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COMN 1000 (106)
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COMN 1310.docx

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Department
Communication Studies
Course
COMN 1000
Professor
Othon Alexandrakis
Semester
Fall

Description
Course Syllabus COMN 1310 9.0 INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATIONS Course Director: David Skinner Office: 3019 Tel Phone: 33853 e-mail: [email protected] Office Hours: Mon. 12:30-2:20 or by appointment. This course introduces students to the study of communication. It is designed to provide a critical overview – or survey – of the main themes and issues in the field of communication and mass media. It looks at communication from both the personal and social levels and considers the myriad ways in which forms and processes of communication are implicated in our knowledge and understanding of the world. The course is structured to introduce students to the four sub-fields of the Communication Studies Program – Media and Culture, Politics and Policy, Technology and Society, and Interpersonal and Organizational Communication. In the first term, we will consider the roles of language, culture and, particularly, the mass media, in the production of meaning and the construction of our social environment. In the second term, we will examine the roles of the state, civil society, institutions, organizations, and technology in the production and distribution of culture and social power. The basic objectives and anticipated learning outcomes of the course are: i) to provide a critical understanding of the structures and practices of communication, and particularly the mass media; ii) to develop a critical understanding of communication as a cultural form; iii) to encourage the use and appreciation of social theory in reflecting on the study of communication and mass media; iv) to build an appreciation of the social political and economic dimensions of mass- mediated communication; v) to develop an understanding of the Canadian context of mass communication. As this course is part of the Foundations program, lectures and assignments are designed to enhance students’reading, writing, and analytic skills. Students are advised that because this is a 9 credit course the work load is proportionately greater than that of a 6 credit course. The lectures will be supplemented with both video materials and in-class assignments to illustrate the relationships between personal experiences of the media and the theoretical and critical perspectives discussed in class. Please note that students with medical conditions, physical, learning, or psychiatric disabilities may require accommodation in teaching style, evaluation methods and other course requirements. Students are encouraged to contact the Course Director and/or the appropriate university office supporting students with disabilities early in the term so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Failure to notify the Course Director of your needs in a timely manner may jeopardize the opportunity to arrange for academic accommodations. Required Reading Regan Shade, Leslie. Mediascapes: New Patterns in Canadian Communication (3rd edition). Scarborough, Ontario: Nelson, 2010. Grossberg, Lawrence, Ellen Wartella, and D.Charles Whitney. MediaMaking: Mass media in popular culture (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2006.* Lorimer, Rowland, Mike Gasher, and David Skinner. Mass Communication in Canada (6th edition). Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008.* Reading Pack (Available in the Book Store) * Please note: Only these editions of these textbooks may be used for this course. Previous editions do not contain the necessary material. Format Two hour lecture and two hour tutorial. Evaluation Participation andAttendance 10% Tutorial Presentations 10% Reading Summaries 10 % Term Paper Outlines 10% End of Term Exams 30% Term Papers 30% Cheating on an exam or assignment is punishable by a minimum of failure of the assignment and may result in failure of the course. Exams and Assignments Exams There will be exams at the end of each of the two terms. The exams will be comprised of multiple choice and short answer questions and they will cover material from the text, readings and lectures. Rewrites will not be permitted.As a general rule, deferred exams are only granted in exceptional circumstances with prior permission of the course director. Deferred exams will not necessarily be the same format. The course director will provide a study guide for each of the exams at least one week prior to the exam. Seminar Working in small groups, students are expected to give one seminar presentation in each of the two terms. Each presentation is worth 5% of the final grade. (See accompanying “Seminar Adjudication Form.”) Presentations should be 15-20 minutes in length and include questions for class discussion at the end of the presentation. Topics are to be chosen from those described on the week by week outline and must be presented in the week scheduled. (AV equipment requests must be made to your TA at least one week prior to your presentation.) 