By Amber Light
KU’s English department will develop a new class titled “social media analytics.” The class will be focusing on analyzing social media accounts.
Robert Folk, an English professor at KU, developed the class along with the help of Keith Massie, a communications professor. Folk will be teaching the class for the first time starting in the fall of 2016.
“I want students to realize it’s [social media] not just a social tool. You can use it for research. You can use it to sort of make connections and to sort of help you out with all the kinds of stuff you want to do in your life, career wise,” said Folk.
The class, which Folk believes to be the first class that is cross-listed between English and communications, will focus on detailed analysis as to why certain things about a post worked with a particular audience.
The course plans to utilize different software programs such as NUVI and Geofeedia in order to analyze social media.
“There are some things that are new in the marketplace, sort of like social media analytics, that there aren’t anything developed and someone’s got to start training people how to do those things,” said Massie.
Folk and Massie were trying to develop more classes for the new digital communication and new media minor, and in turn came up with the idea for this class, according to Folk.
“There aren’t any courses like it,” said Massie.
By developing and teaching this new class, Folk hopes to get students to be more cognizant when posting online and to know that it can be used professionally as well as socially.
Mary Jopson, a sophomore public relations minor at KU, said she would definitely be interested in taking a class like this. “It’ll make [students] smarter about what they post and then I think it will also help [them] by creating a brand. They’ll know what to put out there to represent themselves for a company,” she said.
“A lot of times students intuitively know what’s important to them and what they’re going to be relying on,” Folk said. “Social media is so pervasive that it definitely needs more attention.”