Jim Armstrong

Syllabus

Regis College
Department of Communication
School of Liberal Arts, Education, and Social Sciences
New Media: CO-320-01
Fridays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Room: CH 8

Spring, 2015 Course Syllabus

Section 1: Course Information

Instructor Information
Instructor:  Jim Armstrong

Office:  Fine Arts Center, Room 208

Office Hours:  Fridays, 12:30 – 1:30p.m. and by appointment

Regis College E-mail:  james.armstrong@regiscollege.edu
Instructor’s blog:  http://www.co320armstrong.wordpress.com

 

Course Description
Is a fish aware of the water in which it swims?    It’s an age-old way to ask a very contemporary question.  As consumers of all types of media who are growing up in a totally media-saturated environment, to what extent are we able to process – and make sense of – the world around us?
If this course is successful, it will play a role in your ongoing exploration of the new media world in which you exist.
By the end of our work together, you will be more enlightened about the ways in which your personal world interacts and intersects with the new media environment in which you swim.
Credits
Students earning a passing grade in this course will earn three (3) credits.
The course will meet once a week for lectures and discussion, in a two-and-a-half hour class (including a break).  As a result, the online component for CO320 is especially important (as you might expect for a class in New Media.)  As discussed below, you must vigorously engage with the content and with each other in online discussions that will supplement our in-class work.  Indeed, the only way to be successful in this class requires your active engagement in our blogs.

Prerequisite(s)
There is no prerequisite for this course.

Textbook & Course Materials
Required Text(s)
Levinson, Paul.  New New Media (2nd ed.)  Boston: Pearson. 2013.
(You MUST get the Second Edition of this book.)

Other readings as noted below.

 

Required Course Materials
This course integrates digital materials for assignments and discussions. The following hardware and software products are required:
iPad (bring to every class)
Wordpress app (free)
Twitter app (free)

E-mail
Per college policy, all e-mail correspondence between students and course instructors for Regis College courses is to utilize the Regis College e-mail.  I will make every attempt to respond to your e-mails within 24 hours — often much faster.

Moodle
Regis College’s official course management system is Moodle. The course syllabus will be posted in Moodle. Additionally, Moodle will be used for recording attendance (via Starfish), the submission of some assignments by students, as well as the posting of most assignments, supplemental course readings, videos, podcasts, and online resources. Because of this, students are expected to check Moodle regularly.

Mobile Initiative
Regis College is committed to providing our students with an education in which the core professor-student relationship is increasingly enriched by technological resources. From this commitment springs the Regis Technology Innovation Program (rTIP) which includes the mobile initiative. Through the mobile initiative, designated students are provided with iPads to facilitate collaboration and enhance learning. Please visit iPad FAQs page for more information on the program at http://www.regiscollege.edu/administration/iPad_Initiative.cfm (Regis College Academic Catalog, Academic Advising and Student Success Services)

Information Technology Assistance
If you need technical assistance at any time during the course you can contact the Regis College Office of Information Technology HelpDesk by calling 781-768-7177 or email helpdesk@regiscollege.edu

 

Section 2: Course Goals/Objectives & Student Learning Outcomes

Course Goals/Objectives:
Three credits awarded for this course signify that a student has met the following objectives. Students will:
Demonstrate a working knowledge of the new media industry, which includes history covered in class, as well as industry jargon.
Demonstrate an ability to discern the defining features of a producer and a consumer of new media and be able to explain the responsibilities of both.
Have working knowledge of the various new- and social-media platforms as well as an understanding of the expectations of those platforms.
Identify the differences between traditional journalism and so-called iReporting.
Apply concepts discussed in the text and in class to their analysis of content found online in order to be a more careful and thoughful consumer of new media products.
Be able to recognize the social costs that are inherent in a new media landscape; those costs include, but are not limited to, interpersonal dynamics and the loss of trustworthy news and information vital to a functioning democracy.
Be able to intelligently critique and analyze new media content (including social media) in a way that allows a deeper understanding of each medium and the information it disseminates.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
Students will achieve the course goals and objectives through the following:
Students will be able to create and maintain a public blog, on which they will post their own content, both written and via video.   The same blog will be the vehicle through which they access other public sites to engage in productive discussions about the class’ work.
Students will be able to make accurate predictions about the future of digital media and its impact on mass communication.
Students will scrutinize their own new media usage, as well as that of their classmates, in order to answer vital questions about how and why producers and consumers of new media should set reasonable goals and expectations about their time online.
Students will be able to identify privacy issues related to social media through readings, in-class discussion of those readings, and using current events as a springboard to their public blogs’ discussion boards.
Students will employ critical thinking skills to connect themes discussed in class with those of the assigned readings and case studies.
Students will perform three “mini-tasks”, each of which builds on the former as well as on the discussions in class and online.  Those assignments can serve as a springboard for their final paper.
Through an engaged and vigorous analysis of current events, students will be able to identify how major themes from the class are applicable to their daily lives as they navigate a new media landscape.
Students will be able to identify key skills and traits necessary to succeed in today’s new media world through attending classes, listening to guest speakers and articulating their findings through online discussions and various projects.

