I have been teaching at Colorado Mesa University for almost six years. What began as a co-adjunct position teaching a Desktop Publishing course, evolved into a full-time instructor position in which I teach five courses per semester and covering 10 total course titles. I am also the faculty adviser to the student magazine and co-adviser to the school’s chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists. I keep busy, and I love it.
My first full year as an adjunct, I began teaching a course called “Web Content Development.” The previous instructor had primarily taught basic web design, but I felt teaching communication majors about web design was a little like teaching journalists how to fix the printing press.
Instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts of HTML, file management, and FTP clients, I redesigned the course to focus on social media as a communication medium. Facebook was about three years into its proliferation into the mainstream and Tumblr was brand new.
In order to get the students to use social media, I made it mandatory for all students to join a class Facebook group. Only four students in the class were on Facebook and one was on Twitter (but never used it). One or two students claimed that they had some sort of moral/ethical objection to joining Facebook, so I gave them a pass. Less than four weeks into the class every one of the students had joined – even those who had originally objected.