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Social Media and Virtual Communities


Course Topics: Topic Presentations

This is a course for the students with a strong interest in new technologies and how they may be used to create new business opportunities, particularly new social networking media.  Topics covered will include social networking and how the business world leverages them, virtual worlds and technologies, skills in designing and implementing social media for business value using sharepoint and iTunes U (hands on projects). 

The topic presentations are 30 minutes in class when your team presents (teaches) materials on one of our course topics.  The goal of this presentation is to bring the topic alive in all of its richness using the sources available to you.  In particular, I want you to read and use the articles assigned for the topic.  You can check with me, I have updated articles in my office for each topic.  You can also use the commentary posted to our wiki by students in the previous running of our course last year.  In order to make your presentation really engaging, it will be useful to try to think of it as storytelling.  What are the compelling stories and themes that need our attention within your topic?  What examples can you use to illustrate your stories and make them engaging? 

The topic presentation has two main tasks.  1) Present for 30 minutes on your assigned day and take questions.  Make this interactive.  Try to imagine key questions of import to your topic and have the class discuss them.  Not everyone in your group needs to present.  2) Publish a summary Web page to our course SharePoint site summarizing your presentation of the topic.  I suggest that you assign a sub-group of two or three to design the Web page to summarize your presentation.  This page needs to be linked into the topic within our course topics wiki on our SharePoint site.  It needs to contain a link to your presentation slides (which need to be uploaded to the site so that they can be linked) as well as pictures or videos illustrating key points (richer media such as games or other interactive experiences would be a bonus).  As applicable it should also link in source materials from internal sources (such as postings in our SharePoint site) or from external sources on the Web so that readers can follow-up if interested.

The topic presentations are evaluated by feedback from students present during the presentation as well as my evaluation of your work.  The key performance criteria are:

1) To what degree was there engaged discussion on the topic resulting from the in-class presentation?
2) To what degree was there anecdotal / visual material presented that captured key points and communicated them in ways that I will remember?
3) To what degree do I understand trends in this topic as they relate to social media having now viewed the presentation?
4) To what degree do I have the sense that this presentation used a variety of legitimate sources including news media, online sources, personal experience, former student commentary on the topic and published reports or cases?