Culture & Student Life

Spring 2023: As Another Semester is Coming to an End…

Another semester at Ventura College is coming to an end, and I’m so proud of how far the Social Media Marketing program students have come. This is now just the third time that I’ve taught the Digital Content Marketing class, BUS V52, and the VC Social brand has evolved so much in the past couple of years.

The first time I taught this class was in Fall 2021, in the midst of the pandemic. There were only 11 students in the class, and when we met, we were all wearing face masks. The second time was last year in Spring 2022, and that course was fully online with 12 students.

This semester, we’ve been back in-person again, without masks (hooray!), with a classroom filled with 24 students. Considering the nature of this course, I’ve had to adapt and make some significant changes in order to keep up with the number of students compared to previous semesters. For example, I’ve had to give up some control over the social media profiles and draft vs. publish status of posts on the website, needing to trust that the students will follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics we studied in week 1. As you can imagine, this was a bit nerve-racking, as the blog and social media profiles are public. And I have to give it up to the students, they handled this responsibility with respect and professionalism. Not that I’m surprised.

Perhaps the biggest change I made, though, was giving control of the final project to the students. Rather than assigning a topic and making rules about groups, we agreed collectively to let the students decide what type of content they wanted to create and with whom. Some students decided to work in groups, while others opted to go solo. Content ranged from reviewing local businesses to showcasing artistic skills, with a variety of multimedia created for the blog, Instagram profile, and YouTube and podcast channels. From a quality standpoint, I didn’t micromanage, but instead asked students to push their boundaries and create something they could be proud of five years from now. This led to some incredible articles, graphics, videos and more.

I could ramble on about this semester forever, but since I know the students reading this are waiting for their prompt to reply to, I’ll bring this to a close by saying that I think Spring 2023 has been a huge success, and while I know I have a lot of work to do to continue making this class and program of value to the community, I believe this cohort of students is so incredibly talented and will go on to do great things in life. I only hope to be able to keep in touch with them over the years so I can continue celebrating their achievements. 

Now here’s the question that I’d like students to answer in the comments section…

What is the one thing you learned from that class that you’ll take with you to the next stage of your career and/or education?

20 replies on “Spring 2023: As Another Semester is Coming to an End…”

I really enjoyed this class. I like how we went out into the community and did assignments about that. I liked going to the Diversity Culture Festival. I never interviewed anyone before and to have that experience is good for me because I know how to approach them know. I liked doing the group assignments because it can make the project more collaborative with ideas. I learned how to write a blog which I never did before. I never heard of WordPress before and it was really easy to use for our assignments. I will definitely take that with me. I knew how to use Instagram but it was nice practicing how to promote something you are doing. Making the podcasts where really fun. When we did the group one I learned a lot and we had an interesting conversation. I don’t make podcasts myself but it was nice to know how to do one. Never know when I’d might end up making one in the future. I liked using anchor it was easy to understand and it was cool because I can add any music in the beginning or end of an episode. I will also be taking that with me. I thought it was nice when Professor Nick would ask everyone what they wanted to do for assignments. Like the final one we had to do. It’s a digital marketing class and it makes sense to pick something we are interested in. So we can have content we did in our profiles for future jobs.

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Digital Content Marketing has been one of the best courses I’ve taken in college so far. The opportunity to learn new skills from my peers and share my skills with them has been such a cool experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to, watching, and reading the content put out by other students in the class. This class has pushed me to try new things, meet new people, and get out of my comfort zone.

The main lesson I will take away from this semester is: to go after what you want because the worst thing someone can say is “no”. If you ask someone for something and it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul. I’ve learned to ask people for things and not be afraid of rejection. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking for what we want. Another important thing to keep in mind with this lesson is the give and take of any relationship. When we ask someone for something, we have to ask ourselves how it can be beneficial for them as well. You get more out of life when you help others just as much as they help you.

Also, it can be a little scary and awkward to do these kinds of things, but you just have to do them anyways. Plenty of experiences in life are nerve-racking or awkward, but the more we put ourselves in those positions, the less scary they become. This class actually gave me the opportunity to interview for a job with a local business I did an interview with for VC Social. At first, I was nervous to even ask for an interview, but once I got there, the nerves went away and it all flowed nicely.

Overall, the class has been an amazing experience and I will never forget it. Thank you, Prof Nick!

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I have truly enjoyed being a part of the Digital Content Marketing class. Professor Nick made the class fun and engaging with all of the hands-on assignments. I loved that we got to connect with the other students in the class as well as with the larger community. I also appreciated that we were encouraged to be ourselves and given the freedom to pursue our interests within our assignments.

