Identity, Status, Power: Issues in Social Media
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2016
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): General Education
Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Course Leader or Contact: Derrick Millard
Version: 20160906_01
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This is a web-based course taught fully online, using Desire2Learn Learning Management System. To take this course, students will need reliable access to the Internet. They should have a basic level of comfort using computers as well as self-discipline to work online. This course is taught entirely online and is offered only in an online format. Students will be expected to participate in a new social media site as part of the course.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students learn how social media has transformed how they see themselves, how they interact with others, how they work, and how they play. Students explore themes of identity, status and power and the positive and negative issues that arise from them. They actively participate in and reflect on the culture of modern social networking sites. Through online readings, web-based research, active participation in new social media environments, online chats, group work and discussions, students describe, assess, and analyze the culture of the virtual social world and its impact on contemporary life. Students examine how democratization of the web via social media has transformed political, social and cultural spheres in the real world.

Program Context

General Education Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
This course is part of the General Education curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of the students' consciousness of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience; their ability to establish meaning through this consciousness; and, as a result, their ability to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. General Education courses strengthen students' generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to summarize the impact that social media has had on the understanding of self-identity, the concept of status within society, and how power is achieved in a social media world.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Differentiate between social media and social networking.
  2. Analyze characteristics of modern social media.
  3. Participate in social media sites to gain a deeper understanding of their purpose, impact and issues.
  4. Assess how our sense of identity is impacted by social media.
  5. Identify how status is earned in in social media.
  6. Describe how both negative and positive fame can be achieved via social media.
  7. Analyze how social networking sites are transforming political, social and cultural spheres.
  8. Discuss how the "democratization" of the virtual world influences the real world.
  9. Predict how social media is going to impact the world in the future.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: ONLINE
 Reflective Critiques 3 @ 15%45.0%
 Online Chats 3 @ 10%30.0%
 Online Group Presentation25.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills - Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

  • Social and Cultural Understanding

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Portfolio
  • Interview

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: Online
Professor: Multiple Professors
RequiredOtherCore readings are in the modules below but other readings and resources will be assigned through the online platform SLATE. These readings will be accessible through web links and relevant news services

Applicable student group(s): Cross College General Education Electives
Course Details:


Module 1: Orientation

  • Orientation
  • Course overview
  • Resources for successful eLearning


Module 2: What is Social Media?

  • Social Media vs. Social Networking. What is the Difference?
  • Join a New Social Media.


Chat 1: 10%

Module 3: Issues of Identity in Social Media

  • What is Identity?
  • How is Identity different online?
  • Managing your online Identity.


Reflective Critique 1: 15%

Module 4: Issues of Status in Social Media

  • What is Status?
  • Status in the real world vs. the virtual world.
  • Social Capital.
  • Obtaining, Managing and Maintaining status.


Group Contract 2.5%

Chat 2: 10%

Reflective Critique 2: 15%

Module 5: Issues of Power in Social Media

  • What is Power?
  • Participatory Culture
  • Citizen Journalism
  • Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers


Chat 3: 10%

Reflective Critique 3: 15%

Module 6: The Future of Social Media

  • Social Media 2025


Group Project 20%

Self-Reflection 2.5%

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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