Social Media Marketing Facilitator’s guide

Welcome to the facilitator’s guide for Social Media in Action! Each aspect of this course has been designed intentionally to facilitate learning transfer. After some suggestions for administering the course, this guide provides the rationale behind the syllabus, an overview of the challenges in designing the learning experience, and ideas for measuring transfer within and beyond the course.

Class Administration

The syllabus is designed to be used over 16 in-person class sessions supplemented by online or offline group meetings to work on projects. If a class meets more than one time a week, the group project meetings may be integrated into classroom time as follows. The first class revolves around presentations and discussion of material prepared and worked on the previous week. The second class period focuses on new information and discussion. If a third class period is available, it should be left open for small group meetings between students or between students and the professor.

If the class meets only once a week, one hour should be devoted to the activities listed in the syllabus and the remaining time to small group project meetings. The sample class outline defines the subject of discussion for many of these weeks. The reason for promoting group work in class is so that students may encounter issues while the professor is in the room and so the professor can keep track of student progress and participation within the groups.

The course is designed as an ongoing, iterative experience that attempts to closely resemble the external environments in which the students will apply what they learn (Kaiser, Kaminsky, & Foley, 2013, p. 8). According to Kaiser et al., this will make near transfer more accessible to students. In other words, students should find this course immediately relevant and easy to apply outside of the learning environment. Define near transfer. The technique of experiential learning also gives students the chance to “foster the depth of learning and cognitive recall necessary for transfer” (2013, p. 17).

Educational Approach

The experience is built on the ideas of cooperative learning, service learning, and reflective learning (Kaiser et al., 2013, p. 19). Cooperative learning brings the diversity of student backgrounds to play by allowing them to share ideas and work together to achieve a common goal. This relational aspect of learning is significant as most social media marketing takes place in the context of very complex organizational relationships. Service learning gives students the chance to engage their emotions in a real-world scenario that gives back to the community. A huge benefit of this connection is that the learning experience becomes embedded in a story that students are much more likely to remember than random disconnected bits of semantic information (Sousa, 2011, p. 86). It creates a story that students can use as a frame of reference when looking back (Sousa, 2011, p. 154). Finally, giving students the chance to engage in the reflective process helps them develop the skills they will need to make connections between theory and practice as they continue to expand their mastery of the subject.

For this reason, most of the class time is dedicated to students working together in groups on the projects described under assignment details. Using class time to work on these projects reinforces the importance of collaboration, and insures that students have easy access to the resources they need like the professor and other students. Finally, it removes the unfortunate hassle that students often face when trying to find a time and place to meet as a group.