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CA 322 Theory & History of Mass Media
Norris, Lynn M.


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

CA 322 Theory & History of Mass Media

Semester

S1J 2009 PV

Faculty

Norris, Lynn M.

Title

Senior Adjunct Instructor of Communication Arts

Degrees/Certificates

M.A. in Communication, Pittsburg State University, Kansas
B.A. in Mass Communication, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Office Hours

Before and after class or by appointment.

Daytime Phone

816-886-6123 (home)

E-Mail

lynn.norris@park.edu

Semester Dates

Monday, January 12, 2009 to Sunday, March 8, 2009

Class Days

-M-----

Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Neil Postman, Penguin Books 2005, ISBN-13: 9780143036531

Mass Media and American Politics, Doris Graber
,  C.Q. Press, US 2005, ISBN-13: 9781568029177

The Pulse of Politics: Electing Presidents in the Media Age, James David Barber, Transaction Publishers 1992, ISBN-13: 9781560005896 (OPTIONAL)


Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
CA322 Theory and History of Mass Media (LL): Analysis of mass media content and the role media play in modern society. The course includes study of the history of that role, functions of the media, effects on society, and the persuasive abilities of media. The course focuses on contemporary media criticism and related ethical issues. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor has an interactive, student-centered approach to teaching. She strives to create a safe, comfortable class environment, and to include course materials that are both enjoyable and relevant, as well as academically sound. She may involve students in any or all of the following: class discussions, critiquing, demonstrations, exercises, games, group projects, internet, interviewing, learning journals, problem solving, reading, role playing, self exploration, quizzes, and/or writing.


Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. You will use the vocabulary of communication studies confidently and accurately.
  2. You will utilize communication theories to analyze current situations in society and politics. During the fall 2005 semester we will focus on coverage of the conflict in Iraq.
  3. You will weave an enhanced understanding of how the press works and how people learn from it into your personal analysis of the symbolic environment. You will demonstrate a new understanding of the limits and powers of the press.
  4. You will mark the development of communication vehicles since 1900 with changes in presidential politics, combining the new media vehicles with the times in which they dominate.
  5. You will accomplish original research in the form of content analysis of some facet of the symbolic environment, and analyze that research to show understanding of the environment.
  6. You will critique theories about the effects of television on the symbolic environment.
  7. The nature of the symbolic environment will become transparent for you; you will use this understanding to analyze modern communications. You will be dedicated to improving that environment.


Core Assessment:

The core assessment will be the content analysis project done individually by students.  Specifically, the content analysis paper is a three-page paper that should include: 1) a description of the theoretical framework of the message, 2) a description of how the codes and categories of codes in your code sheet relate to the theoretical framework of your study,  3) a description of the method of your study, 4) your preliminary conclusion and whether or not it was supported by the evidence,  5) significance of the study, and 6) suggestions for future research based on the study. 

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Class assessment will be based on two exams, one individual presentation, one content analysis project, and participation.

Grading:

PARTICIPATION
(300 points TOTAL or 30 percent of final grade)
This includes Attendance, Involvement and Class Work -
1) Attendance - This includes being continually present from the start of class until the instructor dismisses the class. PLEASE NOTE: With one absence, an A for the class is still possible. With two absences, the highest grade the instructor can offer is a C. With three or more absences, the instructor must fail the student. A sign-in sheet will be on the instructor’s desk every class period. Students who do not sign in will be considered absent. Students are expected to inform the instructor if they need to leave the room before class is dismissed. If a student leaves early without telling the instructor, they will be counted as absent for the entire class period.
2) Involvement - Students are expected to have read the material prior to class, and be ready to discuss it. Students are also expected to be respectful toward each other as well as the instructor, and to keep any personal information revealed during the class confidential. Consideration will be given to quantity and quality of involvement, and demonstrated attitude toward learning. Part of involvement is listening. A student who is daydreaming, reading a magazine, text messaging, etc., rather than paying attention to what is happening in class, is not participating. And a student who is chatting with friends or otherwise disrupting another student's speech is not demonstrating appropriate listening behaviors.
3) Class Work - This includes class exercises and other activities that illustrate concepts and techniques while allowing students the opportunity to experience and develop concrete expressions of that knowledge.

CONTENT ANALYSIS PROJECT
(250 points or 25 percent of final grade)
This will allow students the opportunity to identify and analyze representations of common American values as seen in various TV shows. The project will fulfil the core assessment requirement for the course. More information about this assignment will be given during Session 6. Analysis will be conducted during Session 7, with papers due on Friday of the last week of class.