The biggest lesson that I learned in this class that will stay with me as I move on to the next phase of my career, is the importance of taking risks and trying new things. The assignments in this class pushed me to try several new things such as going live on social media, recording a podcast episode, and interviewing a stranger. These were things that I normally wouldn’t have sought out myself, but I’m glad I did them. Aside from giving me hands-on experience in social media marketing, this allowed me to see that these things that I was nervous about, really weren’t that difficult or scary. Although I was out of my comfort zone, it taught me that you shouldn’t let nerves stop you from doing things you want to do. In the future, if I had to interview someone again or decided to start a podcast, I think I would feel less nervous because I had done it before, so I am grateful for these experiences.

In one of our early classes this semester, we were discussing the idea of building our brands and writing our bios for the VC Social website. Professor Nick encouraged us to add some personality into our bios and continued to encourage our creativity throughout the semester by giving us the opportunity to choose topics that interested us for our assignments. I really appreciated this because I felt like it was a safe space to be able to express ourselves and have fun while also learning new skills. This allowed me to create content that reflected my interests and that I am proud of, instead of feeling like I had to create content that was what my professor wanted to see or that I thought would be popular.

Also, as someone who is a bit of an introvert, I felt that this class made it easy to meet new people. Professor Nick cultivated a welcoming class environment in which we were able to work together with other students in a way that wasn’t overwhelming. I enjoyed getting to know the other students in class. We all have different career and educational backgrounds and I learned a lot from everyone. It was really fun to connect, share ideas with each other, and see everyone’s work.

This was a great class that I am glad I was able to be a part of. A huge thanks to Professor Nick for all of his support!

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A main takeaway that will carry on for me would have to be trusting the process and trying new avenues of digital marketing that I wouldn’t have normally gravitated towards. Every assignment had a purpose to build on to the next and got me out of my comfort zone. Whether this was putting myself in front of a camera, conducting an interview or simply just writing to convey my experience. I truly appreciated the thought behind the way this class was designed and taught. Professor Nick handed over a ton of responsibility over to us students and for that, I’m grateful. We were able to express our creative freedom while staying true to ourselves as individuals. As a business owner myself, I feel more confident in pivoting my business to grow in a direction that’s new and uncharted. For example, I thoroughly enjoy blogging! Never even crossed my mind to add this to my website as a form of expression to further my relationships with new and existing clients. I’m looking forward to bringing my new found skills to life.

I would recommend this class and the Social Media Marketing program to anyone looking to gain insight, confidence and knowledge in business. The hands on experience to get out into the community, network and source for “real world” practice is unparalleled. This class was challenging but so very rewarding. Thank you Professor Nick for trusting in us!

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This class really taught me new tools and ideas to work with and further my online presence.
As a senior person I came in here not even knowing how to function in Canvas. There was so much to get familiar with and I got so much out of the student demos. That was the coolest idea to let students show their stuff. Even if I can’t do all the editing yet, I’m not afraid to try now.
I even came in here with my communications degree and a seasoned writer, however, there are so many new digital ways to expound on my previous education. Professor Nick really went all out to help students understand and execute the assignments and gave us the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
Since I reemerged from retirement I can use all the newly added skills to help my business succeed and perhaps do a little PR work for business owners who I know and ones I will meet in my various groups that I belong to. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Nick reintroduced me to the importance of constant networking and renewed my excitement to do so.
Thanks Prof Nick. You’re the best!

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This Digital Content Marketing course has to be by far the best hands on class I took this semester. I really enjoyed all the learning process that Professor Nick provided for us. Before this course started I was all about work never scheduling in person classes just online but when it was time to schedule my last few course before graduation this course was only open for online and in person on Wednesdays. For once in so long I put my education first and honestly it’s the best thing I have done by far for myself, remember show up for yourself. I really saved the best for last.

I feel everything that was taught in this course will be used in my career for a long run but for the purpose of this assignment, my main lesson I will take away and would stay with me has i continue to move forward in my journey is defiantly be more open with other peoples ideas it can always be better then our thoughts. For that being said I always been a very independent person and it’s okay to ask for help or participate with others. I really enjoyed that Nick gave us options for our assignments, like either be in a group or do a solo. For example I loved doing the podcast assignment, I always wanted to give that a try and it was nice to experience it.

This class was defiantly a challenge for me but I put my mind to it and did it, knowing it’s going to be rewarding at the end. Thank you classmates for being you and showing your creativity to all of us. And A BIG SHOUT OUT to Professor Nick, thank you for all the learning materials and for trusting in us and always giving us amazing feedback. Proud of everyone- Class 2023!!