Attendance and Participation
This course adheres to the attendance policy adopted by all first-year seminar instructors and the Communication Department: Regular attendance is mandatory. Since CO-320 meets only once a week and involves a cumulative understanding of material, failure to attend class will significantly alter your grade for the course.  You are allowed one absence (for which I must receive written documentation, i.e. a doctor’s note) during the semester.  Additional absences WILL RESULT in a drop of one-half of a letter grade for each class missed. In other words: a third absence would lower an A- to a B+ final grade; a fourth absence would lower an A- to a B final grade.

Arriving late for class – or leaving class early – will also affect your grade.  Students will not receive full credit for attendance if they are tardy, have not read the assigned materials, sleep during class, or are distracted by other activities such as texting or using their iPad for anything other than the intended instruction.

Online Participation and Blog Posts

Moodle will remain a valuable resource for you, but this class asks you to shift your online attention to our blogs.

Generally, I will post questions and discussion topics on my blog (www.co320armstrong.wordpress.com) in advance of a lecture/discussion day.  You should check my blog regularly for these topics.  They will give you a good idea of where that week’s discussion will lead and help you prepare to contribute in class.

The reading load for this class is intentionally light.  That said, I expect every reading to be thoughtfully completed to best facilitate class discussion.
On your personal blog, you must keep a brief running commentary on all of the readings (starting with each of the readings assigned for CLASS TWO, 1/30/15).  At the end of each commentary, you will write a short synopsis and include 2 or 3 questions you have.  For example, Is there something in the reading that you did not understand?  Another direction in which you wanted to author to go?  A question left unanswered?
This should be done (at the latest) on the night prior to that class in order to encourage discussion online.  Your comments and questions will inform class discussion – and your fellow students might just have the same questions (or, ideally, they’ll have some of the answers you are looking for).
I expect that you will read and comment on the blog entries of your fellow students; this, too, will figure into your participation grade.
Occasionally, you will have assignments that need to be uploaded to the correct Moodle assignment block by the scheduled date.  We will review your work as a class; therefore, it is crucial to turn your projects in on time.  LATE WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

 

Section 3: Topic Outline/ Weekly Schedule

The syllabus is subject to change with input from students and advanced notice from the instructor to benefit the class as a whole.

Friday, January 23 — CLASS ONE

I.   Welcome, Overview, & Housekeeping…
What is “new” media?
Blog setup & expectations.
BREAK
II.  *Written Assignment on Moodle Due
http://mashable.com/2011/10/13/media-literacy-journalism/

 

Friday, January 30 — CLASS TWO

Keeping Pace with New Media.
Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 1 (Why “New New” Media?)
Additional Reading: http://www.david-campbell.org/2011/05/23/the-new-media-landscape-1-contours-of-change/      (BOTH entries)
(Note: Blog commentary begins.)
BREAK
II.   What is Citizen Journalism?
Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 6 (Blogging)
Explain MINI TASK 1

 

Friday, February 6 — CLASS THREE

I.   Are Blogs Journalism?  Who is a journalist?
Reading: http://www.techzone360.com/topics/techzone/articles/239707-julian-assange-blasts-media-accepts-journalism-award.htm
Additional Reading: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-new-media-journalism.htm
BREAK
II.   Whom can you trust online?
Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 5 (Wikipedia)
Additional Readings:  Andrew Sullivan, “Why I Blog,”   http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/11/why-i-blog/7060/
Nicholas Lemann, “Amateur Hour,” The New Yorker, http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/08/07/060807fa_fact1