EXAMS
(250 points TOTAL or 30 percent of final grade)
Students will take a Midterm Exam during Week 5, and a Final Exam during Week 8. A variety of types of questions will be included, such as True-False, Multiple Choice, Matching, Fill in the Blank, Short Essay, etc. Review for these exams will be conducted during sessions 4 and 7.

INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION
(150 points or 15 percent of final grade)
Each student will be assigned a U.S. president to do a presentation about. The presentation should last approximately 5 to 10 minutes and explore that president's use of the mass media.  Presentations will be given during sessions 3 - 6. More information about this assignment will be provided during Session 2.

GRADING SCALE:
1000 Points TOTAL or 100 percent
900-1000 points = A (90-100%)
800-899 points = B (80-89%)
700-799 points = C (70-79%)
600-699 points = D (60-69%)
0-599 points = F (0-59%)


Late Submission of Course Materials:
Students are expected to turn in their written assignments on time whether they are present in class or not. If present in class, they must turn in their assignments in the form of a typed hard copy. If unable to attend class, students may submit written assignments via one of the following, with the expectation that a typed hard copy will be submitted the day the student returns to class.
1) Via the course drop box. (Be sure your file is in Word or PDF or RTF format.) Here's how:
    A. Go to http://www.parkonline.org
    B. Sign in with your OPEN name and password.
    C. Click Theory & History of the Mass Media.
    D. Click Drop Box.
    E. Click on the name of the assignment.
    F. Click Add Attachment. (A new window will appear.)
    G. Click Browse.
    H. Locate the assignment on your computer and select.
    I. Click Open.
    J. Click Attach.
    K. Wait until it is done and click OK. (It will then take you back to Drop Box.)
    L. Click Submit.   
2) Via e-mail to lynn.norris@park.edu. (Be sure your file is in Word or PDF or RTF format.) PLEASE NOTE: Having a computer or printer problem is generally not an acceptable excuse for late assignments. The instructor will not accept items that are not in proper format. And she is not responsible for items students forget to attach to their e-mails.


Classroom Rules of Conduct:
1. Pirate mail is the official channel of communication for all Park students. Thus, the instructor will occasionally contact students via their Park accounts to notify them of schedule changes, receipt of electronic assignments, and other important information related to the class. All students are responsible for checking their Park e-mail accounts regularly, thus they are considered by the instructor to be informed, and expected to properly utilize the information provided and be prepared for class. Ignorance is not an excuse.
2. All communication devices such as mobile phones and pagers: Please turn these off or set on silent during class. No phone calls or text messages are to be sent or received without the instructor's permission. If you are expecting an important message, notify the instructor in advance. You must have permission from the instructor to answer calls during class.
3. Leaving the classroom: Students are expected to inform the instructor if they need to leave the room before class is dismissed. If a student leaves early without telling the instructor, they will be counted as absent for the entire class period.
4. Personal matters: Assignment grades, explanations for absences from class, etc. should not be discussed during class. Rather, they should be discussed privately with the instructor, via e-mail, before or after class, or by appointment. This is so the instructor can use the class time efficiently, and so she can protect student confidentiality.
5. Respect for every member of the class. This must be maintained at all times. Included is not chattering while the instructor or other students are speaking, and respecting the confidences of members of the class who may share personal information during exercises. Disagreements are natural and may occur, but respect can still be maintained.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
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Please Note: Chapters should be read PRIOR to the week for which they are listed.
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SESSION 1:   MON, Jan. 12
    Introduction To Course
    Agenda Setting
    Media Literacy
    Video Discussion: Weapons of Mass Deception

SESSION 2
:   MON, Jan. 19

Read Graber Chapter 1: Media Power & Government Control
Read Graber Chapter 2: Ownership, Regulation, and Guidance of the Media
Read Postman Chapter 1: The Medium Is the Metaphor
Read Postman Chapter 2: Media as Epistemology
     Individual Presentations Explained and Topics Assigned

SESSION 3
:  MON, Jan. 26
Read Graber Chapter 3: Press Freedom and the Law
Read Graber Chapter 4: News Making and News Reporting Routines
Read Postman Chapter 3: Typographic America
Read Postman Chapter 4: The Typographic World

    Individual Presentations
   
SESSION 4
:   MON, Feb. 2
Read Graber Chapter 5: Reporting Extraordinary Events
Read Graber Chapter 6: The Media and Policymakers
Read Postman Chapter 5: The Peek-A -Boo World
Read Postman Chapter 6: The Age of Show Business

    Individual Presentations
    Review for Midterm Exam

SESSION 5
:  MON, Feb. 9
Read Graber Chapter 7: Media Impact on Attitudes and Behavior
Read Graber Chapter 8: Elections in the Internet Age
Read Postman Chapter 7: Now…This
Read Postman Chapter 8: Shuffle Off to Bethlehem

