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COMM225 - Social Media Communications

Unit rationale, description and aim

Contemporary workplaces rely on a sophisticated understanding of social media. Social media can help with professional interaction, be used to disseminate news and information, and assist with decision making. A critical awareness of how different types of social media function is imperative. This unit explores online media platforms and provides students with the opportunity to gain practical and critical skills for effective creation and insightful analysis within this environment. Constructing content for delivery on social media platforms and communicating with diverse audiences using these platforms are key activities for media and communication professionals and important for anyone communicating with the public. This unit explores the ways in which social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have revolutionised the media communication landscape. Students consider the implications of these changes and learn to use social media for professional communication. The aim of Social Media Communication is to provide students with the means to become critical content users and producers across a range of significant social media platforms.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Explain theories, principles, and concepts relating to social media (GA5)

LO2 - Analyse the role and impact of social media on cultural, social, political and economic communities (GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Investigate perspectives on social media cultures (GA3, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Create and organise content for publication on social media platforms (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO5 - Apply ethical perspectives in the analysis and creation of social media content (GA3)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics may include:

  • Social media platforms and emerging notions of digital participation.
  • Critical thinking and evaluation of social media.
  • Communities of practice and information bubbles.
  • Monitoring performance and response.
  • Government platforms and considerations:
  • Inclusive communication and accessibility.
  • Consumerism and influencers.
  • Social media activism.
  • Trolling, disinformation, gaslighting: contested social media.
  • Multi-modal communication: words and images.
  • Research techniques and information gathering for communicating on social media.
  • Indigenous social media.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit immerses students in active learning by facilitating the development of an understanding of communicative strategies within real-world contexts. The unit engages students in inquiry-based learning, a research-based strategy that actively involves students in the exploration of the content, issues, and the role of communication. Students in this unit will develop skills in applying a range of communication theories to case studies. Students will also participate in active learning through the creation of social media campaigns and strategies.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Students are encouraged in assessment one to locate and analyse how a particular social media platform operates in terms of creation, payment, audience reach and level of interaction. This will require students to think analytically about social media from a variety of perspectives.

The second assessment requires students to engage with some of the emerging theoretical approaches to social media. This will leverage the learning from the first assessment but here the student will focus on a particular theoretical aspect of how social media works in an investigation of a social media presence or campaign. This will build analytic and research capacity in the student . It will also help prepare them how to think strategically and ethically when engaged in the third assessment.

In the third assessment, students can practice creating and curating content for a number of social media platforms. This assessment will include a short reflection which will build on the analysis conducted in assessment 2.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Investigate and critique social media, examining its dynamics of creation and reception.


LO1, LO2, LO5

GA3, GA5, GA6, GA8


Analyse a case study of a particular social media site or event.


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA3, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10


Create and curate content for a number of social media platforms  


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bailey, Elizabeth Anne. Political Participation on Social Media: The Lived Experience of Online Debate. Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

Carlson, Bronwyn, and Jeff Berglund. Indigenous Peoples Rise up: the Global Ascendency of Social Media Activism. Edited by Bronwyn Carlson and Jeff Berglund, Rutgers University Press, 2021.

Goering, Christian Z., et al. Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-Truth America. Brill Sense, 2018.

Jones, Ellis. DIY Music and the Politics of Social Media. Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2021.

Morelock, Jeremiah, and Felipe Ziotti Narita. The Society of the Selfie: Social Media and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy. University of Westminster Press, 2021.

Rana, Nripendra P., et al. Digital and Social Media Marketing: Emerging Applications and Theoretical Development. Edited by Nripendra P. Rana et al., First edition 2020., Springer International Publishing, 2020.

Schachtner, Christina. T. The Narrative Subject: Storytelling in the Age of the Internet. Springer International Publishing AG, 2020.

Schjoedt, Leon., et al. Understanding Social Media and Entrepreneurship: The Business of Hashtags, Likes, Tweets and Stories. Edited by Leon. Schjoedt et al., 1st ed. 2020., Springer International Publishing, 2020.

Sun, Huatong. Global Social Media Design: Bridging Differences Across Cultures. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Vaccari, Cristian, and Augusto Valeriani. Outside the Bubble: Social Media and Political Participation in Western Democracies. Oxford University Press, 2021.

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