Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Digital and Social Media
Code COMM114
Coordinator Dr RV Southern
Communication and Media
R.Southern@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 4 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Aims

1) To provide students with an understanding of the ways in which digital media are similar to, and different from, more traditional media.
2) To encourage students to think critically about how technologies shape digital communication.
3) To introduce students to the changes in information dissemination brought about by social media, and provide an understanding of the potential impact on knowledge acquisition.
4) To consider the different ways in which digital technologies can impact and affect democracy.
5) To provide an understanding of the concept of digital subcultures and their roles in the cultural dynamics of digital infrastructures.
6) To offer students an understanding of the reproduction of wider social inequalities through aspects of online communication and its infrastructures.


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will understand the ways in which digital media are similar to more traditional media, and the ways in which they are different.

(LO2) Students will think critically about and understand how technologies shape digital communication.

(LO3) Students will understand changes brought about by social media in information dissemination and the potential impact on knowledge acquisition.

(LO4) Students will critically understand the different ways in which digital technologies can impact and affect democracy.

(LO5) Students will show an understanding of the concepts digital subcultures and their roles in the cultural dynamics of digital infrastructures.

(LO6) Students will show an understanding of the reproduction of wider social inequalities through aspects of online communication and its infrastructures.

(S1) Students will acquire skills in workshop preparation, including how best to read set texts in preparation for these sessions.

(S2) Students will acquire group work skills from working with others in the workshops and from the presentation.

(S3) Students will acquire critical thinking skills from reading and thinking about the topics covered throughout the module.

(S4) Students will learn how to plan and write a blog via the first summative assignment.

(S5) Students will improve their analytical skills via the empirical research group assignment.


Syllabus

 

In this module, students will be taken through a series of exercises whereby they are asked to assess and think critically about the ways in which digital and social media can be thought of as an extension of more traditional media, but furthermore how these technologies differ from 'older' media. There will then be three 'blocks' to this module. The first will assess the technologies themselves; it will ask students to think about how technology (for example algorithms) shapes communication and the way that citizens gain their information. The second block will look at online subcultures. Examples here may be: online influencers and a critical assessment of the power they have, or political subcultures such as the alt-right or political anti-fandoms. This block will also ask students to think about the ways these subcultures may entrench or challenge existing social inequalities. The third block will take the form of assessing digital or social media as an object of study in itself. Students will be provided with the tools they need to make sense of online communication and be able to produce a presentation which uses these as a data source in their findings.


Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method: Lecture and Workshop
Description: Weekly 1–hour lecture to introduce students to concepts and issues. Then a weekly 2- hour workshop which will combine discussion of set readings with practical activities. In later weeks, these workshops will take place in a computer lab, in preparation for the final assessment.
Schedule directed student hours: 36
Attendance recorded: Yes
Unscheduled directed student hours: 114. These hours should be used for reading, workshop preparation, blog draft and blog production, report reading and production.


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 12

        24

36
Timetable (if known) 60 mins X 1 totaling 12
 
        120 mins X 1 totaling 24
 
 
Private Study 114
TOTAL HOURS 150

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
             
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
A 1500-word report based on the final ‘block’ of the module. This will be a report based on empirical work taught and done in class.  -1500 words    75       
A 500-word journalistic piece of writing based on a topic from the early weeks of the course.  -500 words    25       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.