Assignments

The following are the assignments for this course. Further details will be provided for each assignment as they are introduced in class (please check regularly for updates). Please see the course schedule for the deadline for each assignment.

Twitter engagement (10% of the course grade): You will use Twitter regularly. It is expected that you tweet at least five times a week about lectures and events in class as well as the presidential race and social media in general. Always use the hashtag “#vcuvotes” for your tweets. You are expected that you tweet throughout each week and not just on one day. Overall, it is also expected that you increase your Twitter following by a minimum of 100 people throughout the duration of our class. Follow all of your classmates by September 1 (after first class, please see link under “Files” in our Facebook Group to everyone’s Twitter handles). You are expected to have a professional photo and personal description on your Twitter profile. Further details will be provided in class.

Platform presentation (10%): In a team of 3-5 students you will research and analyze the social media use of the millennial generation, especially in regards to politics. Each team will be assigned one platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat) and will conduct research of the use of this platform in general and for news and political information. Start you research with the Pew Research Center to find current data reports on politics and social media. Then conduct your own extensive online research and/or with information databases on the VCU Library website. As a team, prepare a 10-minute Prezi presentation (view tutorial) on your assigned topic. Show your classmates who uses the platform, how millennials, news organizations and campaigns use it, and which impact it currently has on the political discourse. Provide specific examples and show them visually in presentation with screenshots. A sign-up file will be provided after our first class in our Facebook Group. Further details will be provided during the first class.

Campaign analysis presentation (10%): In a team of 3-5 students you will analyze the social media campaign of one of the main candidates in the presidential race. You will present your findings in a 15-minute Prezi presentation (view tutorial) . Further details and instruction will be provided in class.

LinkedIn profile (10%): At the end of the semester, you will develop a professional profile on the business network LinkedIn. You need to achieve at least a 80-90% completion rate on your LinkedIn account. You need to include information on your current position (VCU or internship/job) and location, your past jobs, your education, and your skills as well as a professional photo and at least 30 professional connections. You need to have at least one professional (professors, employers) recommendation. Further details and instruction will be provided in class.

Campaign strategy (10%): We will develop this together with your team. Details and instruction will be provided in class later in the semester.

Voter registration campaign (10%): We will develop this together with your team. Details and instruction will be provided in class later in the semester.

Turn-out the vote campaign (10%): We will develop this together with your team. Details and instruction will be provided in class later in the semester.

Election Day campaign (10%): We will develop this together with your team. Details and instruction will be provided in class later in the semester.

Campaign presentation and analysis (10%): We will develop this together with your team. Details and instruction will be provided in class later in the semester.

Attendance and Participation (10%): This class is a seminar in every sense of the word: You will talk, think, argue, disagree, probe and defend. All of these elements are essential for a deeper level of understanding of social media in politics. Taking part in class discussion is not optional; it is required.