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Course: Instructor: Semester: Office: Office Hours: Office Telephone: Email:
Comm302: Foundations of Mass Communication N. H. Chaaban, Ph.D. FALL, 2012 ROBINSON 339B By Appointment 703-993-1106
ONLINE Course Description
How have the mass media transformed American society? What influence do media forms wield in shaping our identities, our politics, our understanding of the social world? Should we worry when control of the media is concentrated in the hands of government agencies or industrial conglomerates? From the end of the 19 th Century, questions like these have provided much fodder for theoretical and political debate. In this course, we will examine the historical development of a variety of theories addressing the complex relationships between media, culture, and society. We will explore how each theoretical perspective emerged in response to particular historical circumstances. We will also explore how each perspective made important choices regarding what questions were important to ask (and which were not) and how such questions should be investigated. Finally, in our discussions, we will attempt to assess (1) the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective, and (2) the continuing relevance of the perspective in helping us understand the contemporary media environment.
(1) A basic command of the history of mass communication theory To understand a variety of theories which explore the nexus between media, culture, and society. To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these perspectives. To understand the historical conditions underlying the emergence of each perspective. To develop an ability to think through and discuss some of the social applications and political implications of each perspective. Students will meet these objectives through class discussions, class workshops, short writing assignments, and two exams. (2) Develop skills that are fundamental to a liberal education, to effective citizenship, and to professional success. To enhance students’ ability to discuss complex issues in public. To continue to develop critical thinking and writing skills – skills that will help in any professional or public context. In our investigations of media and mass communication theory, we will primarily be engaged in two kinds of activities, (1) lecture/discussions and (2) seminar/workshops----all will be done online.
Stanley Baran & Dennis Davis, Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2009.
NATURE OF COURSE DELIVERY The course will be delivered online using an asynchronous (not “real time”) format via the Blackboard course management system. There are no face-to-face meetings. The course will utilize a combination of readings, instructor lectures, research activities, discussions, peer
When necessary.Connect with internship or abroad students . we will use elluminate for office hours. Features include an interactive whiteboard that allows you to write and display content/PowerPoint slides. the sessions will always be recorded. AND START WORKING ON THE ASSIGNMENTS. to clarify assignments and other class related issues. Potential uses include: .Collaborate in groups . To participate in this course.reviews. students will need the following resources: 1 Internet access with a standard browser (Mozilla Firefox. Click in the Password field and use your Strong Password (PatriotPass credentials). If you miss a session. located across the top of the myMason Portal.Hold virtual office hours . chat. follow these directions: Courses 9.Emergency proof courses In this course.To access the course. All sessions can be recorded.Record lectures . log in to Bb. Collaborate is an interactive virtual classroom environment designed for teaching and learning. screen sharing. we can use Collaborate for a variety of purposes including: teaching class sessions online hosting guest speakers holding virtual office hours leading test review sessions Elluminate Live! sessions can also be created for students to: . and group projects to help participants understand and apply the principles of instructional design. and real-time collaboration. Click on the Courses Tab. and more. Click on the title of your course to access course materials. formerly Elluminate Live!. Internet Explorer are the preferred browsers) 2 GMU e-mail account 3 MS Office or OpenOffice 4 Up-to-date laptop or desktop computer capable of running audio and video files . you will see a listing of all the courses for which you have registered. After confirming that your computer satisfies Bb system requirements. to work on the group project. Prior to logging in.gmu. is a Course Tool now available in all myMason Courses and Organizations. Please see the following about Elluminate: Introduction to the Blackboard Collaborate Product Blackboard Collaborate Blackboard Collaborate. Click on the Login button or press Enter. Once logged in. Locate the Bb 9.Invite guest speakers . Select COMM 302 read the Welcome page carefully. review the system requirements for running Blackboard (Bb) from your home and workplace.edu.1 can be accessed by using the following instructions: Open a browser.Teach classes synchronously online .1 Course List Module. Your GMU e-mail user name is also your Bb ID and your GMU e-mail password is your Bb password. Click in the Username field and enter your Mason NetID (the first portion of your e-mail address. multi-person audio and video. before the @). study sessions. type in the web address: http://myMason.