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I’d like to start out by saying thank you so much Professor Nick for making every class this semester an enjoyable learning experience. I was able to gain more knowledge through this Digital Content Marketing class and as a student who hasn’t attended an in-person class for a few years, you definitely made a comfortable learning environment and I’m very thankful for that.

This class sounded interesting from the start. I mean posting blogs/content on a website and on Instagram, how could that not sound fun! I’m going to be honest though, parts of this class did make me nervous. Having to pick content topics, posting content publicly, and especially having to speak to others. I am a shy person who had to step out of their comfort zone. But, stepping out of my comfort zone allowed me to learn new things and the experience will help me overcome that nervous feeling little by little. I remember that I started to panic once I heard that I had to interview someone by myself but once I got it over with, I learned that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I learned that I will have to step out of my comfort zone often and that’s a good thing. It’s normal to feel nervous and as long as we get the work done, everything will be okay.

One more thing that I’d like to add is the creative freedom that Professor Nick gave us. I recently started posting my own content like collection posts, vlogs, unboxings, etc. Even though it was my own content, the thought of posting publicly made me nervous because I’m afraid that others won’t like my content. But thanks to this class, I learned that there’s no reason to worry about that. I am doing something that I enjoy and that’s what’s important. This new mindset is something that I will take with me as I’m starting my new journey as a content creator.

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There is a lot I will be taking away from not only this course, but all the other courses I’ve had the privilege to take with Professor Norris. I can honestly say his passion for teaching is unlike any other. From introduction to business, to public relations, small business management, and digital content marketing, I’ve learned so many different skills and techniques that I will carry along with me while I complete my education, and take on the business world.

This course especially was full of group collaboration, and we were all after the same thing, which was to become better content creators. What I enjoyed the most was creating friendships with my fellow classmates, and being able to create content together! Everyone in this class had a lot of wonderful insights that I will appreciate now and later on. I learned that all of our thoughts and ideas are valid, and we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and share.. And that is the most important piece I will take with me, is not feel like there is only a right or wrong answer, because that isn’t always the case. Of course not everyone will always agree with what you have to say, and that’s okay. We learn from others, and that makes us better people. When it comes to marketing, the possibilities are infinite!

I’m excited to continue my marketing journey after my time here at Ventura College, and I’m so grateful to Professor Nick for making available so many opportunities for us to learn and grow from.

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The most important thing I experienced in this class that I will take with me is to have fun in the process. This class taught me a lot of great technical skills, such as: how to record and publish a podcast, write for a blog, conduct interviews, edit vlogs, create a tutorial, produce fun and engaging posts and etc. But the biggest challenge – and lesson – was facing my fears and getting out of my comfort zone, and it was so worth it.

Nick was always there as a huge supporter for all of us. He gave us a lot of freedom to create our projects and that was great. Besides digital abilities, I learned about decision-making, teamwork, planning and executing, time management, and more. I also appreciate how our professor gives students thorough feedback and encouragement in every assignment. It shows how much he values our work.

In addition to the course objectives, I absorbed a lot of knowledge from my classmates too, which was different from other courses where I barely knew the other students. In the classroom, we became friends and had space to share what we’re good at and learn from each other.

Before this program, I was a bit lost with what I wanted to do next professionally. Now I feel prepared and very excited to start my own journey in social media and as a content creator, knowing it be can fun and rewarding. Digital Content Marketing was definitely the most fun class I’ve ever taken. Thank you, Nick, for this amazing experience!

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Being in this class has taught me so many different strategies, as well as pushing myself to make content that I wasn’t comfortable with before. Because of the variety of assignments, I’ve been able to resource different programs that I now think I’m pretty proficient in.

I’ve also got to say, I’ve met some pretty amazing people in this class that are not only going to have a bright future, but some that have already started a business, and the strategies they’ve learned, they thrive on.

I know that this is a capstone class for many, like myself, but I would encourage others who just want to know what it’s like to be in a professional digital setting. This class let me speak to other individuals who have a different business mindset, and some came to me for advice. It’s a huge collaborative effort!

All in all, I would like to thank Professor Nick in sharing his experience and knowledge, and also entrusting us to post content and with running this site. I can proudly look back at this experience as being a highlight while attending my last semester at Ventura College.

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WOW this question may seem easy to some when they answer it,however I do not know where to start. This Digital Content Marketing class was an absolute amazing experience I did not know what this class would consist of. I have taken a business classes my entire time enrolled Ventura College, but last summer I decided to take Professor Nicks class Intro to Social Media and during the class I loved every assignment and the concept of it so, at the end of the summer session he told me he offers Digital content Marketing class during spring,I decided to take a chance and enroll. I knew I wanted to be a business major, however after that summer course my path changed and I want to do something in the Social Media world. I love how much social media an impact on how marketing is used today, so being able to work create content for social media opened up a new idea for me,and I will be receiving my associates in Social media Marketing this Spring and I already received my associates for Business Management in December.

