final Project

You are required to complete a final project due by Sunday of Week 12. For this project, you will assemble research on how a particular community or subculture deploys social media tools to advance social progress and generate a narrative of the social, cultural, and economic forces that impact that community or subculture’s use of social networking technologies.  

Please reference the Final Project area of the course Web site for full details and requirements. Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0 to 100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


To ensure success in all your academic endeavors and coursework at Thomas Edison State University, familiarize yourself with all administrative and academic policies including those related to academic integrity, course late submissions, course extensions, and grading policies.

For more, see:

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