Mass Media and Society Syllabus
- Understand the relationship between the gospel and mass media.
- Understand and increase media literacy.
- Explore media industries from a historical perspective.
- Understand the economic perspective of the media industry.
- Examine the audience from the media industry's perspective.
- Examine the audience from the individual's perspective.
- Critically analyze media content.
- Recognize factors influencing media effects.
- Increase media literacy through research, critical thinking and discussion.
Communication 140 is a required core course for communication majors. Mass Media and Society focuses on the concept of media literacy. The course is designed to help students become more knowledgeable about all facets of the media and more strategic users of media messages. Students learn how the mass media operates and how to use the media in better ways to achieve their own personal goals.
Learning Model Architecture
No prerequisites required
Textbook (available as an eBook): Potter, W. James, "Introduction to Media Literacy" (2015). ISBN #: 978-1483379586
Supplemental textbook website: SAGE Publications
You will also need Microsoft Word for this course which you can download free through the University Store.
The weekly deadline for almost all assignments is Tuesday at 11:59 PM Mountain Time. Grades will be based on the following weekly assignments and activities:
- Discussion Forums: Each week we will have an online discussion forum based on the readings and assignments of the week. Review the chapter and then participate in the online discussion. Each discussion is worth twenty points. You will be graded on the quality of your content and critical thinking. A minimum of four postings is required for each forum. You'll need to make one original post and then respond to at least three other posts.
- Chapter Reading Quizzes: You will take a quiz on the assigned reading each week. Each quiz is an open-book online quiz; each quiz is worth twenty points and consists of twenty multiple-choice or true-false questions. You may only open each quiz once, so be prepared before you open the quiz. You may be tempted to take the quiz without reading first; while there is no time limit on the quizzes, this usually takes a lot of time online. If you have technical problems taking a quiz, email your instructor immediately so we can make arrangements for you to complete the quiz. Late quizzes are not accepted.
- Projects: There are ten hands-on projects over the semester worth thirty-five points each. Projects require some outside research and reading and usually take from one to three hours to complete.
- Activities: There are nine activities over the semester worth fifteen points each. Activities are designed to help you take a deeper look into concepts or ideas presented in the chapter. Activities often include videos or articles for you to watch and read. You'll be asked to respond to specific questions about what you learned in a paragraph or two for each question. Activities usually take from thirty to ninety minutes on average to complete.
- Review Exam: There will be a final open-book exam near the end of the semester worth 100 points. The exam has true-or-false and multiple-choice questions. The exam is open-book and does not require a proctor; however, it is to be completed on your own. Exams must be completed by their due date. There are no exceptions.
- Blog Entries: One goal of this course is to become more media literate. To do that we need to be more observant of the media we are exposed to and what impact it has. To help us do that you will post a paragraph long blog entry each week on something you observed about the mass media. You can do a little web surfing to find interesting web sites or web videos that are related the our mass media discussions. Post a link to the site or video with a brief description of what the link will take us to. You'll post ten times over the semester. Each post is worth five points. Your instructor will post every week as well. You may comment on other blog posts, but it is not required.
- Peer Teaching Presentation: Using screen capture software, you will prepare a two-minute presentation. Detailed instructions on how to create and share the presentation will be available on I-Learn. You will pick from a list of mass media topics and create a presentation to share with the class.
Extra Credit: If you feel like you need a few extra points, you can choose from this list of extra credit projects. Each project is worth up to ten points; you may earn a maximum of 30 extra credit points.
- Watch one or more of the live or archived or episodes of Latter-day Profiles with a variety of media professionals and others. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Contact a professional in your chosen career field. Interview him or her and write a summary on what you learned about your career field. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Review the talks from the most recent general conference. Summarize what we are being taught concerning media with specific references. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Attend a mass-media related speech, seminar or symposium in person. Submit a minimum one-page critical analysis of the activity that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Pitch an idea that you have for extra credit. Get it approved and complete the project.
|Letter Grade||Grading Scale|
|A||93% and above|
|A-||90 – 92.9%|
|B+||87 – 89.9%|
|B||83 – 86.9%|
|B-||80 – 82.9%|
|C+||77 – 79.9%|
|C||73 – 76.9%|
|C-||70 – 72.9%|
|D+||67 – 69.9%|
|D||63 – 66.9%|
|D-||50 – 62.9%|
|F||49.9% and below|
The due dates for this course are a bit different than other classes. Lessons run Saturday to Tuesday. Tuesday is the "end" of the lesson when most of your assignments are due. This lets you work over the weekends on your lessons.
Microsoft Word- Helpful settings
Because we use many Word worksheets in this course these setting might be helpful to check in your version of Word.
Word will open documents in Protected View for files that:
- originate from the Internet
- are located in potentially unsafe locations
- are received as attachments to an email message
However, by going to File>Options>Trust Center>Trust Center Settings>Protected View, you can change that behaviour for each of the above individual cases.
If the documents have the Read-only attribute set, you can go to File>Options>General and uncheck the box for "Open email attachments and other uneditable files in reading view."
The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place. Print or download this syllabus for your records.