This course was nothing like any other class I have taken. It really brought me out of my comfort zone. I viewed myself as not so creative, so having assignments that I need to create, design and plan really showed me another side of myself. I also have never interviewed anyone,created a podcast, reel or went live promoting a business. It was all new for me. The biggest thing I learned was how to use wordpress and create a blog that was mind-blowing for me. I was very nervous, but every week I was excited to see what we were going to do.It never felt like a homework assignment, it felt like I was just having fun. Professor Nick was an amazing professor. He always helped me with any questions I had, and helped me with certain problems that came up during the semester which I am very thankful for.

This class taught me so much, I have gotten a part-time job as a Social Media Manager for a business called “Social Society GVL” it is located in South Carolina and I work remotely, I am in charge of the social media pages for the handful of clients we have, I run a blog as well as conduct research, and create graphics. I have used all of my knowledge from this class and applied it to my job and I have only had amazing feedback from every client. Another reason this class was amazing was my for the reason being my classmates. We all really supported and helped each other and want to see each other succeed after this class. During our group assignments we all helped, and made sure we were all careful with eachothers times and schedules and still had fun creating fun projects.

Thank you to all my Amazing Classmates & Professor Nick!

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Being in this course taught me a lot of valuable lessons and skills. To answer the question of what I’m going to be taken away from the class, is first and foremost the idea that I am able to make content, that I am able to connect with business and network and the worst they can say is no.

It was so amazing to meet all the people in this course and see their technology skills. It was also great to hear from all the business owners in this course and their personal experiences while they’ve been working and their tips and advice. I appreciate the way the course felt like a team and worked well.

Thank you professor Nick for all of the knowledge! Also for being a great teacher, I’ve only had online courses and I’ve had some of yourself courses online and being able to have your course in person was nice, I was able to learn more and beg hands on experience. Thank you for allowing us to make content that we can share in the future and have access to other opportunities.

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This was a fun class to be a part of. Professor Nick’s teaching style made it easy to want to do as well as I could on all of the projects and assignments without extra stress. Something in particular I liked about the assignments was that they made me go out to some more school events. At a point in the semester our assignment was to cover a school related event or person I did an interview with a student athlete, the Diversity Culture Festival was happening at the same time and was an option to report on. I ended up going to the Diversity Festival too just to check it out because of the things I had heard about it in the class. I don’t think I would have gone if I was not in this class.
That being said, one thing I learned from this class I will look to carry on is how easy and worth it it is to go check an event or activity out whether it be to create content about it or just for myself. At times our assignments would force us to go into the worlds that we live in, talk to people, go to events, and go into businesses. I had a positive experience every time I went out into the community and I could tell by how much I was spending on gas at the end of the semester that I had definitely been going out and about a lot more. Without a doubt I’d say it is worth it though and I am appreciative of this class for helping me find that out.
I still have another year at Ventura College so I am happy I will be able to apply what I gained more next semester. I also hope that my motivation to do assignments from this class will carry on in the next semester. This summer I want to continue making content to become better and improve the quality of what I make. When making content for social media sometimes it’s easy to get caught in the social media part and you start going out less. I don’t think that’s something that I will have to deal with over the summer creating content. This class has shown me that being an active part of your community is as important as being good at creating content.

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I can’t believe this class is over already! I’d first off want to thank Professor Nick for always being supportive of our ideas and guiding us in the right direction. I always felt comfortable and excited to come to class, he created a safe and encouraging environment that never felt in a class before. I’ll never forget the fun I had in this class. I’ll also be grateful to this class for being a great support group to one another. Thank you to the classmates that I built friendships with, you guys helped me get out of my comfort zone and made me feel comfortable and excited about doing assignments and our final projects.
Now, what I’ve learned from this class was stuff that I’d never thought I would do before. Who knew I would be proud of recreating a Wes Anderson film for a reel? Recording a podcast was so different for me since I’m a bit introverted so getting to talk about a fun topic for about an hour was so different but it made me want to do it again. The demos were really beneficial for me, I got to learn new skills that I now incorporate into my social media posts or also suggest to friends and family. Going live on Instagram was also fun and I learned a lot that day on how to prepare questions and work with a team for content. I feel a lot better meeting and talking to people as well and will take all of these skills in my career and am excited for what is to come. Thank you again to Professor Nick and my lovely classmates. Good luck to everyone!

