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MDS 1895.01 Special Topics: Digital Citizenship & Society Fall 2015
CRN: 13767
Time and Location: Johnson Center, Formerly BUDAC, Room 423
Professor: Dr. Syb Brown, Ph.D.
Office: Johnson Center, Formerly BUDAC, Room 454
Office Phone: 615-460-6383; sybril.brown@belmont.edu
Twitter: @drsyb
Office Hours: Mondays and Fridays, 8:30-11:00, Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00-2:30
and by appointment
Social media is not the place to find out whether you have class, if Im in
the office or other related matters.
Course Description: This course addresses the global need for digital citizens. It
prepares students to embrace their civic duty and to contribute to the virtual world
in responsible ways. Digital literacy isnt an option, it is a necessity. Students will
learn about digital communication, commerce, security, access, etiquette and law. In
addition, upon class completion, they will have a better understanding about the
inception of social media tools, how to use them for professional purposes and how to
participate in democracy and dialogue online in a more civic manner.
Course Objectives: This learning experience is designed to meet the following

To better understand civic as well as ethical responsibilities in the digital

To provide a real time overview of digital media
To further develop critical and lateral thinking as well as just in time
learning skills
To engage and empower students to become active learners who are able to
analyze, compare/contrast and apply acquired knowledge
To enhance your presentation skills on and off line.
To improve collaboration skills

Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to form arguments to empirically support their positions

on major issues being confronted in the digital age.

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Students will understand how to present their work online to attract

potential employers.
Students will learn how to collaborate and network more effectively.
Students will expand upon their ability to create and to innovate.
Students will be able to leverage research to identify, target and reach a
specified audience.
Student will create a portfolio and portfolio worthy content and presentations
that meet professional industry standards.

Required Texts & Supplies:

Digital Leader, Erik Qualman
Civility, Steven Carter
Others as assigned
(Required Social Media Participation: Mandatory Platforms)
The Next Web
Fast Company
Robert Scoble

Tech Crunch
Read Write Web
The Atlantic
The New Yorker

Other Requirements:
Twitter: You are required to open a Twitter account and follow me:
Choose your Twitter name deliberately and professionally. This is your BRAND. For
those who may have legal or professional reasons to avoid having social media,
please see me.
Ted Talks: Watch as many TED videos as possible.
Official University Attendance Policy

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Student Class Attendance and Absences

Belmont University is committed to the idea that regular class attendance is
essential to successful scholastic achievement. Absence is permitted only in
cases of illness or other legitimate cause. Attendance is checked from the
first class meeting. Late registrants will have accrued some absences prior to
formal registration in the course. In the case of excused absence from class,
students have the right and responsibility to make up all class work missed.
Provost's Excused Absences
If a class absence is necessary because of an activity by another class or
university organization, the sponsor of the activity will provide a detailed
memorandum on the letterhead of the unit to the Provost at least two (2)
weeks prior to the event. The memo will provide the names of students
involved, the type of event, and the date range of the event. If approved the
Provost will countersign the memo, generating a Provost's Excuse, and copies
will be provided by the sponsor to each student to present to instructor as an
excused absence with the allowance for the student to make up missed class

Absences not Covered by the Provost's Excuse

When the number of absences (other than those addressed in the Provost's Excuse)
exceeds three times the number of regularly scheduled class meetings per week (20%
of class meetings during regularly scheduled summer terms), the student may
receive the grade of "FN" (failure for non-attendance).
Student responsibilities
Students are responsible for notifying faculty members if they miss class(es). They
are to provide documentation in support of absenteeism for the faculty member to
review and evaluate according to course attendance policies. Students with excused
absences (as approved by the faculty or through the Provost's Excuse) are able to
make up all classwork missed during the absenteeism period. When you miss class,
it is your responsibility to work with your classmates to find out what you missed.
Further, if you CHOOSE to schedule travel during class time you will lose 10 points
from your overall grade per absence. In other words, do NOT schedule any flights
during class time especially before or after a university-approved break. i.e. Fall
Break, Holidays including Thanksgiving, or End of the Semester.

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To avoid attendance conflicts, groups may switch dates with other groups. You must
handle these matters among yourselves and inform your Professor via email 24
hours in advance of class affected by the change.
Timeliness: PLEASE BE ON TIME.
Media Policy
Cell Phones: Electronic devices are not to be used during class, unless the
Professor asks for you to do so. Cell phone interruptions will not be tolerated. If you
are caught texting, emailing, talking or communicating during class, it will impact
your participation grade.
Recording Class: You may not copy, record, publish or alter my class without my
expressed permission.
Accommodation of Disabilities: In compliance with Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Belmont University will
provide reasonable accommodation of all medically documented disabilities. If you
have a disability and would like the university to provide reasonable
accommodations of the disability during this course, please notify the Office of the
Dean of Students located in Beaman Student Life Center (460-6407) as soon as
Academic Honesty: Plagiarism, fabrication, or other dishonorable behavior will not
be practiced in this classroom. Any violation of Belmonts Honor Code will be acted
upon swiftly and reported, with the appropriate punitive action taken.
This class will adhere to Belmonts Honor Code:
The Belmont community values personal integrity and academic honesty as the
foundation of university life and the cornerstone of a premiere educational
experience. Our community believes trust among its members is essential for both
scholarship and effective interactions and operations of the University. As members
of the Belmont community, students, faculty, staff, and administrators are all

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responsible for ensuring that their experiences will be free of behaviors, which
compromise this value. In order to uphold academic integrity, the University has
adopted an Honor System. Students and faculty will work together to establish the
optimal conditions for honorable academic work.
Following is the Student Honor Pledge that guides academic behavior:
I will not give or receive aid during examinations; I will not give or receive false or
impermissible aid in course work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other type
of work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of my grade; I will not engage
in any form of academic fraud. Furthermore, I will uphold my responsibility to see to
it that others abide by the spirit and letter of this Honor Pledge.