Experience shows that even an innocent remark in the online environment can be easily misconstrued. and other media-related materials. When reading the chapters. is the source of any disruption to your ability to use Blackboard on or offcampus. students are always invited to ask questions and to comment on the issues raised in the readings. not combative. Assignments in this course will be devoted to discussion board items. and exams. group project. you’re not competing with each other for grades. work in study groups complete peer review activities collaborate on group projects If you cannot log in to myMason please contact the ITU Support Center. please include your Course CRN. Discussions Board. in order to increasing our understanding of media theory and the relationship between media industries. These seminar groups will allow us to conduct workshops and will help ensure that everyone has a chance to have their views heard on the discussion board. Remember. examples of media. 703. I suggest that you always re-read your responses carefully before you post them to encourage others not to take them as personal attacks. and other related assignments. Netiquette Our discussion goal is to be collaborative. Seminar groups will also be asked to post the results of their discussions up on our Blackboard discussion board. research paper. work on the assignments. Make sure you answer the questions for each week.8870. including if access to the authentication server. Allow 24 hours for a response. and work on the group project. The Support Center is able to advise you of network problems. and society. Chapter assignments throughout the semester will be devoted on the various theoretical perspectives. G number and your Mason email address in all correspondence.edu. or email them at support@gmu. some assignments will be devoted to discussing the issues raised by the readings. Please go to this section every week to see what is due. If you have other questions regarding your Course. communicate with your instructor and classmates. Your instructor will do his best to do the same. To facilitate discussion. BLACKBOARD These are the sections on Blackboard you should use to look for assignments. 1. For the most part. After reading the chapters. but sharing information and learning from one another. culture. students will be asked to divide themselves into seminar groups of 4-6 students each.993. Be positive in your approach to others and diplomatic with your words. try to apply the theories to documentaries. From time to time. please email courses@gmu. . chapter summary. take exams. I will also assign additional readings.edu.
Send emails to your instructor or classmates. the student can come see the professor during his office hours or a live session will be set up on Elluminate to discuss the problem or concern.2. 4. 2. Email Section. When necessary. go to Tools. Exams You will find the two timed exams in this section. the book review. 5. Information about where to take the exam and the specific time will be sent out by the second week of school. All facts and theory necessary are in your text: READ THEM. 6. You will also find the evaluation forms for the assignment under this section. you will receive an email from me and you will then need to look up your group members under the Group section. and other class related assignments. Assignments This is where you will find the group project paper. Assignments: *Discussion board Topics and Chapter Summaries *THREE examinations (all multiple choice. It is best to be ahead of yourself at least one week in the event that you get sick. Text Reading: *students are required to do the reading when assigned *essential to accomplish the goals of the class *students are expected to read materials when assigned *students should raise questions when something is not clear by sending the instructor an email on Blackboard. *In order to make sure that students’ assignments are grade on time. 3. Class Participation: *Students are expected answer all discussion board questions. comment on at least three of their classmates’ answers on the discussion board. no LATE assignment will be accepted. chapter summaries. Please read them carefully before you begin the assignment. *active participation on all discussion board assignment is essential 3. which depends on you for quality discussion on the discussion . 2. Once I assign you to a group. 40 questions each) * one research paper * one group discussion paper * one group project presentation slides *Related assignments 2. Weekly Dates Please take a look at the weekly due dates make sure you meet the deadline for each assignment under each week. Please make sure you take the exams on the dates specified. then reflecting on what happened. then click on email. You must come to campus to take the exams. Experience: *class assignments involve communicating. Please take a look at the schedule and record down the date for each exam. This is a student-centered course. For sending email. Groups I will assign you to a group by the end of the second week. the group project PowerPoint presentation. Course Philosophy 1. All efforts will be made to accommodate students' requests. and working diligently with his/her group members on the group project. This is one of the most important sections on Blackboard. REQUIREMENTS: 1.
Paper. you will need to furnish appropriate documentation to the Office for Disability Services. a maximum of the following may be earned: 1. Research Paper = 10% Group Project Paper = 10% Group Presentation (PowerPoint Slides) = 5% TOTAL = 100% 3. Grading Scale 93 – 100 = A 90 – 92 = A87 – 89 = B+ 83 – 86 = B 80 – 82 = B77 – 79 = C+ 73-76 = C 70-72 = C60 – 69 = D 59 or below = F . asking and answering questions via email. Because of the range of learning differences.board. For the assignments and activities. Exams: . please tell me GRADES: The grades in this course will be based on the percentage of point totals accumulated. please let your instructor know right away. If you qualify for accommodation. Exams. please take the initiative to discuss accommodation with your instructor at the beginning of the semester and as needed during the term. Discussion Board and Chapter Summaries Completing assignments on the Discussion Board and Assignments sections. and Group Presentation Exams (2 multiple choice exams) = 60% The exam questions will come from the textbook. Do your best to take each exam on the date that it is scheduled. If you have contacted the Center for Disability Services and are waiting to hear from a counselor. DISABILITY STATEMENT: If you have a learning or physical difference that may affect your academic work. and commenting on your classmates answers on the Discussion Board. your instructor need to learn from you the most effective ways to assist you. especially on the PowerPoint Presentations = 15% 2. If you have any problems with this. the ODS staff will give you a form detailing appropriate accommodations for your instructor. In addition to providing your professor with the appropriate form.