10% of the grade will be allocated to tutorial attendance and participation. WrittenAssignments Students are required to complete three types of written assignments: i) 10 one page summaries of weekly readings (5 per term); ii) two term paper outlines; iii) two term papers. Toward meeting the Foundation requirements of the course, students will be expected to hand in 5 two page double spaced typed summaries of weekly readings each term. (Ahandout describing this assignment in more detail will be provided.) Each summary is worth 1% of the final grade. Summaries must be written in full sentences – not point form – and clearly identify the major themes/ideas covered in the chapter or article. They should include a paragraph that describes and analyzes how the material covered in the reading is related to the process of mass communication and the larger themes of the course. Two questions, suitable for class discussion, that either call for clarification of some aspect of the article or challenge assumptions it makes must be included with the assignment. Summaries must be submitted to T.A.’s the week the reading is assigned. Late summaries will not be accepted. The term paper outlines are due in Week 7 and Week 19. The outlines will be 3 pages in length and include: a clear thesis statement on the subject of the paper; a detailed description of the different sections or components of the work; an annotated bibliography of possible sources for the paper. Papers must be based upon at least 5 sources and include references to: a scholarly book (not a text book), a journal article, and a credible web based source.Adetailed description of the papers and the outlines will be handed out in the third week of each term. Based upon the term paper outlines, students are required to complete two papers. They will both be 1750-2000 words in length (7-8 pages) and worth 15% of the final grade The first paper is due at the beginning of the second to last lecture of the Fall term (Nov. 30). The second paper is due at the beginning of the second to last lecture of the Winter Term (April 5). The purpose of these assignments is to help students more closely consider some of the concepts, ideas and terminology discussed in class and the reading. Topics for the papers will be drawn from a list handed out in the third week of each term. Late paper penalty: 1% or 1 mark per day (to be deducted after the paper is graded). In extenuating circumstances, extensions may be awarded at the discretion of the T.A.. Plagiarism of any written assignment is punishable by a minimum of failure of the assignment and may result in failure of the course. Tentative Lecture Topics Term I 1. Orientation and Introduction 2. Foundations 3. History of Communication 4. Communication Models/Communication Theory I 5. No Classes 6.Communication Models/Communication Theory II 7. Communication Models/Communication Theory III 8. Ideology 9. From Mass Society to Popular Culture 10. Advertising as Cultural Form 11. Producing Content 12. Politics and Policy: Media, Publics, Democracy, Culture, and Society 13. Exam Term II 14. Re-orientation: Cultural Industries and The Converging Mediascape 15. Newspapers and Private Broadcasters 16. Public Broadcasting in Canada and Beyond 17. Film and Video: Hollywood’s World? 18. Magazines and Book Publishing: Split Run and Run On 19. Political Communication: Is Canada’s Media System up to the Task? 20. Reading Week 21. Communication, Technology, and Society 22. Globalization and The Information Society 23. From NWICO to Now: Perspectives on Media Imperialism 24. Communication in DigitalAge: Promises and Problematics 25. Techno-Tantrums or New Democracy? New Social Movements in a DigitalAge 26. Exam 27. Advising COMS 1310 9.0: Introduction to Communications Lectures, Reading, and Seminar Topics Date Tentative Lecture Topics Readings and Seminar topics for this week TERM I Week 1 Sept. 14 Orientation & Introduction Read: - Lorimer, Gasher and Skinner (L,G&S) Chapter 1. Seminar: Review Course Outline Week 2 Sept. 21 University Basics Reading Summaries Defining the Field Read: - L,G&S, Chapter 2 - Ong, Walter. The Orality of Language (Reading Pack) Seminar: Drawing upon Ong’s “The Orality of Language” and Chap. 1 of L,G&S, compare some of the differences between oral and literate society. Do you believe that as Ong (14-15) states, “with out writing human consciousness cannot achieve its fuller potentials, cannot produce other beautiful and powerful potentials.” Week 3 Sept. 28 History of Communication Read: - L,G&S, Chapter 3. - Grossberg et al, Chapter 2. Seminar: Outline the basic theories of the press described on pp 64-66 of Chapter 3 of L,G&S. With specific reference to examples of media content , discuss which of these you think is most applicable to the press in our society? Why? Week 4 Oct. 5 Communication Models/ Communication Theory I (Context) 2nd hour: researching and writing your term paper. Read: - L,G&S, Chapter 4. - Grossberg et al, Chapter 1. Seminar: Summ
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