 

Friday, February 13 — CLASS FOUR

MINI TASK 1 – presentations and analysis

BREAK
II.   How do you gather your news?
Reading: New, New Media, Chapters 3 & 4 (Twitter & YouTube)
Additional Reading: http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/new_media_old_media
Explain MINI TASK 2

 

Friday, February 20 — CLASS FIVE

I.   Guest Speaker: Susan Tran, Reporter, 7News Boston
Topics to include: Incorporating new media into active, on-the-street news-gathering; what’s reliable and what isn’t; drawing the line with viewers; pitfalls of over-reliance on new media (for an audience and for a reporter).  ******(changed to 4/17)
BREAK
II.   On-line assignment due at the end of class (Moodle).

 

Friday, February 27 — CLASS SIX

I.   MINI TASK 2 –  presentations and analysis
BREAK
II.   Not your parents’ media.
Readings: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/05/20/how-digital-natives-experience-news/
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/What-Your-Avatar-Says-About-You/384430/

 

Friday, March 6 — SPRING BREAK

 

Friday, March 13 — CLASS SEVEN

I.  When does new become old?

Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 2 (Facebook)
Additional Reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/technology/shunning-facebook-and-living-to-tell-about-it.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&seid=auto
BREAK
II.  Realities we forget are real.
Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 7 (FourSquare and Hardware)
Explain MINI TASK 3

 

Friday, March 20 — CLASS EIGHT

I.  Things to get excited about.  And not.

Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 8 (Smaller Potatoes)
BREAK
II.  Guest Speaker: Maria Stephanos, anchor, FOX25
Topics to include: news gathering in the digital age, interactions with the audience, consumers as producers, new media’s impact on news media.

 

Friday, March 27 — CLASS NINE

I.   MINI TASK 3 – presentations and analysis
BREAK
II.   Guest Speaker: Steve Garfield, blogger and new media expert
Topics to include: Being a successful (simultaneous) producer AND consumer of new media; the intersection of new media and politics; looking back and looking forward; making connections IRL.

 

Friday, April 3 — EASTER BREAK

–> FINAL PAPER OUTLINE/ROUGH DRAFT DUE BY 10AM TODAY.

 

Friday, April 10 — CLASS TEN

I.   TBD

BREAK
II.   Reading: Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, http://bit.ly/3GmukC
Additional Reading:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/business/media/rules-for-the-new-ways-of-watching-david-carr.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all?src=tp
(The NYT piece is a good new media roundup with several potential bullet points that could be turned into final papers)

 

Friday, April 17 — CLASS ELEVEN

I.   Pitfalls & problems in our “new” world.

Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 9 (The Dark Side of New Media)
Additional Reading: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/02/06/the-story-of-a-suicide
BREAK

II.  Guest Speaker: Susan Tran, Reporter, 7News Boston
Topics to include: Incorporating new media into active, on-the-street news-gathering; what’s reliable and what isn’t; drawing the line with viewers; pitfalls of over-reliance on new media (for an audience and for a reporter).

 

Friday, April 24 — CLASS TWELVE

I. Reading: New, New Media, Chapter 10 (Politics and New New Media)
Assignment: Contact an elected representative via some form of new media (we will discuss in class).
BREAK
II. TBD

 

Friday, May 1 — CLASS THIRTEEN

Final Paper reviews.  In place of our class, I will hold one-on-one meetings with individual students to review and comment on their Final Paper.  Meetings will take place in the classroom and I will post a schedule of times as the date nears.

 

Section 4: Grading Policy

Grading Breakdown
Over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to earn up to 1000 points.  Your final grade (determined by the scale below) will reflect the number of points you have earned by your successful completion of the following tasks:
Attendance & Participation (online & in class)     200 points
MINI-TASK 1                                                               100 points
MINI-TASK 2                                                              100 points
MINI-TASK 3                                                              100 points
MINI-TASK presentation                                         100 points
Final Paper                                                                   400 points

Grade Scale
Highest  – Lowest    Letter
1000  –  930                  A
929  –  900                    A-
899  –  870                    B+
869  –  830                    B
829  –  800                   B-
799   –  770                   C+
769   –  730                   C
729   –  700                  C-
699   –  670                 D+
669   –  600                 D
599    –  0                     F

Turning in Assignments
Assignments must be uploaded into the appropriate module in Moodle or on your personal blog in order to receive a grade. This course management tool is designed not only to communicate important information, add supplemental resources, and help maintain course organization, but it also allows students to monitor their own progress by allowing them to see what has been turned in and what has not.

