This is a hands-on class that is part of the University of Washington social media certificate program.

Summer 2014 at a glance

1. Course Description and Objectives

This course provides information and hands-on practice designing, planning, and launching social media campaigns. Gain hands-on experience by partnering with local organizations that are interested in creating a social media strategy or devising a specific campaign. The course is structured like a workshop or seminar: each class member is responsible for formally and informally contributing to discussion of readings, activities and assignments. This is a project-based course.

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze why social media campaigns succeed or fail
  • Construct and recommend social media marketing strategies
  • Explain why a specific channel (such as Twitter) is more or better suited to a strategy than another (such as Pinterest)
  • Describe the limits of social media marketing
  • Understand the changes needed in corporate culture

Student Responsibilities

  • Be prepared for class; have reading and assignments done on time
  • Participate in active learning inside and outside of class (in other words, both on-line and face-to-face). That means asking questions, helping classmates answer questions, and working with one another to solve problems.
  • Be in class. It’s the only time we’ll have to work face-to-face
  • Ask questions!
  • Regardless of your experience with design or web technologies at the start of the class, challenge yourself so that your skills are greater at the end of the quarter than at the start.

Expectations from UW:

(1) Students are expected to be prepared before class so that they can follow along with the in-class processes. It is understandable that students have other obligations and time is sometimes short, but it is each student’s responsibility to prepare in advance as well as s/he can. (2) Faculty are unable to schedule individual sessions with students outside of class time. However, faculty are able to respond via e-mail if a student has questions. If time is available during class (when students are working on tasks), faculty can provide some assistance then, too.

Specifics on code of conduct expectations and policies and procedures for those enrolled in certificate programs can be found in the UW Student Code of Conduct and the Certificate Program Handbook.

2. Course Structure and Teaching Strategies

Teaching methods for this course will include lectures, video demonstrations, student presentations, reading, and writing assignments. Some classes may feature a guest lecturer who is a leading professional or scholar in digital publishing.

Instructor’s Educational Philosophy

My goal is to provide a stimulating environment for learning. Course material emphasizes application to real world problems and situations.

Communication With The Instructor

With advance planning, I may be able to meet with you briefly before or after class. However, I  strongly encourage you to send questions, comments, concerns to me via email. I check my campus email less frequently on F-Su; please do not expect an answer to email sent F-Su until Monday. Please use clear subject lines that include the course number (add “urgent” if the message is time-sensitive). Double your chances of a quick response by also sending the note to my gmail account: kegill at If you have not heard from me within 48 hours, please resend to both email accounts; it would also be a good idea to also change the subject line. [Note: emails without subject lines will not be read; they are automatically filtered into my spam folder.] We will discuss having other means for students to interact during the course, such as a Facebook group or email mailing list.

3. Required and Recommended Books and Resources


Students must have access to the Internet during after-class hours via something other than a smartphone (laptop, desktop or tablet that can edit web pages).



4. Schedule

Class Meets Wednesday evenings, 6.00-9.00 pm. The schedule is on the home page of the course website and each week’s session will link to a detailed post with that evening’s agenda, slides, guest speaker notes (if there was one):

5. Course Evaluation/Grading/Policies

The course is graded “successful completion (SC)” or “unsuccessful completion (USC).”  To earn a “successful completion,” you must:

  • Be on-time for class and participate in class activities
  • Attend at least 80% of the class sessions
  • Complete course readings and assignments, with a final score of at least 70.


  • Class participation counts for 30% of your grade. Class participation includes engaging in class discussions, posting to the course blog and other in-class activities.
  • Your group project counts for 30% of your grade.
  • Your personal project counts for an additional 40% of your grade.
  • Reminder: UW specifies that you can not earn a passing grade in this class if you miss more than two class sessions.


  1. Personal project – 40%
    In the winter (course 1a), you set up personal profiles on six channels. This quarter, you will plan how to build your personal social media presence, focusing on the channel(s) that make the most sense for your goal.

    • Draft plan July 9; revised July 30; final report due August 29 (5 points each).
    • We will have before/after measurements using Klout/Kred/Sumall (pick two – 2 points – June 25 and August 27).

    At the end of the quarter, you’ll prepare a report summarizing your plan, how well you met the plan and what you’d do differently, knowing what you know now. There will also be short oral reports to the class (5 points).

    Posting schedule: begin Sunday June 29; end Saturday August 23

    • Content creation: You will post daily on average (average, posting at least 3 days/week); if you like, you can use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule evergreen posts. At least one post per week should be your content (a photo, a post, an observation). (1 point/week – no partial points)
    • Engagement: You will also share/retweet daily (average, posting at least 3 days/week) and have at least one @/reply daily (average, posting at least 3 days/week). (1 point/week – no partial points)
  2. Group project – 30%
    Working in groups of 2-4, you will complete a project for an external client. The project might be a social media audit or a competitive analysis. We will discuss this in more detail week 2-3 of the class. There will be a client report as well as a short oral report to the class.
  3. Class participation – 30%
    • In-class participation ranges from traditional class participation to short reports on questions or reading (10 points).
    • Out-of-class participation includes participating in weekly minute papers (20 points).

Total points: 100 Total points required to pass: 70
Courses in this program are arranged sequentially. To advance to the next course in this program, students are required to earn a grade of SC in this course. Students must successfully complete all courses in the program to receive a certificate of completion.

UW Library Resources

Students enrolled in UW Certificate programs have access to the UW Library including accessing resources online. To use the library, you need to set up your UW Net ID using your Private Access Code (PAC), which is sent to you after you register.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax) or email at least 10 days prior to the start of your course or date of a UW event you plan to attend.

Class Closures Due To Inclement Weather Or Emergencies

The University is closed and class meetings are cancelled only under extreme weather conditions or emergencies. For information about the cancellation of classes, call 206-547-INFO or 206-897-8939; special notices may also be posted on the UW Professional & Continuing Education home page. In the event of inclement weather including snow storms, our satellite sites in downtown Seattle and Bellevue will follow the directives issued for the Seattle campus of the University of Washington.


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