TR @ 9:30 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.,
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 this course, students should be 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.
1. QUIZZES are unscheduled and held at the instructor’s discretion. They will cover lecture information, any assigned readings and/or discussion topics, and are worth 5 points each. Quizzes will be held at the beginning of class, so please be on time.
2. THREE GROUP DISCUSSIONS – each discussion is worth 25 points
These discussions are based on lectures, current news items and issues in mass communication. Students will be divided into groups and answer questions about the topic. All students must participate in these discussions. At the end of the discussion period, each group will elect someone to present group discussion results to the class. Group Discussion dates are: Oct. 10, Oct. 31 and Nov. 26.
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 Assignments are due: Sept. 26, Oct. 17 and Nov. 7
4. PERSONAL JOURNAL – worth 200 points
a. This project involves finding 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. Please see me if you have difficulty with this assignment.
b. Journals are due: Nov. 21
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. Exam is due: Tuesday, December 10, by 10 a.m. – absolutely no exceptions!!
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. NOTE: I’m always happy to get assignments early!
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. NOTE: I’m always happy to get assignments early!
Attendance: Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three class periods. Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
1. Attendance: Students are expected to attend, be on time for and participate in class. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student who misses more than three class periods. Makeup work for any absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
2. Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism is (1) using someone else’s source material (including information from the Internet) without following accepted guidelines of giving credit; or (2) submitting work for credit that is not your own. THE INSTRUCTOR WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR STUDENTS CAUGHT CHEATING, PLAGIARIZING OR FABRICATING INFORMATION. The MSU Student Honor Creed, found in both your student handbook and the university catalog, reinforces this policy: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”
3. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act: Any student who is registered with the MSU Office of Disability Support Services and needs course accommodations, or requires other special considerations because of a disability, should notify the instructor as soon as possible to ensure that these accommodations are provided.
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 in class, over the phone or by email. STUDENTS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR 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 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/memory stick) - or possibly by email. However, please do not automatically email your assignments without having been asked to do so. Among other considerations, email is not a very reliable way to turn in important assignments.
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.