    Individual Presentations
    Midterm Exam

SESSION 6
:  MON: Feb. 16
Read Graber Chapter 9: The Struggle for Control from the Presidency and Congress
Read Graber Chapter 10: Covering the Justice System and State and Local News
Read Postman Chapter 9: Reach Out and Elect Someone
Read Postman Chapter 10: Teaching as an Amusing Activity

    Individual Presentations
    Content Analysis Project Explained and Groups Assigned

SESSION 7
:  MON, Feb. 23
Read Graber Chapter 11: Foreign Affairs Coverage
Read Graber Chapter 12: Trends in Media Policy
Read Postman Chapter 11: The Huxleyan Warning

    Content Analysis Project Conducted
    Review for Final Exam

SESSION 8
:  MON, Mar. 2
    Final Exam

OTHER: FRI, Mar. 6
    12 noon: Content Analysis Project Paper Due

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PLEASE NOTE: Schedule subject to change at instructor's discretion.
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Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
PLEASE NOTE: The instructor for this class examines all written work for signs of plagiarism. Plagiarized assignments will receive a grade of “zero,” and the plagiarism will be reported.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90
PLEASE NOTE: With one absence, an A for the class is still possible. With two absences, the highest grade the instructor can offer is a C. With three or more absences, the instructor must fail the student. A sign-in sheet will be on the instructor's desk every class period. Students who do not sign in will be considered absent. Students are expected to inform the instructor if they need to leave the room before class is dismissed. If a student leaves early without telling the instructor, they will be counted as absent for the entire class period.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Bibliography:
The Pulse of Politics: Electing Presidents in the Media Age, James David Barber, Transaction Publishers 1992, ISBN-13: 9781560005896



