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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: EDMG321 Course ID: 4277 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course explores social media and other forms of communication; their value and limitations in today’s environment; and cross-functional employment in support of emergency management, homeland security, and public health emergency operations. In addition, this course evaluates the contributions of the internet and social media within a larger media/public relations context, as a stand-alone mass notification/information-sharing platform, and as part of a communications strategy for disaster response. Through a simulation, the student experiences a vital role within emergency and disaster management, that of a public affairs officer. Within the course, the student explores the utility and challenges of using social media as an emergency management communication tool to support homeland security and public health emergency operations. Using private locked-down Facebook and Twitter groups, students develop social media posts specific to their assigned roles and what they need to convey to the town as the public affairs officers during a severe storm scenario and a terrorist attack threat scenario. In addition to these roles, one student is assigned the role of the antagonist, and another is assigned the disruptor role with the goal of spreading rumors, myths, and misinformation. The purpose is to emulate some of the key challenges that emergency management public affairs officers encounter on a regular basis. The intent is for all students to learn the use of social media and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Social Media Toolkit as a way to improve their communications during an emergency.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

1. Explore the internet, social media, its influence, forms of usage and global reach.

2. Evaluate the effectiveness of social media messages and their influence on disaster response, homeland security threats, public health emergencies, education, and health and safety messages.

3. Devise, develop, design and employ social media messages and critique/evaluate their effectiveness for achieving a pre-defined goal.

4. Examine the effects of misinformation on the immediate and overall response efforts, mitigation activities, preparedness actions, educational goals, intended outcomes, and future engagements.

5. Synthesize how cultural, religious, generational, and other social dynamic factors influence social media messages.

6. Develop a fundamental/working knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Design, create, post and evaluate student created content for these applications.

7. Identify the most effective communication strategies and methods of employment within each of the four phases of Emergency Management.

Grades for this course will be based upon graded forums, written assignments, a research paper and interactive social media interaction. As such, extensive, active and sustained participation is essential. There are seven weekly forums and an initial introductory biography submission which will be graded and that are accessible in the Forums section of the course. The biography need be a minimum of 250 words and must be submitted to the appropriate forum prior to the conclusion of the first week of class. In the case of each weekly forum the student must respond to the topic of discussion and further reply to the postings of a minimum of two other classmates as part of their total grade. Written assignments are to be completed prior to the close of a course week and are to be submitted through the appropriate weekly written assignment window accessible via the Assignments section of the course.

The grading will be based on interactive participation, six graded Discussion Forums, written assignments, and one research paper.

The final grade for the course will be calculated as follows:

*Includes introductory biography submitted as a forum submission in week 1. A grading rubric located in the respective Lessons area and within weekly Forum instruction boxes guides evaluation and grading of forum assignments less the biography.

** A grading rubric located in the respective Lessons area and within weekly Written Assignment instruction boxes guides evaluation and grading of written assignments with exception of those noted for which the criteria do not apply.

*** Students are expected to submit classroom assignments by the posted due date and to complete the course according to the published class schedule. As adults, students, and working professionals, it is expected that you manage competing demands on your time. Should you need additional time to complete an assignment however, please contact your course instructor before the respective assignment due date so they can discuss your situation and needs and determine an acceptable resolution.

Assignments otherwise submitted as late without pre-coordination need not be accepted in fulfillment of course requirements. In the case of those assignments that are accepted as late without pre-coordination the following grade deductions can be expected. In all cases, routine submission of late assignments is unacceptable and may result in the unwillingness of the course instructor to accept any late assignments from the respective student or may result in points deducted from your final course grade.


Late forum posts can be penalized up to 5 points per day

Late assignments can be penalized up to 5 points per day

**** If you have an issue with the grade you received, please consult the instructor. All grading issues will be resolved within a week of turning back the assignment.

NameGrade %
Social Media Prep 10.00 %
Follow Twitter Feed (Week 2) 3.33 %
Follow Classmates on Twitter (W3) 3.33 %
Join Facebook Page (Week 3) 3.33 %
Weekly Forums 30.00 %
Introduction - Week 1 3.75 %
Forum - Week 2 3.75 %
Forum - Week 3 3.75 %
Forum - Week 4 3.75 %
Forum - Week 5 3.75 %
Forum - Week 6 3.75 %
Forum - Week 7 3.75 %
Forum - Week 8 3.75 %
Written Assignments 30.00 %
Week 1 - Critical Assumptions 5.00 %
Week 2 - Orientation to Social Media 5.00 %
Week 3 - Communication Strategy 5.00 %
Week 5 - Audiences 5.00 %
Week 6 - SPIN Project 5.00 %
Week 7 - CDC Worksheet 5.00 %
Research Paper 30.00 %
Week 8 - Course Research Paper 30.00 %

Software Requirements: Internet, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and QuickTime or Windows Media Player

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.