Assignment 2: Communications

In this assignment, your group will construct a basic social media policy.


Each member may earn up to 100 points for this Assignment 2. There must be evidence on your group blog that everyone contributed equitably; you may of course divide up the work according to each other’s strengths and interests. For example, if a couple of you want to conduct the interviews, someone else can summarize the interview themes, while others can get working on the drafting the policy outline. However, this should be an interesting assignment for you that has meaning beyond just a grade.

Why is this important?

To construct your own basic policy, you need to know what’s already out there. For example, here is a link to ODU’s Use Of Electronic Communications And Social Media (PDF) for all employees. What about for students? What about other organizations? Apple? Walmart? McDonald’s? The US military?

See What Policies Are Out There

As a group, you will first collect, organize, and synthesize (interpret and make sense of)  what’s already out there. Each of you should locate and review one social media policy  in some organization (you’ll have a total of 5-6 different policies). Then, on your group blog, each of you publishes a post with a link to the policy and provides a summary of what you found including key elements that struck you as important or disconcerting.

  • Tag your posts with stem110t, assignment 2, policies. You may also create a new category Assignments and assign that to all the posts. This will help you keep things organized.

You can do a google search for “social media policy” or start with either of the links below:

After each of you has published your post, as a group (face-to-face or through the comments to the posts in your group blog) discuss your impressions of what you found. What do you agree with? What don’t you agree with? Are these policies relevant to you and the way that you use the Internet and social media? Are some policies more conservative while others more progressive? How do various organizations differ in how the address privacy, intellectual property, and monitoring of your usage of the network, Twitter, Facebook, etc.?

Conduct Your Interviews

Then, as a group (divide and conquer) conduct at least two interviews with your peers (not students in STEM 110T). Each interview should be about 2-5 minutes.

You will use social media to help facilitate and share these interviews. For example (but not limited to these options) your interviews can be conducted face-to-face and recorded by video (such as a Flip or smartphone video uploaded to YouTube and embedded in a post your group blog), Twitter (create conversation hashtag and link to it in a post), a Facebook page, Google+, Skype, etc. In whatever means you choose to use social media to help facilitate your interviews, you’ll want to make sure you have explicit permission (see questions below) from those you interviewed to use the interview for this class.

Possible interview questions (but please consider developing your own):

  1. The purpose of this interview is to gather your opinions about social media policies. Do we have your permission to use your first name and this interview recording [or notes from the interview] via our group blog and to share with our STEM 110T class? (if they don’t want to use their real name, ask if you can use a pseudonym).
  2. Are you aware of the any social media policies or Internet usage policies for organizations you belong to or where you work? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways do you feel social media policies affect you?
  4. In what ways do you use social media as a student?
  5. In what situations do you think it’s fair for an organization to restrict the use of social media by its members?
  6. In what situations do you think it’s unfair to restrict use?
  7. What things do you think we should address in our social media policy that would help you?

On your group blog, publish a new post (or posts) with the embedded video or link to the conversation (e.g., if on Facebook or Twitter) and  provide a brief summary of the themes that emerged during the interview.

  • Tag your post with stem110t, assignment 2, interviews. You may also include this in the category Assignments.

Draft Your Group’s Social Media Policy

From your sources and interviews, the group develops a social media policy based on its personal expertise, the sources found, and themes that emerged from conducting the interviews. Create a new page on your group blog and name it Social Media Policy. See the WordPress tutorial on creating a new page if you are unsure how to do so.

Here are some resources to get you started. Your policy doesn’t have to complicated, but does need to reflect your values and perspectives from what you learned in your research and interviews.

As students, it’s entirely up to you to decide what you choose to include in your policy! Consider what’s important and write it in a way that makes sense to you and your peers.

However, here are some guides if you’re totally stuck. I won’t grade you against these guides, but consider them starting points.

How to Submit

Your social media policy page must be published to your group blog by February 8. Groups will present their findings and policies in group presentations during class 2.8-2.10 (see the Course Schedule).


14 Responses to Assignment 2: Communications

  1. Reggie Owens says:

    Do we make policies based off the University or anything we want like a restaurant. Also when we come up with the policies does one person post them on the blog or does everyone have to post something?

  2. Reggie, That’s a good question and an astute observation. You want to consider the context of your policy, but it can be any context you want so long as you can explain (when asked) how the context affects the way you chose to write your policy. So, yes, a restaurant might be very different than a university.

    Hopefully I was clear that each of you should have an initial individual post about a social media policy you found, and then further discussion via comments.

    After that, it doesn’t matter who ultimately posts the final social media policy page to the group blog (someone’s gotta do it). Since you all have access, you can all make edits and comments as needed. I’ll expect that everyone contributed in a meaningful way in the end.

  3. Rose Sieve says:

    Do we have to do a video or can we just type up their answers as we ask them?

    • Video would be the most engaging and interesting (since you’ll be presenting to the class, you can play some of one of the clips). I certainly don’t expect Final Cut post production quality, so just use what you can easily capture on an iPhone or Droid then upload to a Youtube account (which will make it so you can embed the video on your group blog).

      Alternatively, you could invite them to a Google+ conversation or Facebook chat. Or Skype. Basically CMC. The point being to use the medium that you’re investigating.

      • Rose Sieve says:

        I am confused….we are suppose to pick a medium to investigate?

      • “use the medium that you’re investigating” – Sorry, that was academic speak.

        I simply want you to use CMC in the interview process in some way, whether posting video to YouTube, conducting the interview through social media, etc.

  4. Can we use the same exact questions you posted above for our interviews?

    • I’d rather you as a group give careful consideration to the actual questions you want to ask that you think will be helpful to inform how you craft your social media policy.

      Those were questions I thought of off the top of my mind, so use the questions I provided as inspiration. Yours can be somewhat similar, but be try to be creative and ask meaningful questions that are probably more interesting than my examples.

    • Rose Sieve says:

      LOL oh. ok I understand. thank you

  5. egrei001 says:

    Major question. Is it alright if I use a voice recorder to conduct an interview, and I can play it for the class? I should be able to adjust the volume so everyone can hear it.

    I do not have a video camera of my own.

    • Good question. If at all possible, maybe borrow someone’s phone cam or sit in front of a computer webcam (yours, a friend’s, or in the library computer labs) and record the interview? If neither is a viable option, then you can upload just the audio file and embed it to play in your blog post. Please do annotate it a bit (who it is, etc.).

  6. Robyn Broaddus says:

    Hi, I can’t post on my group page! Please help!

    • Need a few more details – send me an email and contact your group.

      I’m not sure who originally created your blog, so you’ll need to find that out. Ask him/her to make sure that you have administrator rights. That’s in the group blog Dashboard – Users -> and in the list of users the admin rights can be set.

  7. Rose Sieve says:

    Just so you know, I made a seperate page for group 1’s social policy. You can find on our home page as well as the “social media policy” page

%d bloggers like this: