D) Systems & Grading Policy

Learning Management System (Blackboard)
Blackboard:  The iSchool uses Syracuse University’s Blackboard system to facilitate distance learning and main campus courses. The environment is composed of a number of elements that will help you be successful in both your current coursework and your lifelong learning opportunities.  To access Blackboard, go to the following URL: Use your Syracuse University NetID & Password to log into Blackboard.


Questions regarding technical aspects of Blackboard, please submit a help ticket to the iSchool dashboard at My.iSchool Dashboard ( Log in with your NetID, select “Submit a Helpdesk Ticket,” and select Blackboard as the request type.  The iSchool Blackboard support team will assist you.
Website – WordPress
CMGRClass will also be using wordpress for our main source of information.

Main URL:

Login:              Each student will have their own account to save posts set up in the first week of class with their .syr email address

Google+ Community Group

Please join the Google+ Community Group by Tuesday August 26th.  Create a Google+ account if you don’t already have one.


1) Assignment Format

  • Submit all assignments (except blog posts) via Blackboard Assignments area using .doc or .docx formats.
  • Blog posts will be submitted to the admin page as “pending approval” if you save as a “draft” you will lose points.
  • Do not zip files.
  • Do not email assignments or submit them in print unless directed.
  • Assignments should be prepared in a professional manner, with correct grammar, spelling, mechanics, etc.
  • Assignments should be formatted in Times New Roman, 12-point font with 1” margins. Citations should be formatted according to APA style.
  • When Citing Twitter – APA Format:

Last Name, First Name (User Name).

“The Tweet in its entirety.” Date, Time. Tweet Link.

  • Citing Blog Posts:
    • Examples:
      • “John Smith in his article, “Title of the Article” mentions this sentence about this topic.”   Place a hyperlink on “Title of the Article.”
      • “Social Media Today wrote a piece about community metrics. This piece was way off the mark because Social Fresh wrote an article two weeks ago on the same topic and they provided more data.”    Place a hyperlink to “Social Media Today” and to “Social Fresh”
      • “Jane Smith wrote a book called “Title of Book” and it distinctly mentions the topic of blank that we’re discussing in class this week.”  Place a hyperlink to the book on “title of book.”
    • The following websites can help you create APA documents and citations:

o   Basics of APA Style

2) Attendance & Participation

Attendance:  Students are expected to attend a weekly Google+ hangout every Tuesday.

*If you cannot attend any or all of the sessions due to another obligation such as another class or work, the student is expected to watch the recording and write a blog post.


Participation: Your participation will be graded based on the assignment descriptions below.


3) Grading Policy

  • Late Assignments

You are expected to complete assignments by the deadlines listed in course materials and submit blog posts in WordPress, all other assignments in blackboard. All assignments are to be turned in by 8:00pm Friday on the week they are due. Late assignments drop one letter grade each day they are late, as described in the chart below. These specifics are provided to avoid misunderstandings regarding the late assignment policy.

o   Submission Time Highest Grade Possible

8:00pm Friday A

8:01pm Friday – 8:00pm Saturday B

8:01pm Saturday – 8:00pm Sunday C

8:01pm Sunday – 8:00pm Monday  D

8:01pm Monday – 8:00pm Tuesday F

After 8:01pm Tuesday No Credit (0 points)

  • Assignment Grading Scale

The course assignments add up to 100 points. Use this grading scale to monitor your course grade.

A 95-100           C 73-76

A- 90-94           C- 70-72

B+ 87-89           D+ 67-69

B 83-86             D 63-66

B- 80-82             D-   60-62

C+ 77-79           F 59 and below

4) Academic Integrity

The academic community of Syracuse University and of the School of Information Studies requires the highest standards of professional ethics and personal integrity from all members of the community. Violations of these standards are violations of a mutual obligation characterized by trust, honesty, and personal honor. As a community, we commit ourselves to standards of academic conduct, impose sanctions against those who violate these standards, and keep appropriate records of violations. The academic integrity statement can be found at: Read it carefully. Pay special attention to the sections on plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, submitting the same work for different classes, and policies and procedures for handling cases of academic dishonesty.

Note: Please do not share answer keys or responses to IST 500 course assignments, unless otherwise instructed by the professor. It makes you vulnerable to academic integrity charges should someone use your work later on, as in those cases both students are typically “charged.”

5) Students with Disabilities

If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS),, located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) 443-4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters, as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS as soon as possible. Also inform your instructors, Jenn & Kelly.

6) Ownership and Educational Use of Student Work

In compliance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, works in all media produced by students as part of their course participation at Syracuse University may be used for educational purposes, provided that the course syllabus makes clear that such use may occur. It is understood that registration for and continued enrollment in a course where such use of student works is announced constitutes permission by the student. After such a course has been completed, any further use of student works will meet one of the following conditions: (1) the work will be rendered anonymous through the removal of all personal identification of the work’s creator/originator(s); or (2) the creator/originator(s)’ written permission will be secured. As generally accepted practice, honors theses, graduate theses, graduate research projects, dissertations, or other exit projects submitted in partial fulfillment of degree requirements are placed.

E) Assignment Descriptions & Grading Scale (in points)

Brief Outline of Assignments, details on expectations below:

1)   Course Participation: – 10pts

2)   Moderation Project: 1 Week – 10 pts

3)   3 Section Quizzes (10 pts each) – 30 pts

4)   Midterm Exam – 11 pts

5)   3 Blog Posts  – 400-600 Words (3 pts each) – 9 pts

6)   Content Audit   – 10 pts

7)   Final: Content Strategy  – 20 pts

Detailed descriptions of assignments:

1) Participation (10pts)

Google+ Community Group
Respond to your professors AND classmates’ posts throughout each week. You are strongly encouraged to log on to the group often, as this will increase your ability to learn from your colleagues’ experiences, thoughts, and opinions. Discussion topics will be posted at random throughout the week, much like an actual community.

Length of your responses in the comments should vary but kept brief. They should not exceed 3-5 sentences generally to the main questions, they should be thought provoking and inspire discussion amongst your classmates for when you post new topics, and you should comment in ways that encourage further discussion to maintain your colleagues’ interest. When possible, use bulleted lists or other conventions that make your ideas easy to digest.

  • Make a connection to your own experiences often. It is useful to cite relevant work experiences in your posts.  You should connect work experiences to course content, perhaps using them as evidence for an argument or opinion. “How we do it” stories should not stand alone as the total content of a post.
  • Make a connection to course content & readings. In order to demonstrate your learning, you should include content from the course, especially the readings, to your discussion posts. Be sure to cite the authors whose work you mention. This not only complies with academic honesty policies, but also makes your opinions, points, or thoughts even stronger.
  • Focus on analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Strive to demonstrate higher order thinking skills in your posts. Below are two illustrations of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a model that conveys lower and higher order thinking skills. While knowing, comprehending, and applying new information is very important, stretch yourself! Gear your posts toward analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating what you learn.

Live sessions will take place on the Google+ Hangouts on Air.  You must add Jenn Pedde ( to your circles and you will be invited to join the HOA just before or at 7pm EST.  Discussions will be about materials from the previous week and will test your understanding of the readings, community group discussions, and assignments. The link to these discussions will be placed in the Google+ Content Class community group and if you are unable to attend due to work or other class times, you will watch the recording and write a 400-600 blog post recapping the discussion & topic by Friday.

2) Moderation Project (10 pts):

Join the Google+ Content Class Community Group here by Tuesday August 26th:

You will automatically be assigned a week between Sunday and Saturday to facilitate discussion in the group. You will be expected to start discussion in the group, manage comments, encourage activity, build relationships amongst class members and share class blog posts, outside articles, and thoughts from the readings. When the assigned time is over, you’ll submit a 400-600 word blog post in WordPress discussing moderation & your experience by the following Friday at 8pm.

Moderators Must:

  • On Day 1 (Sunday), make your first post as the week’s moderator.  Make an introduction, start a discussion.
  • Read the two reading assignments prior to starting your Moderation assignment.
  • Read colleagues’ comments daily.
  • Post/respond daily. Caution—moderate, don’t dominate. Be careful not to impede the response flow or preempt classmates’ answers.
    • Ask colleagues follow up questions, when appropriate.
    • Compare and contrast, analyze and synthesize colleagues’ comments/ideas.
    • Connect course readings/assignments to colleagues’ comments/ideas.
    • Optional: open up a Google+ Hangout in the group and invite anyone available.
  • By Wednesday at 8:00 am, post a citation of a resource that is directly related to the week’s readings and discussion topic and that you would recommend as a future required course reading. Articles and book chapters are the most likely candidates, but books and vetted websites are appropriate as well. Be sure to link to the source and/or quote the material and describe how you found the article.
  • In your blog post, put a summary together of major points. The summary should focus on the week’s “takeaways.” Include advantages/disadvantages, lists, pros/cons, quotations from posts/readings, questions that have been answered or left hanging, etc.
  • Include a list of the names of students who participated in the discussion that week as a part of your summary. This won’t be published but it will impact participation grades. One point will be deducted if this is not included.

