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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CMNS 3211: Digital Communities

Students think critically about the challenges and opportunities of community in the digital era. Through a survey of research in the fields of social media, students consider the effects of our networked culture on media participation, as well as consumer and civic engagement. Students consider the current state of digital media creation and consumption and propose and develop engaging social media strategies that help users connect, create and provide digital content for intended publics.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and explain the challenges and opportunities of community in a variety of digital media.
  • Explain and evaluate ideas of connection, creativity, and collaboration unique to a variety of social media platforms.
  • Assess the content creation of online users as examples of digital engagement strategies.
  • Develop innovative strategies for connecting and collaborating with digital users.
  • Propose and develop engaging social media strategies that help users connect, create, and provide digital content for intended publics.

Course topics

  • Module 1: Understanding the Current State of Digital Media
  • Module 2: Understanding Participatory Culture and the Rise of Spreadable Media
  • Module 3: What Are Digital Communities? Understanding Connection and Collaboration in the Digital Age
  • Module 4: Thinking Creatively and Making Connections: Developing Innovative Social Media Content

Required text and materials

The following materials are required for this course:

  1. Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. NYU Press. 
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1-4798-5605-3

Students will need to source the following on their own:

  1. Buss, A., & Strauss, N. (2009). Online communities handbook: Building your business and brand on the web. Pearson. 
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9780132104265 / 9780321605887


To complete this course successfully, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project.



Assignment 1: Slideshow (#hashtag) Presentation 10%
Assignment 2: Critical Response Paper 20%
Assignment 3: Shift in Perspective Journal – Modules 1 and 2 10%
Assignment 4: Blueprint for Recommendation Report 20%
Assignment 5: Shift-in-Perspective Journal – Modules 3 and 4 10%
Final Project: Online Communities Strategy (mandatory) 30%



Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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