SYLLABUS MASS COMMUNICATION 101 INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Thomas R. Donohue Assistants: Britni Puccio E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Text: Vivian, John. The Media of Mass Communication, (9th) & MyCommunicationLab ISBN Office Hours: TU: 2-4, TH: 10-11, and 12-1 Telephone: 828-3769 Office: 2203 Temple OBJECTIVES: To understand the history and development of American media institutions and content To understand the relationship between media and societal institutions To gain an understanding of how technologies are changing mediated communication To learn about media professions and professional opportunities To understand audiences ? uses and gratifications with media PROCEDURES: The class is divided into three parts: The first is a lecture/discussion, which will be hosted by Dr. Dono hue. The class meeting will be lecture/discussion on topics described on the reading list. You are encouraged to ask questions and participate, even though we are in a large lecture ha ll. The second half will be spent watching a pe rtinent and illustrative video. Occasionally, the video will run a bit over and you may be asked to stay a few minutes. The third segment of the class will be a lab section hosted by a different faculty member who will issue an additional syllabus and a 1 credit grade . To determine which section you are in, check your schedule. That instructor will have assignments and discussions planned for you. In summary, you are enrolled in a four credit course with two sections and will receive two grades: a three credit grade for the lecture/discussion and viewing section and a one credit grade for the breakout section. TESTING AND GRADING There are possible 150 points that can be accu mulated in the lecture/discussion class. There will be three 50 item (50 points) multiple-choice tests based on the, readings, lecture material, and videos. Fifty percent of the questions will be taken from the lectures/viewings and 50% will be taken from the readings. Final grades will be determined by using a bell curve in which the percentage of total points accumulated will translate into the following: As = 8-10% of the highest point accumulators Bs = 12-16 % of the next highest point accumulators Cs = 55-60 % of the next highest accumulators Ds = 12-16 % of the next highest accumulators Passing = 75 points or more * It is the student ? s responsibility to know when the final drop-the-class date is and make the decision to drop in consultation w ith the instructor. LOGISTICS 1. Attendance is not required at the lecture/discussion and viewing sessions. However, each student is responsible for all of the lecture and viewing material. 2. T here are no supplementary class notes on blackboard, or lending of DVDs and videotapes. Class lecture outlines will not be posted on Blackboard. You are encouraged to find a person in the class with whom to share notes in the event of an unavoidable absence. An outline of t he week's lecture will be on Power Point slides during each lecture class. Be aware that is only an outline of the topics not the content of the lecture . Those who copy the outline without the expository lecture material can expect to do poorly on the tests. Experience has demonstrated that it is difficult to pass the course without regular attendance. Each lecture contributes approximately 6 test questions ? the difference of approximately one letter grade for each test in most semesters. Since the class is large, late arrivals are highly discouraged, as it is distracting to students and the instructor. If late arrivals become a problem, the instructor will turn people away to prevent disruptions. Parking at VCU is difficult at best. Make sure to allot time to search for a parking space. If late arrivals bec ome a problem, Dr. Donohue will position people at the door 5 minutes after the class is scheduled to turn latecomers away. Turn cell phone and personal communication devices off before coming to class. 3. Make-up exams without written documentation (see below) are rare and never occur without prior approval from Dr. Donohue or his teaching assistant. In the rare case of a make-up exam, approval must be accompanied with a physician ? s letter on letterhead; a copy of a death certificate. Parental telephone calls do not qualify. In fact, professors are not at liberty to discuss students ? grades with parents. If some emergency presents itself hours before the exam, leave a voice mail message with the nature of the emergency and follow-up with documentation at the earliest opportunity. 4. You will need to bring a #2 pencil to tests. Bubble sheets will be provided. 5. Should you have content or lecture questions contact Dr. Donohue by e-mail. 6. Should you have grading or administrative questions, contact the class assistant by e-mail. Exam scores will be posted on Black Board with an approximate grade range. 7. Prior to each exam a stud y guide will be distributed to help people prepare. The exams are not about rote memorization of n ame and dates. They stress most important factors in an occurrence, a phenomenon, or relationship among media. People who read the book and take good lecture notes do well in the class. Those who do not generally do poorly. 8. Make sure you understand the VCU Honor Code and abide by it. Consequences for violating may be failure. 9. Since the examinations are multiple-choice , it may be helpful to outline the chapters and the lectures as the weeks progress prior to the examination. Such an outline will reduce the number of printed pages one has to review for the exam. 10. You are encouraged to ask questions during the lectures and after the viewings or guest lectures, as that material will be included in the examinations 11. Dr. Donohue or his assistant may not excuse you from breakout section assignments, and breakout instructors may not excuse students from scheduled exams. 12. If you have a physical or cognitive disability that needs reasonable accommodation, be sure to notify Dr. Donohue, the breakout instructor, and the Disabilities Office early in the semester. READINGS AND TOPICS WEEK* TOPIC CHAPTERS 1 Introduction/Models 1 & 2 2 History & Development Radio/Recording* 6 & 8 3 Hist ory & Development Television 9 & 14 4 American Motion Pictures 7 5 First Exam 6 History and Development of Newspapers 4 7 Books and Magazines 3& 5 8 Media Evolut ion 10 9 Information Gath ering: Print and Electronic 11 10 Second Exam 11 Advertising 13 12 Public Relations 12 13 Media Effects/Individuals/Society 16 & 18 14 Third Examination *Because of Monday holidays and other breaks, the weeks listed may vary or be combined. Please pay attention. Note: As mentioned in number 11 above: The Citizens with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides for a reasonable accommodation for citizens with a physical or cognitive disability. It is the student ? s responsibility to notify the professor immediately of such a condition so that a reasonable accommodation can be arranged. In addition, the VCU Honor Code is in effect. Be sure to understand its essence before you embark on assignments. Using Internet sources requires exceptional care because of source credibility and bibliographic issues. Use it wisely.
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