SCM 101, otherwise known as Introduction to Mass Communication and Media. This is a popular freshman class, because it is an entry level class for the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Because of that, the class is very general in its topic. While more interesting than some other classes, it can also be hard to succeed, so here are some helpful tips:
1. Go to Class
This might sound very simple and obvious, but it really is the easiest way to make sure you do well in SCM. Be proactive, go to class, and make sure you pay attention. Many specific examples, (for instance, the shannon/weaver model examples) are provided in class and will be referenced on the exam. There is no textbook, so it’s important to make sure you are getting all the information.
2. Work Well with a Group
You may be used to completing assignments individually, however in SCM, there are a ton of group projects. The foreign PSA analysis is done with a partner, and the Mock-up PSA and Brief is done in a group of 5 or 6. To everyone’s disappointment, you are unable to choose who you work with, meaning you should be able to work with anyone in the class.
3. Do the Extra Credit
There are several opportunities for small bonuses throughout the semester. They tend to be fairly simple, such as writing short paragraphs or papers on presentations or topics covered in class, or even simply showing up for a specific class period. It is an easy way to boost your grade, and you never know when that one point will change your B+ to an A-.
4. Stay Up to Date on the Workload
There are a lot of smaller assignments to complete throughout the semester, and it’s best to stay organized and make sure you complete everything. Some of them are assigned over weekends and breaks. This is probably the last thing you want to do, but it’s important that you do complete them. Your grade will thank you.
5. Have a Study Buddy
Having someone there to help keep you focused, stop you from online shopping during lectures, and to supply you with the notes when you weren’t there is a life saver. They can be an additional pair of ears to listen to all of the various details as well as the specific examples.
It’s not that it’s a particularly challenging class, content wise, but the format makes it difficult sometimes. Make sure to stay focused on the bigger picture, and the way all the smaller topics fit into the course. Good luck in this class, if you study hard and stay focused, you will do great!