Points per Item

Total Points

Quizzes, etc.



Discussion Board



Industry Case



Twitter Chat






Assignments, Quizzes, etc. Individual Grade (100 points)

This is your opportunity to show your individual capabilities through quizzes and
other relevant assignments. Your individual grade includes: attendance, quiz
grades, assignments, substantive class and social media participation. Each group
will monitor a specific publication in addition to reading other blogs, articles etc.
Group #1-Fast Company, Group #2 Mashable, Group #3 Wired Group #4 TechCrunch
and Group #5 The Next Web. All of your group members will read articles, watch
Ted Talks and post on the discussion board once a month.

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You are responsible for paying attention in class, checking Twitter and conducting
yourself as an engaged college student. You are responsible for studying for quizzes
in advance. They may cover class content as well as current events. You are
responsible for all assignments. It is your responsibility to get missed notes from
classmates. If they choose not to share, they are sending you a message. YOU need
to be responsible.
Discussion Board Posts
All discussion board posts are due by the start of class on the date noted on the
syllabus. The purpose of the discussion post is to demonstrate critical thinking,
comparative analysis and new knowledge. This is your opportunity to apply what you
learn. Questions will be posted on Blackboard. A rubric will be used for grading
purposes. You are to make your initial post and then respond to two of your
classmates. Choose someone who does not have a response. Once a person has two
responses, find another person.
Twitter Chat
Each group will conduct a Twitter chat. The details on how to prepare a Twitter
chat are here. More instructions will be provided in class.
TWO Social Media Case Studies
One case study should focus on a top social media company currently.
The other should focus on a newcomer. Your task is to research the company
explaining its inception, implementation and impact. What is the vision and where
are they headed? Go beyond the obvious to uncover ideas, innovations and insight
about the role and relevance of this particular company on society. Concentrate on
linchpin information such as, statistics including the number of users, company
worth, etc .You will present your findings visually and creatively. NO TALKING
HEAD presentations. Via social media sites not limited to Twitter, LinkedIn or
Facebook, you will find a person who works for the company to interview for the
project. You may use video, audio or Twitter. Screenshot your communication to
prove you made contact if you are just using quotes. Power Point will not be
accepted. You may use Google Hangout and record your presentation with your
company representative if you so choose. Add video via You Tube, visuals, etc., as
part of the Hangout. Each presentation should be thirty minutes, leaving an
additional fifteen minutes for questions and answers. This is a RESEARCH

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Your online presence is a necessary part of your professional brand. Throughout the
semester you will create portfolio worthy content, organize existing resume data and
intentionally prepare for the internship, career or entrepreneurial endeavor of your
choice. This is your final exam project. You will prepare a website, infographic and
Linkedin page for this project.

Extra Points
I do not offer extra credit. However, there will be opportunities throughout the
semester for each group to earn extra points. You may split the points equally,
divide them between members who need them the most, give them to one member or
however you choose. This activity should strengthen your reasoning, negotiation and
empathetic skills.
Tentative Schedule (Changes may be necessary due to unforeseen events)


August 26

Digital Citizenship

August 28

Digital Citizenship/Social Media Revolution

What is the Internet?

August 31

Digital Access/Digital Divide

September 2

Digital Leader

September 4

Digital Leader
Digital Leader Discussion Board Due

September 7

No Class, Labor Day

September 9

Digital Literacy

September 11

Digital Literacy

September 14


September 16


Read Digital Leader

Read Civility

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September 18

Digital Etiquette

September 21

Digital Etiquette/Twitter Chat

Discussion Board Due

September 23

Group Work

September 25

Group Work

September 28

Guest Speaker

September 30

Twitter Chat

Group #5

October 2

Twitter Chat

Group #4

October 5

Twitter Chat

Group #3

October 7

Twitter Chat

Group #2

October 9

Twitter Chat

Group #1

October 12

Fall Break

October 14

Digital Security

October 16

Digital Security

October 19

Filter Bubble

October 21

Digital Law
Discussion Board due

October 23

Group Work

October 26

Group Work

October 28

Social Media Case Study

Group 1

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October 30

Social Media Case Study

Group 2

November 2

Social Media Case Study

Group 3

November 4

Social Media Case Study

Group 4

November 6

Social Media Case Study

Group 5

November 9


November 11

Digital Rights & Responsibilities

November 13

Digital Right & Responsibilities

Discussion Board Due

November 16

Group Work

November 18

Group Work

November 20

Social Media Case Study

Group 4

November 23

Social Media Case Study

Group 3

November 25-27

Thanksgiving Break

November 30

Social Media Case Study

Group 5

December 2

Social Media Case Study

Group 1

December 4

Social Media Case Study

Group 2

December 8

Wrap Up

Final Exam:

Thursday, December 10th at 11am.