Give a brief background of the theory. This is done by designing 18-30 slide show that is centered on what members learned from the assignment and not just reporting on what is on the paper. typed. 2. No late exam will be given. Each exam must be completed when it is due. not an actual class presentation. their criteria. What are some of your suggestions for future research for the theory? Is this theory helping in understanding mass communication? Explain! What is your overall evaluation of the theory? 8. their definition of the problem. to establish criteria for solution options. ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL PAPER This paper requires you to identify mass communication theory and do the following: 1. and Research Paper. 6. to define and analyze the problem. Group members will jointly report to the class on their solutions to the problem. to select at least three justifiable possible solutions. Following your group meetings. the Discussion Board Questions. The final group paper and presentation should reflect the six major steps of problem solving discussed in class. The group members will prepare a 12-15 page paper applying the problem-solving steps explained under the Group Project. how they worked with each other. each member should introduce him/herself and the section he/she completed. This paper should be 6-8 pages. the Group Project Presentation. go the Course Document Section on Blackboard for the evaluation forms. 7. and to discuss how to implement the selected solutions.There will be THREE multiple -choice exams. to evaluate the solution option. Produce writing that . Use at least three situations where you can apply the theory and explain how the theory works. At the beginning of the presentation. with at least six authoritative sources cited. This “presentation” is a PowerPoint presentation. double-spaced. 5. your assignments will also be judged in part on their professional appearance. Group Project: The group discussion requires students to identity a MASS MEDIA problem. Class members are allowed to ask questions or comment on the slides once they have seen them on Blackboard. 3. to generate/brainstorm possible solutions to the problem. and most important. double-spaced. what they have learned from the project. and contain a bibliography of at least fifteen research materials. Note: this is a group paper. Please make sure you have a cover page with all necessary information. The paper must be typed. Written Assignments: Because your work in the professional world will be judged on neatness and format. Who coined the theory? In what year what it coined? 2. Evaluation Forms: For the Group Project Paper. the group members will prepare two assignments: 1. What are some of the strengths of the theory? What are some of the weaknesses of theory? 4.
Title of the assignment. Blackboard has useful information to help you succeed in the course. Do not suffer while trying to figure out an assignment. Do not turn-in assignments late. no additional late work will be accepted. Show tolerance to different ideas. Make sure all written assignments have a cover page with the following information: . and F in the course. Always consult with your instructor if you are experiencing difficulties with assignments or the course. . sentence structure. discussion board items. . You must participate in all Blackboard assignments. If you do turn in a late paper. Please plan ahead or make necessary arrangements with a fellow student whom you trust. Everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Reminders: 1. a report filed with the dean. Failure to do so will lead to an F for the assignment.. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of others’ materials. contact your instructor for alternate arrangements. group project paper. . Plagiarism: Any written work with your name on it signifies that you are the author--that the wording and the major ideas are yours. and punctuation. Reasonable Accommodation: Please discuss with the instructor at the beginning of the semester or within two weeks of the diagnosis. Please make sure you read the chapters before coming to class. especially the exams. Course title and number . will be lowered by 20% for each day it is late. No papers will be accepted more that 5 days after the deadline. Day and time section meets. you should already be familiar with both libraries. Your name . 2.demonstrates proficiency in standard edited American English. Remember. You instructor’s name . Late Work: All assignments must be submitted on the day they are due. if accepted. Date of submission 3. Always use our course’s Blackboard. Resources: Fenwick Library and The Johnson Center Library. 4. you must comment on three classmates’ answers on each of the discussion board assignments. word choice. You can explain your problems to your instructor. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should provide a Faculty Contact Sheet obtained through Disability Support Services (DSS). group project presentation slides. Make sure you participate in your group project. 5. with exceptions indicated by quotation marks and citations. Late work. but they do not excuse late work. If you become sick or have an emergency situation. 7. Tutors are available to help students with papers at any stage of the writing process in the Writing Center. and weekly summaries. Do not expect to pass the course if you do not complete all assignments on time. including correct grammar/syntax. Ask for . I am here to help you. book review. 6. Evidence of plagiarism will result in one or more of the following: a failing grade for the assignment. In addition.
or just for help. The GMU Honor Code is an expectation of conduct for this class. Students will select a “responsibility partner. Please do not ask your instructor about grades via Discussions section.org/ 13. Students should try to balance outside demands—athletics. community service with their academic load. . avocations. should be asked to REVIEW your paper before submitting it. You can also discuss assignments with that person to make sure you understand the questions raised in the assignment. 12. work. go to http://www. You will be assigned a group for the duration of the class. samples. This 3 credit. 11. For additional help. The Communication Department expects use of a style sheet—most students use the APA Manual. 10. I is best if you ask someone from your group.clarifications.apastyle. 14. You can also study together with this person for all three exams. papers. 8. home life. group project. You will work on the group project paper and group project presentation with the group members. That person. Stay with the group. Any concern about a grade of an assignment must not be discussed in the Discussions section. which means about 6-9 hours of studying each week. The GMU Honor Code applies to all exams. 9. once selected. ONLINE COURSE assumes that you have 2-3 hours for studying for each credit hour. and group presentation slides that you complete e in this class. 15.” You can send an email to any of your classmate and ask that person to be your responsibility partner. Please email me or come to my office.
Always Subject to Change PLEASE GO TO BLACKBOARD AND CLICK ON WEEKLY DUE DATES TO SEE THE DUE DATES OF THE FOLLOWING: EXAMS GROUP PROJECT PAPER GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATION BOOK REVIEW DISCUSSION BOARD ITEMS AND THEIR DUE DATES ASSIGNMENTS SECTION ITEMS AND THEIR DUE DATES CHAPTER READINGS AND THEIR DUE DATES .Tentative Schedule.
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