Before there was Twitter -- even before there was Social Media -- #RotoloClass was exploring the emerging phenomena of social networks and user-generated content that has reshaped how we communicate, share information and do business. The course has evolved over the years but continues to focus on what Professor Rotolo calls "The Third Age of the Internet," the era of personalized, contextually relevant digital experiences.
#RotoloClass is taught using Professor Rotolo's signature teaching method that leverages real-time social media use in the lecture theater, Students are encouraged to bring their device of choice to tweet their thoughts as the conversation is displayed for all to see. Even quizzes are done by Twitter, as students are quickly polled on key concepts of the lecture and reading materials. This method has proven highly effective for motivating learning engagement, but you never quite know what will happen next. The conversation can be fast and furious, with some class sessions producing hundreds of tweets per hour.
Another popular aspect of the course is the "Viral Video" assignment, which challenges students to apply psychological and social concepts related to viral media, or "memes", to create a video with high potential for virality. Many students have attempted this over the years, but only a few have succeeded in reaching true viral status. This illustrates the main takeaway from the assignment, which is that "going viral" is a difficult task achieved through careful calculation and a lot of luck.
#RotoloClass has also featured a roster of expert guest lecturers over the years. Author Chris Brogan has regularly appeared to talk about the concepts in his bestseller, Trust Agents, which is one of the class texts. Dennis Crowley, founder of the social network Foursquare, has also spoken to the class on several occasions. Other guests have included journalists and digital media professionals, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, and brand leaders like the team behind social media at Wegmans grocery stores.