Rubric

CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
1,2,3,5,7 Depending on the project, objective 6 may be added                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Content of the 'A' question shows exceptional depth of thought as the student applies the material to a new situation. Student researcher makes connections between theories and the results of the content analysis.  Writing shows organization and is thematic as the student reaches a conclusion about the findings and their application to media messages in society then develops an argument to bolster that conclusion. Student researcher expresses considered value judgments about her conclusions. Student identifies a purpose for this research for the good of the community or uses the material to criticize the media in fulfilling its role(s) in society. -- All of these elements are present in an excellent content analysis project Student chooses not to write the  'A' paper. Student researcher makes connections between theories and the results of the content analysis. Writing shows organization and is thematic as the student reaches a conclusion about the findings and their application to media messages in society then develops an argument to bolster that conclusion. Student researcher expresses considered value judgments about her conclusions. Student identifies a purpose for this research for the good of the community or uses the material to criticize the media in fulfilling its role(s) in society. -- All of these elements are present in an excellent content analysis project No 'A' paper. Student researcher makes connections between theories and the results of the content analysis. Writing is not clearly organized. Student does not reach a clear conclusion about the findings and their application to media messages in society or the conclusion does not reflect the research outcome. Student identifies a purpose for this research for the good of the community or uses the material to criticize the media in fulfilling its role(s) in society. Project does not sort a media message. Code sheet does not reflect issues in media effects. Writing is not clear enough to understand. No conclusions drawn from the work. Work is incomplete or inadequate in amount. 
Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
1,2,3,5,6,7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Student researcher uses content analysis data to reach conclusions about media messages. Student speculates about the potential effects of these messages, yet notes theoretical limitations in the context of predicting effects. Writing shows these connections clearly and thematically. -- Both of these elements are present in an excellent content analysis project. Student researcher uses content analysis data to reach conclusions about media messages. Student speculates about the potential effects of these messages, but my not clearly describe theoretical limitations in the context of predicting effects. Writing shows these connections clearly and thematically. Student researcher uses content analysis data to reach conclusions about media messages but the conclusions are not clearly stated and are not well supported by the evidence. Speculation about the potential effects of these messages lacks theoretical grounding or is not present., Limitations are not described. Writing lacks organization. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. 
Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Outcomes
1,2,3,5,6,7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
Student researcher is critical of theories, content analysis method or results. Student identifies limitations of the study. Student notices possible disconnect between data, theory and reality. Writing clearly explains this critique. -- Recognition of any of these elements constitutes an excellent content analysis project in the category of evaluation. Student researcher is critical of theories, content analysis method or results. Student identifies limitations of the study. Student notices possible disconnect between data, theory and reality. Writing clearly explains this critique. -- Recognition of any of these elements constitutes an excellent content analysis project in the category of evaluation. Student does not choose to write the 'A' paper so evaluation is not evidenced on that question. Little or no evaluation of the theories, method or media message is evident. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Any evaluation is not grounded in theory or message sorting. 
Terminology                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1, 5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The excellent 'A' paper is present. Vocabulary of the theoretical concepts is present and used to explain the content analysis data and predictions. Commonsense explanations without specific vocabulary are fine as long as they clearly show understanding of the concepts. Question: Did the researcher understand the nature of content analysis, the nature of media messages and the nature of symbols in that message? Vocabulary of the theoretical concepts is present and used to explain the content analysis data and predictions. Commonsense explanations without specific vocabulary are fine as long as they clearly show understanding of the concepts. Question: Did the researcher understand the nature of content analysis, the nature of media messages and the nature of symbols in that message? Some vocabulary is evident and is used with understanding. Commonsense explanations without specific vocabulary are fine as long as they clearly show understanding of the concepts The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Serious lack of the vocabulary of media studies is evident. 
Concepts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Outcomes
1,2,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The excellent 'A' paper is present. The concepts listed in the project assignment directions appear in the paper and seem to be used competently. As long as the concepts are clear, specific vocabulary is not necessary. Question: Did the student researcher understand the linkage between the theories we studied and the findings of the content analysis he or she completed? The concepts listed in the project assignment directions appear in the paper and seem to be used competently. As long as the concepts are clear, specific vocabulary is not necessary. Question: Did the student researcher understand the linkage between the theories we studied and the findings of the content analysis he or she completed? The  most fundamental concepts of content analysis are present and the study does aim at an appropriate media message but their presentation is not clear or thematic. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Inability to conceptualize an appropriate project is evidence the concepts have not been understood. 
Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Outcomes
1,2,3,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
The excellent 'A' paper is present. The important element here is that the student developed a doable content analysis. The code sheet should illustrate understanding of media messages, symbols, theories, and concepts, The findings should use these elements with a good degree of fidelity. In semesters where the code sheet is developed by the class as a whole, the important element is a demonstration of the method and the codes as they relate to the project, evident in the explanation the student provides of the study. The important element here is that the student developed a doable content analysis. The code sheet should illustrate understanding of media messages, symbols, theories, and concepts, The findings should use these elements with a good degree of fidelity. In semesters where the code sheet is developed by the class as a whole, the important element is a demonstration of the method and the codes as they relate to the project, evident in the explanation the student provides of the study. The project was not well conceived so the conclusion are sketchy or non-existent but the project was completed. The code sheet illustrates modest understanding of the nature of symbols, theories, and concepts, in other words, the elements of the code sheet could be identified in a media message. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Inability to conceptualize or design an appropriate project is evidence the concepts have not been understood. 
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcomes
1,2,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The excellent 'A' paper is present. The student completed the content analysis, worked through the evidence and drew conclusions about the message. Those conclusions were supported by theoretical concepts. The student critiqued both the study and the media and noted limitations. The student completed the content analysis, worked through the evidence and drew conclusions about the message. Those conclusions were supported by theoretical concepts. The student critiqued both the study and the media and noted limitations. The student completed the content analysis, worked through the evidence and drew conclusions about the message. Those conclusions were  supported by theoretical concepts but the description was not clear or thematic and the concepts may have been misapplied in some cases.. The student critiqued both the study and the media and noted limitations but the critique was not well organized and did not contain sufficient depth in terms of considering a complex array of possibilities. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Inability to conceptualize or design an appropriate project is evidence the concepts have not been understood. 
Component                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Outcomes
1,2,5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The excellent 'A' paper is present The individual components of the project -- completion of the study, writing quality, citations to the material, engagement with the work -- are detailed in the individual criteria at each level. They are organically linked to evaluation on each level and not considered separately. The individual components of the project -- completion of the study, writing quality, citations to the material, engagement with the work -- are detailed in the individual criteria at each level. They are organically linked to evaluation on each level and not considered separately. The individual components of the project -- completion of the study, writing quality, citations to the material, engagement with the work -- are detailed in the individual criteria at each level. They are organically linked to evaluation on each level and not considered separately. The project failed to produce evidence because the student did not conceptualize an appropriate media study or did not execute it. Inability to conceptualize or design an appropriate project is evidence the concepts have not been understood. 
M/LL or Graduate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Outcomes
1,2,3,5,7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
The excellent 'A' paper is present. By nature, the project is cross disciplinary, topical and represents original research. Completion of the project is evidence of Liberal Learnings outcomes. By nature, the project is cross disciplinary, topical and represents original research. Completion of the project is evidence of Liberal Learnings outcomes. By nature, the project is cross disciplinary, topical and represents original research. Completion of the project is evidence of Liberal Learnings outcomes. Because the project failed to produce appropriate evidence or analysis, the student did not accomplish the goals of a course designated liberal learning. 

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Last Updated:1/9/2009 1:56:42 PM