Deadlines
Deadlines are an integral part of your grade. All assignments, however large or small, are due by midnight before the next class.

Class Etiquette
Students are expected to exhibit respectful behavior at all times.  Please adhere to the following guidelines:
During discussions, students are encouraged to be courteous to classmates and instructor; refrain from the use of inappropriate language.
Though this is a class that will embrace technology, mandate the use of your iPad, and encourage using your Smartphone for various assignments, text messaging and cell phone use are considered rude during class time – and will be grounds for points off your grade if practiced.

Section 5: Institutional Academic Policies

Attendance Statement
Students are expected to attend all classes and class-related activities. Attendance and class participation are contributing factors in the instructor’s determination of the student’s course grade.  It remains a student’s responsibility to make up any class work that has been missed (Regis College Academic Catalog, General College Policies and Procedures; Regis College Student Handbook, Section VI. Academic Regulations and Procedures).
Attendance Policy
Repeated absences and tardiness will negatively affect your participation grade. You cannot fully participate in the class if you frequently miss class or even part of class sessions, and you are disrupting the flow of the class as a whole when you come in late. Therefore, even if you actively participate in class discussions when you are in class, your participation grade will suffer if you are chronically late (or if you repeatedly leave class early).

Your attendance at every class meeting is required and will be monitored.  Should a medical or family emergency arise that will require your absence, please notify me as soon as possible; you will be expected to provide appropriate documentation in order for the absence to be excused and to make up missed work.
Classroom Code of Conduct
The classroom is a learning community where every member shares an obligation and responsibility to foster attentiveness, courtesy, respectfulness and meaningful dialogue.

The Classroom Code of Conduct is composed of the five (5) principles below.

Students are expected to read the course syllabus carefully and comply with all rules established by the course instructor (i.e. professor, faculty, etc.), including, but not limited to, policies regarding attendance and the right of students to leave the classroom during class.

Students will promote academic discourse and the free exchange of ideas by listening with respectful attention to comments made by all individuals.

Students will maintain an atmosphere in the classroom conducive to learning, without unnecessary distractions that disrupt the learning environment (e.g., cell phone usage, individual “side” conversations, sleeping, and reading/viewing/sharing materials unrelated to the course). Access to iPads or other technology in the classroom is appropriate only when used as part of a classroom exercise.

Students will use modes of conduct that are not offensive and/or demeaning to any individual, ethnic group, social class, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Students will maintain academic integrity according to the policies and procedures provided in the Regis College Academic Catalog, Academic Integrity Handbook, and Student Handbook.
Violations of the Classroom Code of Conduct will follow the three (3) step procedure which is described in the complete document available at: http://www.regiscollege.edu/UserFiles/File/administration/registrar/Classroom_Code_of_Conduct.pdf
Final Examinations
The final examination period is specified in each year’s academic calendar. The official schedule for final examinations is also posted and distributed by the Registrar. Students are required to make work, travel, and other arrangements to be present for the final examination as scheduled (Regis College Academic Catalog, General College Policies and Procedures; Regis College Student Handbook, Section VI. Academic Regulations and Procedures).

Withdrawal from Courses

A student choosing to withdraw from a course must obtain a course withdrawal form from the Center for Student Services. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for deadline dates (Regis College Academic Catalog, General College Policies and Procedures).

After the conclusion of the add/drop period during the beginning of the semester as indicated on the Academic Calendar, it is the student’s responsibility to understand when they need to consider course withdrawal. Students should refer to the Regis College Academic Calendar for dates and deadlines for registration and withdrawal from courses. It is the instructor’s discretion that he or she may choose to specifically indicate additional information including the add/drop and withdrawal dates from the current Academic Calendar.

