MC4326 | Advanced Social Media and Analytics | Spring 2018

Instructor: Dale Blasingame, M.A.
Office: Old Main 230
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. - noon and Thursdays 9:30-11:30 a.m. or by appointment. If my door is open, feel free to stop in.
E: | T: @daleblasingame | W:

Catalog Description

This course will provide students with an advanced understanding of social media, marketing plans and social media analytics. Students will build company and/or journalistic profiles on the top social networks - Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and more - to engage with audiences and communities and utilize analytical tools to track success. Prerequisite: Full major status and MC4381 with a grade of C or higher.

Course Objectives

Students will gain an advanced understanding of the strategy involved with social media; work with social networks relevant to professional opportunities; and work on projects that demonstrate the intersection of social media, journalism and marketing.

Recommended Text

Vaynerchuk, Gary (2013). Jab, jab, jab, right hook. New York, NY: Harper Business. ISBN: 978-0-06-227306-2

There will be other assigned readings from popular press throughout the semester.

Class Communication

This course will utilize the TRACS system for grading. Course handouts, presentations and assignments will be posted to Slack.


You MUST have a Texas State email account. The grading program I use and the TRACS system utilize the Texas State email system. Check your Texas State email account regularly because I often send notices concerning class.

Attendance Policy/Class Behavior

I treat this class like a working social media agency. Therefore, you are expected to attend class, participate and complete assignments on deadline. Students who regularly miss class struggle to pass the course, so a few guidelines are in place to help you succeed:

  • I have a rewards-based attendance policy for this class. Perfect attendance will earn you a potential grade bump of one point at the end of the semester. One absence will earn you a potential grade bump of half a point at the end of the semester. Otherwise, the grade you have at the end of the semester is the grade you have earned. If you have a 79.99 but missed two classes, you will have earned a C. On the third absence, you will be penalized a letter grade, and a letter grade will be deducted for the fourth absence, as well. If you miss five classes, you will fail the course.
  • Excused absences are only for life-altering situations. As mentioned above, you can have up to two absences without penalty. Any illness, car trouble or other situation falls into those two, non-penalized absences. You do not have to contact me if you will miss class. In addition, I do not accept doctor’s notes. Requests for excused absences must first be processed through the Dean of Students Office (which is subject to the University Honor Code), athletics or be received via another official university channel.
  • We will frequently complete graded assignments in class. Missed assignments cannot be made up and will result in a zero.
  • Late work is not accepted and will result in a zero.
  • If you miss class, it is your responsibility to cover the material discussed on your own.

Because this is a class focused on digital issues, you are encouraged to tweet and/or use smart phones during lectures. However, this privilege comes with responsibility. If phones are being used for personal matters during lectures, this privilege goes away. Please respect the opinions of others and be considerate of their need to contribute and learn. Please do not have private conversations with your neighbors during lecture or when other students are asking questions, etc. Any student who does not adhere to these conduct policies will be asked to leave the classroom. If this behavior is not corrected, the instructor can deduct points from your overall grade. In general, please be respectful of others and help create a fun and beneficial classroom environment.


Grades are available via the TRACS Gradebook. All categories, assignments and weights of grades are visible in the Gradebook. Missed assignments will result in a zero. Late work is not accepted in this class and will also result in a zero.

Exams – 30%

  • There will be a midterm exam and final exam for this course. Each will be worth 15% of your overall grade.
  • The final exam will be comprehensive.

Social Media Project – 30%

  • Throughout the semester, you will work with a client on developing a social media strategy, producing content and reviewing analytics. Analytic reports will be due each month during the semester. At the end of the semester, you will present your work and findings to the client. More information regarding the social media project will be presented in separate handouts.

Social Assignments – 25%

  • You will be responsible for several social assignments throughout the semester. These will consist of creating content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and possibly Snapchat for the client.

Class Assignments – 15%

  • There will be various in-class assignments throughout the semester. We may also have pop quizzes throughout the semester focusing on tech news, assigned readings and previous class discussions. Missed quizzes cannot be made up.

News of the Day

Each session, we will begin with a quick discussion of relevant tech/social media news of the day. You will have an assigned news day where you briefly present a news item and explain why it’s important. The schedule will be provided on the class calendar.

Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment

This class may utilize the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Equipment Checkout Room. Use of equipment is a privilege earned through your respect of and cooperation with the checkout rules. If you are late returning a camera to the Equipment Checkout Room, you lose all checkout privileges. In addition, a return that is two days late may result in up to a letter deduction on your grade. If equipment is kept five days past the due date, it is considered stolen.

Academic Dishonesty

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of ethical mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standard of academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Texas State Student Handbook.

The policy is also available here: or

Falsifying sources or other information and copying material without proper attribution are acts of academic dishonesty that will not be tolerated in this class. They will result in a failing grade on an assignment and potentially a failing grade in the course.

Students with Special Needs

If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodation in my class, it is your responsibility to tell me at the beginning of the semester so accommodations can be provided promptly. You must notify me by the second week of class if you need accommodation. If your status is pending with ODS, notify me as soon as possible. Contact the ODS office if you have questions 245.3451. It is my desire to accommodate students to the best of my ability. ODS certifications assist in this endeavor.

Drop Policy

You can drop this or any course by March 27, 2018, and receive an automatic W. After that date, you cannot drop a single course. Instead, you must withdraw from all courses. Please review PPS 4.09 at this Web site: