Visual Communications for Social Media

Under­stand why and how deci­sions are made around visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions and acquire the tools you’ll need to adapt to the ever-chang­ing land­scape of social media. Learn basic design prin­ci­ples that will inform your deci­sions and help you cre­ate an effec­tive and visu­al­ly-pleas­ing online pres­ence. Explore ways of using these prin­ci­ples to empha­size the mes­sage that is being delivered.

Course at a glance
  • Fully online asynchronous course, accessible through eClass, the University of Alberta’s eLearning management tool.
  • Aimed at those who want to better reach and communicate with their target audiences while understanding and building social media skills, including small business owners and those working in government, small to large enterprises, not-for-profits, and board-run organizations.
What you will learn

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Define design terminology and concepts.
  • Explore the relationships between legibility, typography, and page layout.
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the design process and key principles of design.
  • Acquire skills in how to size and frame images.
  • Apply an understanding of the importance that composition plays in visual communication.
  • Apply knowledge of colour theory to branding.
This course has no prerequisites

Students from all educational backgrounds welcome. You can register for this course without applying and enrolling in a program.

Take note:

  • This course has the equivalent of three hours of online instruction per week (including voice over PowerPoints, readings, and resource links), plus weekly assignments.
  • Students are encouraged to build relationships and network with their classmates through forums and discussions.
  • While there are no prerequisites for this course, a good understanding of Social Media basics or prior completion of Social Media Foundations (EXSM 5510) is recommended for student success.
  • You will be expected to have existing social media accounts or to create them before the course start date.
  • This course makes use of free or freemium app- or browser-based software.
  • You should have a smartphone or tablet with a good digital camera to work throughout this course. Some examples are Google Pixel 3 and up; iPhone 8S and up; Huawei Pro, Mate, or Mate lite; and Samsung Galaxy. Also make sure that your phone or tablet is running the current version of its operating system.
  • A laptop or computer with 8GB of RAM (“memory” on a Mac) is recommended. You’ll be able to manage with 4GB, but you may find that things slow down if you’re working in browser-based software for a longer time.
  • Have a sketchbook or sketch pad (8 ½” x 11” or 9” x 12”) available to work on ideas or concepts.
Currently counts towards:

Applicants intending to enrol in a program are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to lock in their course requirements since they are prone to change.

*If you are already enroled in this program, please refer to your specific program requirements as outlined at the time of your admission: Bear Tracks > Academic Advisement.

When will
this course be offered?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

Course not yet scheduled

This course is not currently scheduled, but may be offered in an upcoming term.

New course schedules are announced each June and November.

Sign up for updates

Interested in future offerings of this course? We can let you know when this course becomes available.