Incomplete Course Work

Incompletes are granted only under extraordinary circumstances. If a student has such a circumstance, it is the student’s responsibility to explain the circumstance and arrange to receive an Incomplete with the instructor prior to the conclusion of the regular course meetings, but no later than the first day of the final examination period. No instructor will automatically grant an Incomplete. Failure to arrange for an Incomplete will result in the instructor’s assigning the course grade on work submitted and may result in an “F” for the course.
If a student arranges for and receives an Incomplete, the student’s work must be completed and submitted to the instructor at the start of classes for the next regular term (spring or fall), but no later than the Monday following the date for deferred examinations (the Saturday of the next term’s first week of class).  For a summer course, all work will be due the first Monday of the second week of class for the fall term.  Of course, the instructor may properly request that work be submitted by an earlier date.   If the student fails to complete the required work by the specified time and, thus, fails to enable the instructor to submit a grade or if the student fails to take the Deferred Final Examination as scheduled, the Incomplete will be converted to an “F” grade by the Registrar (Regis College Academic Catalog, General College Policies and Procedures; Regis College Student Handbook, Section VI. Academic Regulations and Procedures).
A grade of “Incomplete” is not a universal solution for not finishing a course in the allotted semester time frame. It is best to discuss options as early as possible in the semester. A professor MAY OR MAY NOT BE WILLING TO GRANT an “incomplete.” This too will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the individual professor in consultation with the department chair. The student must demonstrate a legitimate, unavoidable reason for needing more time to complete the course. If an “incomplete” is granted, the student will sign a document acknowledging the completion requirements laid out by the professor. The professor will determine the timeframe, and this should take place as efficiently as possible and within the parameters of college policies.
Academic Center for Excellence & Accommodations
The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) provides for the academic support needs of all Regis students. ACE offers a variety of services to assist both undergraduate and graduate students in achieving their academic goals. These services include, but are not limited to the following:  The Writing Center—Professional Writing Tutor and Peer Writing Assistants; Smarthinking Online Tutoring Services; Professional Math tutors; Peer Tutors and Peer Mentors (for undergraduate students only); Mini-Versity Academic Skills Workshop; Director of Student Disability Services; and a Learning Specialist.  (Regis College Academic Catalog, Academic Advising and ACE)
Students potentially entitled to special accommodations (e.g. extended time for exams) must consult with the Academic Success Center located on the 3rd floor of College Hall. This is the student’s responsibility and, if applicable, must provide documentation of the accommodations to the course instructor in advance of graded work being assigned. Please see the following:

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATION
Regis College is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs. If you have a documented disability (or think you may have a disability of any nature) and, as a result, need reasonable academic accommodation to participate in class, take tests or benefit from the College’s services, then you should schedule a meeting as soon as possible with Ms. Dorsainvil, Director of Disability Student Services. It will be a confidential discussion of your needs and appropriate plans. This should be done at the earliest possible time in the semester to maximize your academic success at Regis. The Disability Student Services Office is located in College Hall Room 389 (781-768-7384); see contact below.

Please note that academic accommodation cannot be provided until appropriate documentation is submitted to the Disability Student Office, and students have had a face to face meeting with the director. Academic accommodations are not retroactive.
Ms. Sandra Dorsainvil, M.S.,M.A.
Regis College,  Director Disability Student Services
Sophomore Class Advisor
781-768-7384
Academic Integrity
All students enrolled in classes at Regis College are expected to maintain integrity in all academic pursuits. Such academic pursuits may include, but are not limited to, the writing of papers, examinations, assignments, and lab reports. Any dishonesty with regard to these matters is subject to censure or penalty in proportion to the seriousness of the action and may result in dismissal from the College.

Academic dishonesty includes:

Inventing data, quotes, or citations for reports

Lying about reasons for absences or requests for extensions or rescheduling of exams

Copying or sharing answers on exams or bringing “cheat sheets” to closed-book examinations or using any electronic device in an exam for unapproved purposes, especially to access or transmit assistance on the exam

Discussing what is/was on a specific examination with someone who has not yet taken it

Copying or sharing answers on homework (on assignments where group work is encouraged or allowed, you may be called upon to individually justify your answer to the instructor)

Falsifying records, transcripts, recommendations, or other documents indicative of student qualifications

Submitting the same paper in more than one class without prior permission

Presenting someone else’s ideas or words (including Internet sources) as your own in written work, PowerPoint presentations, or other assignments

(Regis College Academic Catalog, General College Policies and Procedures).

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