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It’s hard to believe that this class has come to a close. First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to Professor Nick Norris, who is an incredible professor who provides excellent constructive criticism. Encourages you to always provide your best effort and to be proud of your job.

It was awesome to meet new people and learn from them in this class. It was a significant lesson for me to be able to acquire different abilities from different peers. I learned a variety of skills that would help me in my profession and business. Every single video and skill presentation was beneficial to me. This class made me feel like I was a valuable member of a fantastic marketing team.

Finally, to answer the question, I learned a lot from this class. Connections with students who operate businesses. Also, I learned new skills during the creation of this class through the many activities and tasks that were assigned. Not only did I learn more about marketing in this class, but I also loved the process of creating content, and not just any material, but good content to be proud of. Many important skills and information to maintain and apply in my job.

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First off, I’d like to thank professor Nick for everything he’s done for the business program and myself, I took one of his classes for the first time last year and absolutely loved his class and how he ran his class. This year was the same as well, I saw he was teaching a class I needed and I quickly signed up for it, his class not only has been my favorite class in college but one of my favorites ever.
This semester we did so many activities and I met new people and went to events with these people and I had an absolute blast doing these activities, from the podcasts, 805 night market, our final projects and more. But to answer the question, I think one thing I’ve taken and will use from this class in the present/future will definitely be to get out your comfort zone and just put yourself out there, and not to be afraid of rejection, weather it’s from a company, job, boss or someone you’re into, lol. Because what’s the worse they can say, “no”. So overall just learning to be out there and not to be afraid.

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I thank Nick so much for the oppurtines he has shown me and what this class has shown me. I really liked and enjoyed this class, I feel like I have net such amazing people that I believe could help me in the future. I loved that for our assignment we had to go out and be hands on and learn what it really would be like to working in that profession like at 805 night market and when I made the VC video with one of the counselors. The thing I would take away in the class is the connections I hav made and the people I have met, this really was like a little community of creative people that are only here to build you up and support you. I also will take away with taking risks and to think outside of the box I thank everyone so much and I wish everyone the best. Hope to see some of you again soon. 🙂

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Wishing this class could have gone by slower cause I’m already missing it. Thank you Professor Nick for creating a classroom environment that allowed us to be creative, hands on and feeling confident to speak up and step out of our comfort zones. Everyone in this class is beyond talented and so willing to take the time to help each other. I’ve loved creating content for this class I would typically never do on my own. These projects are something I’m gonna be proud of for a long time. Between creating a hour long podcast that felt like a conversation between friends to having a blast recording our final with some talented people I’m honored to call my friends. My two favorite projects I did in this class was a video and podcast showcasing VC’s Ceramics studio and our final project doing a food review on local Italian restaurant. I’m going to be taking away so much from this program and these talented people. I feel more confident about producing and filming content than I ever have before, and now with the skills to do so efficiently. Thank you to each of my classmates and especially to Professor Nick. Everyone is gonna go so far in everything you guys do. Till I see you guy again! 🙂

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I have greatly enjoyed this semester with Professor Nick and the rest of my classmates. The class was extremely upbeat, Nick is full of energy and is always excited to talk to his students. During the duration of this class, I enjoyed that I was surrounded by other people that owned businesses as well as people who didn’t. Interacting with people who are business owners vs not, gives you different perspectives, which I appreciate and learned from. Doing my final project on a local business was really exciting for me because I got to create a reel and learn about a place in town I had never been to. I love taking photos and creating videos, so getting the opportunity to do this multiple times throughout the semester was really cool. I feel like I took a lot away from this class, such as discovering different apps that can be used to create and edit content on and learning how to create and do a podcast. I am very grateful to have been able to take this class and take so many things away from it.

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There were a few things I learned from this class since this class was a fun curve ball. I’ve never had a professor turn the final over to the students, during class he mentioned you will get whatever you want out of this class depending on what you put into it. At first, I was unsure what that truly meant but now I know what it means. We took over the VC social Instagram page, made posts as editors on word press, made blogs, podcasts, and even interviewed people on the school’s behalf… it was awesome. So, the biggest thing I took away was having confidence in myself to put myself out there and feel more connected with the community. Just speaking to different business owners at events and getting to know classmates was an experience in its own. In the past, I would go to class and leave like it was a job and not speak to anyone, but this class was different. It was fun getting to know other class mates, follow them on social media and get connected. Normally group projects are a drag but in this case the class made it a fun experience. Also, a small dream of mine is to create content and possibly stream since I love playing online games, but I did not know how to use social media platforms very well. But, with plenty of help and videos from our professor I learned how to do reels, stories, podcasts, blogs all in a fun way that I can take on and use in my personal life or business life depending on where my career path lands.

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