MCOM-1233, Sec. 101: INTRO. TO MASS COMMUNICATION
MWF @ 9 – 9:50 a.m., FA – B105
Instructor: Liz Minden
Office & Telephone: B108 Fain Fine Arts Center; (940) 397-4398
Office Hours: MWF 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; TR 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.; and by appointment
TEXT: None required; Course materials will be provided.
A. COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES
The course is designed to give you a broad understanding of the development of mass media and the theory, issues and trends in mass communication. In addition to lecture information, students are expected to participate in class discussions, conduct research on mass communication topics, and read/watch current mass media news and information that will help them understand mass communication in an increasingly complex technical and global environment. By the end of the course, students should able to:
1. Explain how each mass medium developed and currently operates.
2. Outline some of mass communication’s concepts and theories.
3. List some of mass media’s social, legal, ethical and regulatory constraints.
4. Discuss the complex issues and trends surrounding mass communication and mass media, and how they affect the future of mass communication.
B. COURSE ACTIVITIES
1. QUIZZES are unscheduled and held at the instructor’s discretion. They will cover lecture information, any assigned readings and/or discussion topics, and generally will be worth 5 to 10 points each.
2. GROUP DISCUSSIONS – each discussion is worth 25 points
Like quizzes, these discussions will be unannounced and held at the instructor’s discretion. Students will be divided into groups and answer questions about the selected topic. All students in each group must participate. At the end of the discussion period, a representative from each group will present results to the class.
3. THREE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS – each assignment is worth 50 points
a. These assignments are about a variety of mass communication topics. You will examine some information and write answers to specific questions; written instructions will be provided and include the grading criteria for each assignment.
b. Homework Assignment Due Dates: 9/28, 10/19, and 11/9 – no exceptions!
4. PERSONAL JOURNAL – Each entry is worth 25 points - total of 200 points
a. This project involves finding 8 recent articles relating to mass media and/or mass communication and writing a synopsis of the article, as well as your thoughts about the information in these articles. A handout detailing this assignment and its grading criteria will be provided.
b. DUE DATES: 9/14, 9/21, 10/5, 10/12, 11/2, 11/16, 11/19 and 11/30 – no exceptions!
5. FINAL EXAM – this exam is worth 100 points
a. This will be a take-home essay exam that asks you to tie together certain course information and evaluate issues. You will be given a handout explaining the assignment and its grading criteria, as well as several days to write the exam.
b. DUE DATE: Monday, Dec. 10, by 10 a.m. – absolutely no exceptions!!
C. COURSE GRADES
1. Late work will not be accepted, but you may turn in your work early. Assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. A late assignment earns a zero for points.
2. Fabricating information or using another’s work as your own earns you an “F” for the course. Other sanctions may apply. (See “Course Policies” #2.)
3. Points will be deducted from typed assignments that have numerous grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.
4. Students are expected to come to class having read any assigned materials upon which quizzes, writing assignments and classroom discussions are based.
5. Your ability to make up any missed assignment is at the sole discretion of the instructor.
6. Numerical grades will be awarded for each quiz and assignment. To determine your grade for the course, quiz and assignment grades will be totaled and then divided by the total number of possible points to derive your percentage. The grading scale is:
A = 90% -100% of the total possible points
B = 80% - 89% of the total possible points
C = 70% - 79% of the total possible points
D = 60% - 69% of the total possible points
F = Less than 60% of the total possible points
**NOTE: The instructor reserves the right to add or cancel assignments as the course progresses. If for some reason the number of assignments total more or fewer than the original number set for the course, the method of calculating your final grade will remain the same: the total points a student achieves for all submitted assignments will be divided by the total possible points for all the assignments to obtain a percentage, and a grade will be assigned according to the percentage scale outlined above.
Late work will not be accepted, but you may turn in your work early. Assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. A late assignment earns a zero for points.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student from the course who misses more than three class periods. Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
E. COURSE POLICIES
1. Attendance: Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student from the course who misses more than three class periods. Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
2. Plagiarism and cheating: The MSU Student Honor Creed, found in both your student handbook and the university catalog, includes the statement: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.” Plagiarism, lying and cheating include, but are not limited to: fabricating information and sources, copying material from publications without crediting the author, turning in another student’s work as your own, and copying quiz/exam answers from another person. STUDENTS FOUND CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR FABRICATING INFORMATION WILL RECEIVE AN “F” FOR THIS COURSE.
3. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student with a disability who is registered with MSU’s Office of Disability Support Services should notify the instructor at the beginning of the course if you need any accommodations to participate in this class.
4. Limited Right: By enrolling in this course, the student expressly grants MSU a “limited right” in all intellectual property created by the student for the purpose of this course. This “limited right” shall include, but shall not be limited to, the right to reproduce the student’s work product in order to verify originality and authenticity, and for educational purposes.
5. FERPA: The instructor abides by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The instructor also will not release a student’s academic information or discuss a student’s academic progress or class attendance with his/her parent or guardian. Additionally, the instructor will not discuss a student’s grades with him/her during class, over the phone or by email. STUDENTS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT GRADES MUST MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE INSTRUCTOR.
6. Disruptive Behavior: Anyone disrupting the class – or violating any other Standard of Conduct applicable to the classroom environment – will be dropped from the course. (See MSU Student Handbook, “Standards of Student Conduct.”)
a. Turn off the sound on your cell phone during class; no text messaging either. If your phone rings or you’re found sending a text-message during class, you will be dropped from the course.
b. Turn off your iPods and similar technology. Like ringing cell phones, this is a class disruption issue and you will be dropped from the course if you do not comply.
c. Be polite. Discourtesy of any kind will not be tolerated.
7. Senior Portfolio: Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a portfolio as part of their internship course, which is a pre-requisite for Senior Production. This requirement is a part of MSU’s reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is non-negotiable. Through the portfolio, students are required to demonstrate communication competence through the written word and visual communication; two examples of each competency are required.
As you go through this and other classes, you are responsible for saving course work that could be included in your senior portfolio.
Please see your instructor, adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts with more information (“Mass Communication Senior Portfolio Competencies” and “Mass Communication Senior Portfolio FAQ”). These handouts are also available on the department web page: http://finearts.mwsu.edu/masscomm/.
8. Other: You may be asked to provide your assignments on a portable computer medium (e.g., jump/thumb drive) or by email.
BE AWARE THAT the instructor reserves the right to change ANY part of this syllabus for any reason, and will give sufficient notice if changes are necessary.