module specification

SM4007 - Social Media Practice: Technologies and Tools (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Social Media Practice: Technologies and Tools
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
180 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Case study
Coursework 50%   Group project, individual reports, self and peer assessment
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module explores technologies and tools used to create social media applications and networks. Students will be introduced to a variety of tools and technologies, their emergence and use within various networked environments. Practical explorations and exercises will demonstrate their impact on communication and information sharing whilst enabling students to acquire skills in integrating social media tools into standard web formats. 

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Introduce students to social media technologies and tools and their emergence
  • Develop a practical understanding of social media technology and tools, their use and integration
  • Discuss the innovation potential and constraints of social media technology


An indicative programme of study covers the following: history and emergence of networked environments and social software; introduction to information theory, modes of communication, philosophy of technology; ubiquitous computing, web 2.0 and social networking apps for mobile devices; social media application domains; social media networks: audiences and context of use; data assembly: Databases and Content management systems; folksonomies; distributed social networks and social network aggregation; social networking sites; collaborative projects and content communities; virtual game worlds and virtual communities; issues and constraints of social networks; practical explorations and integration of various social media tools and technologies; emerging technological trends 

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery. Each week there will be a three-hour lab session and a one-hour lecture or seminar. These sessions will consist of discussions,demonstrations of case studies and explorations and implementations of different social media tools and technologies. Key to the delivery of this module is availability of open access facilities with appropriate software for the development of project work. Additional support to individuals and smaller groups will be provided through tutorial sessions and via email. Lecture notes, and web links will be made available on the VLR. Students will be encouraged to experiment and develop strategies for their assessments during the workshops in a studio atmosphere and in their self-directed study time and discuss those with tutors and peers. A framework that encourages mutual student support will be developed to support project work. Attendance at all sessions is essential to fulfil the work requirements.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Identify and analyse various aspects of social media technology and tools and their implementation
  2. Outline the stages involved in producing and implementing different social media technologies and tools
  3. Produce a web based project for a given context integrating appropriate social media tools and technologies


Abrams, J. and Hall, P. (eds.) (2006) Else/Where: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Design Institute.
Castells, M. (2010) The rise of the network society,  2nd edition, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
Castells, M. (2009) Mobile Communication and Society, MIT Press
Dusek, V. (2006) Philosophy of technology: An introduction, Oxford Blackwell Pub.
Ito, M. (2009) Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, MIT Press
Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Lessig, L. (2006) Code: Version 2.0, New York: Basic Books.
MacKenzie, D. and Wajcman, J. eds. (1999) The social shaping of technology 2nd ed., Buckingham: Open University Press
McLuhan, M. (2005) The medium is the message, Corte Madera, CA: Ginko Press
Papacharissi, Z. (2010) A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites, Routledge
Pariser, E. (2011) The filter bubble: What the Internet is hiding from you, Viking
Peters, I. (2009) Folksonomies: Indexing and Retrieval in the Web 2.0 (Knowledge and Information), K G Saur Verlag
Porter, J. (2008) Designing for the social Web, Calif. : New Riders, 2008
Poslad, S. (2009) Ubiquitous Computing: Smart Devices, Environments and Interactions, Wiley-Blackwell
Preece, J. (2000) Online communities : designing usability, supporting sociability, Chichester : Wiley, 2000
Rheingold, H. (2000) The virtual community: homesteading on the electronic frontier, London: MIT Press
Segaran, T. (2007) Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications, O'Reilly Media
Shirky, C. (2009) Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations,N.Y. : Penguin Books, 2009
Snickars, P. and Vonderau, P. (2010) The YouTube Reader, National Library Sweden
Sonvilla-Weiss, S.(2010) Mashup Cultures, Wien: Springer Verlag
Turkle, S. (2011) Alone together, London: Basic Books
Zaphiris, F and Siang, C. eds. (2010) Social computing and virtual communities, Chapman and Hall
Zittrain, J. (2009) The Future of the Internet and how to Stop It, Penguin

Online resources:

  • Information Technology & People, MCB University Press
  • Journal of Communication Oxford University Press
  • Convergence: the journal of research into new media technologies
  • Journal of virtual worlds research