Teaching with the Social Media Magnet During the COVID-19 Quarantine

It was Friday, March 6th, 2020, and I was saying goodbye to my students for the week, as next week was Spring Break.  They were telling me where they were going for the break, including home, NYC, and to the beach.  My family and I had a travel club soccer weekend plan in Memphis, TN that we were excited to enjoy over the weekend.  Little did we all know that our semester was about to permanently change, and that it would be a final few months that we would never forget.

The following week, our university extended Spring Break for an additional week to allow professors to prepare for a semester that would ultimately conclude online.  Professors were scrambling to create any semblance of online environment that could get them through the next 8-10 weeks.  Some professors were hit exceptionally hard as all of their notes were usually written on a white board.  They had never used Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, or any other online delivery tool to distribute content to their class before.  For those professors, life was tenuous, trying to determine between synchronous and asynchronous delivery.  What would exam delivery look like?  How do you monitor student progress?  How will group projects continue to be carried out?  How will groups deliver their final presentations and through what platform?  Needless to say, for most professors, those two weeks were stressful and equated to a TON of work.

Like I said, that was for most professors.  Here at the Social Media Magnet, we had already created all of these requirements, as they were built into our online platform.  Schedules had already been set online, student progress is always monitored in our system, our data analytics tool monitors both individual student and group metrics and scores their work automatically into a grade database, and as a professor, you have access to every lecture should you need or want to post our lectures in a pinch instead of your own.  The only additional work our professors had to do was setup any synchronous classroom delivery through an online tool like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Blackboard Collaborate, etc.  If they went the asynchronous route, they just uploaded either our lectures, or their own recorded lectures to the online management tool associated to their university (Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, etc.).

It really was that easy.  Student’s social media campaigns continued on as they were regularly scheduled.  Editorial calendars stayed on task, although students may have altered content due to coronavirus discussions that were enveloping the world.  Emails continued to go out weekly and students continued to monitor Google Analytics for web traffic to and through their site, goal funnel completions, and social media conversions.  We continued on smoothly through the transition until the end of the campaign.  Even more convincingly that the transition was a smooth one for students, not one single course evaluation mentioned anything about Covid-19.  It wasn’t even in their minds when filling out the surveys.  Again, this anecdotally suggests the ease to which we have previously expressed about teaching this course.  We have done everything we know of to take the burden off of the professor when teaching a topic like social media that historically has been so difficult to teach.  Our courseware moves away from the constantly changing tactical positions of various platforms and moves into the overall strategy of what social media campaigns should do, which is perform as a lead generator for your company.  Once students realize the process for how to generate leads through a goal funnel through content creation and curation, they realize the importance of our strategies.  Here are just a few of this year’s survey comments:

“This is my last semester of college and this was the best class I have ever taken in all my years of school. I am very passionate about social media and social media marketing and hope to gain a job in this field upon graduation. I am currently a marketing intern for an artist management firm and have already had so many opportunities to use my skills learned from this course, such as creating email campaigns and updating websites.

Growing up with social media, I thought I already knew all there was to know about the platforms, as well as digital marketing, but I was so wrong! This class taught me things I didn’t even know I needed to know, like how much time it takes to create a good website and how much time goes into creating a successful marketing campaign. While this practicum was a lot of work, I would do it all over again to learn all of the valuable skills and concepts it taught me.”

-Katie Kuhnash

“I have found this class to be one of the most beneficial courses I have taken in college. Working on the live practicum has given me a real-world example of what to expect when running a social media campaign. My professor was extremely helpful during this process and has done his best to make sure that every student had the opportunity to succeed in this class.  I had heard from past students that took this course say that the workload is consuming, and while that is true, the work is extremely rewarding. In the future, I will be sure to recommend this class to prospective students!”

-Justin Conner

“I took this class to advance my social media skills, but got much more out of the class than I was expecting. This class allowed me to advance my social media skills through a hands-on experience instead of sitting there and listening to lectures on how to use social media. I really enjoyed the hands-on experience of running my own website and social media channels.  I feel this is a valuable skill for my future.  I can show future employers that I do know how to run social media campaigns and websites because I have experienced it instead of just learning it through lectures. I can show a future employer that I have blogged for a campaign, grew social media pages and developed a brand, all because of this class. This was the most hands on class I have taken and the Social Media Magnet was more than I ever expected.”

-Jaime Anderson

If you are a college professor and are just becoming familiar with what we do at The Social Media Magnet, check our professor overview with highlights of our features and benefits.  If you are interested in considering The Social Media Magnet for your university, we have a professor preview function that will allow you to see and work with some of the content.  If you are already in preview, which many of you are, and you are ready to commit to using our curriculum in your next semester’s class, then fill out our Commitment Form to get on-boarded and prepped for your next class.  Or if you just have some general questions, feel free to contact us.  We would love to assist you however possible.

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