SMUG Faculty

Social Media University, Global (SMUG) began with a one-member faculty, but will have guest lectures, either via link or by invited posts, as part of the curriculum. The institution also will be conferring honorary doctorates from time to time.If you would like to be a visiting professor, contact the SMUG Chancellor through the Office of Admissions (in Facebook.)

SMUG Degrees and Graduation

Social Media University, Global offers systematic beginner-to-advanced education in the theory and practice of social media.

The main value of the education is in enabling you to immediately apply social media tools to your work or volunteer activities. Learning is its own reward.

But upon demonstration of broad engagement with the coursework, including completion of a Capstone Project, you may earn the B.S. in Social Media. With more advanced study and research, the M.S. is available, and SMUG also will confer earned and honorary doctorates to recognize those who have advanced our understanding of social media.

Watch this space for further information on degree programs.

Class Size

class size smug

In the U.S. education system, particularly at the elementary school level but also somewhat in high schools, many interested parties have emphasized smaller class size as a key to quality. (Maybe that would have helped Miss Teen South Carolina!)

After all, it stands to reason that a teacher with a dozen first graders will be able to give more attention to each student than his counterpart with a score of rambunctious six-year olds can offer hers. (This, by the way, is an advantage of homeschools like Aase Academy. Our student/teacher ratio never got above 6:1.)

But class size doesn’t matter for Social Media University, Global (SMUG). Once a post is written, having more readers doesn’t take any more professorial effort. In the moment you’re taking a course, it’s always a 1:1 student/professor ratio. You can leave a comment or question, and you’ll get an answer.

But in reality, our class size goal is just the opposite of what most traditional institutions seek, because at SMUG we all learn from each other. The answer you get may just as likely come from your fellow SMUG students as from a SMUG faculty member. So as enrollment climbs (we’re at 11 students as of this writing), each student has access to feedback and tips from an ever-greater population of peers.

SMUG harnesses the wisdom of the crowd and gathers real-world examples of social media uses in businesses and other organizations so we can all learn from each other, together. Click here for an overview of our mission and philosophy, or become a SMUG student of social media today by going to our Student Union in Facebook.

Rebranding This Blog

When I started this blog, I labeled it Lines from Lee. That was all about alliteration. In beginning to blog, I was looking to learn about neat, new tools of the trade.

I also had read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and found it immensely helpful, and thought the personal productivity theme would provide some good material. And it did. I’ve done a bunch of GTD posts. I may still write one more “off topic” post about the GTD Outlook plug-in. It’s really helpful.

And given my work in media relations, I had Public Relations as one of my major blog topics, too. I expect I will continue to do some posts related to PR and news media, even with the change I’m making.

As I’ve “found my voice” a la Hillary Clinton, the social media topic seems to be what makes my vocal chords vibrate. When I attend and speak at conferences and workshops, it’s the practical “how-tos” that seem to be most helpful to people I meet (many of whom work in PR or marketing.) I’ve wanted to find a way to provide an orderly, systematic introduction to social media, so I can tell anyone I meet where to go to find a step-by-step means of learning about these tools and how to practically use them.

A couple of weeks ago, I got the idea for a special blog section that would take a university theme to provide this structured learning. Late last week, I launched the SMUG section. But as I considered it further, I decided this shouldn’t just be a section; it should be the whole blog.

But as a brand that tells readers what to expect, Lines from Lee is lame (one more alliteration for old times’ sake.)

So from this moment, the diffuse blog title:

PR, New Media and GTD – Lines from Lee

Thoughts on New Media, News Media and Productivity

has become

Social Media University, Global

Hands-on social media training and practical applications for lifelong learners

We still need a good logo, though. I’m eager to have someone with artistic abilities develop a visual representation for this virtual university.

And I say “We” because the other major benefit of this no longer being “Lines from Lee” is it opens us to adding SMUG faculty members, visiting professors and guest lecturers. I can play my role as Chancellor (I love making up these official-sounding titles!), but hopefully can draw some other contributors, too.

I’ll still have occasional posts of a personal nature (although my Facebook page will be the better spot for most of those), and I hope to liveblog the conferences I attend, so some of those post might not exactly fit the SMUG sweet spot. I’ll continue the sporadic book reviews and social media news analysis, too. But for the most part, “Hands-on social media training and practical applications” is what you can expect here.

SMUG Attendance Policies and Grading

All courses at Social Media University, Global are on a pass/fail basis, graded strictly on class participation.

The only way to fail is to not participate.

The participation required will vary for each course. For some, simply reading the material will be sufficient. For others, you’ll need to add a comment in this blog or engage in a discussion in the SMUG Facebook group. In still others, you’ll be asked to complete a social media project and post a link to what you produce.

Every test is a “take-home” test. Unlike traditional classrooms, it’s impossible to cheat. You can peek at your neighbor’s answers; in fact, it’s expected. And Twitter is the best way to get help fast.

You can tweet with your questions about posts using the #SmugU hashtag. That way your fellow SMUGgles can help. You can ask for clarification through replies to @SMUG_U or @LeeAase

If that last paragraph makes absolutely no sense to you, you might want to start with the Twitter curriculum.