3) 3 Section Quizzes (30 pts):

At the end of each section there will be a 10-question quiz.. The quiz will be available for 24 hours starting at 8:30pm on a Tuesday with 1 attempt. Each quiz is worth 10 pts.

4) Midterm – Exam (10 pts):

Exam to be held during class covering the first half of the semester.
5) 3 Blog Posts (400-600 Words each) (9 pts):
Refer to the section above on discussions & posts regarding writing guidelines.

You will write 3 blogs throughout the semester.

Blog posts must include the following in order to receive full points:

  • Style (bullet points, captions, paragraphs, images, etc.)
  • Short, catchy, and topical titles
  • Images

Images should NOT be taken from a Google search.  They can be photos you have taken yourself that relate to the content, they should resonate with the content being written about, and they should be tagged appropriately & named. Flickr provides an excellent source of images under their Creative Commons site. Your grade will not only depend on your understanding of the readings, but the analysis you provide in your posts. They must relate to a theory, a personal story, an example, and the texts you’re referring to.  Also make sure to cite the resources within your blog posts as stated above.

6) Content Audit (10 Pts):

For this assignment, you’ll be given a choice of website to audit.  This audit will cover everything from design, to content, to usability and more.

7) Final: Content Strategy (20 pts):

Choose a company from a list we provide, or choose your own.  You will need to interact with people in this company who can share information on target audience, brand messages, etc., so we suggest small, local businesses if you decide to choose one of your own.  Design a content strategy for one year.

  • Some of the topics you should cover in your strategy are:

o   An audit of the current assets (if they have them)

o   What is the process that puts content creation in motion?

o   Who is the target audience?

o   What are the guidelines creators must follow to have consistent messaging across platforms (style, voice, tone, etc.)

o   What happens to content after it is released ‘into the wild’? How will changes be made to web content, and how often? Whose job is it to do this?

o   What channels will content be distributed on?

o   A sample three-month Editorial Calendar to include various types of content to be created for the web

o   Crisis Plan

o   Recommendations for repurposing content across platforms

o   SEO Strategy

o   An ideal team structure (will depend on size and budget)

  • Utilize the theories and practices from the semester’s readings
  • Format to vary.  Must be a presentable document (Prezi, Powerpoint, video, paper, etc.) to give to the company

F) Weekly Schedule:

Date (Tues) Theme Assignments Book: Content Strategy At Work Book: Content Strategy for the Web Outside Reading Due Date
8/26 Foundations: What is Content Strategy? What does a Strategist Do? Why Do it? Reading Chapter 1 Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3  
9/2 How to Write Online: Best Practices, Blogging Blog 1: What Makes a Great Blog Post     Friday 9/5
9/9 Elements of Content Strategy – information architecture, meta data, target audiences, distribution channels Reading Chapter 2Chapter 7  Chapter 8  
9/16 Elements of Content Strategy – brand messaging, SEO, keyword strategy, calendar, CMS Quiz #1 Chapter 5Chapter 6  Chapter 8  
9/23 Types of Content (Podcasts, Video, Blog, Social) Blog 2: Elements of Content Strategy     Friday 9/6
9/30 Copywriting, Creation, Curation Reading Chapter 4    
10/7 Case Study Reading      
10/14 Midterm Midterm N/A N/A N/A In Class
10/21 Structure/ Workflow // Outsourcing, Agencies, Team Set Up Reading Chapter 8 Chapter 4  
10/28 Governance / Guidelines Reading   Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11
  • None
11/4 Auditing a Website Website Audit Chapter 3 Chapter 5 Friday 11/7
11/11 Analysis & Data Reading   Chapter 6    
11/18 How to Build an Editorial Calendar Quiz #2      
11/25 Thanksgiving Break N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
12/2 Panel Blog 3: Panel       Friday 12/5
12/5 Last Day of Class N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
12/12 Final Due Final N/A N/A N/A Friday 12/12


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