Thursday, August 25, 2011

How will my performance be assessed in this class?

I encourage you to set your own goals for this class. I do not believe that any experience where you rely on an outside evaluation of your work, involvement, and performance will affect you as significantly as an experience where you attempt to match your own evaluations with those you receive from others. What do you want to learn in this class? Why are you here? What might you walk away with? How can you grow as a person through this experience? What criteria will you use to judge whether or not you have?

That said, I am obliged to evaluate your work, involvement, and performance in this class. I don’t shrink from this duty, because I assume that the feedback I give you will be useful as you journey through this learning process. On the other hand, I don’t assume that you are the sum of your grade in this class. I know that your potential far exceeds any grade that’s available in this or any class. Hopefully you can use this system of grades to begin to push your own limits. In this class your learning will be formally assessed using these components:

Media Text Analysis
Mass Media & Shifts in American Culture
Media Story
Community Involvement

What other policies do I need to know?

Know the syllabus. Starting on the second day of class, the syllabus is binding and should be referred to when you have a question. When information is required, I will post that info here, on the blog. As a result, you should think of the syllabus as an ongoing contract. It is also necessary that you familiarize yourself with the campus wide e-companion software. I will only use e-companion to store readings, but you will need to download the readings from that site. I will always let you know (in “real” class time) when I’ve provided more information on the web, and will never make changes to the syllabus without consulting you. In this course though, email is a requirement. I won’t answer any (process-oriented) questions in class unless you can first tell me what the course blog or syllabus says about it.

Attend class. Any absences beyond three will result in a third of a letter grade reduction from your grade (B to B-, etc.). Conversely, if you have a perfect attendance record, I will raise your final grade one third of a grade. No late assignments will be accepted except in cases of emergency. Emergency absences must fall into the following criteria:
1.) death,
2.) extreme sickness,
3.) college approved absences, and
4.) You must notify me in advance.
You may notify me in person, on the telephone, on voicemail, or by leaving a message with the department secretary. If you leave messages for me, be sure that you leave them prior to the class you miss, and that there is some outside authentication.

Turn in your work early. All work will be due in class on the due date marked in the calendar. Late assignments will only be accepted with permission. Assignments turned in on the due date but outside of class will have five points deducted. Ten points per calendar day will be deducted for later assignments.

Write carefully. The Communication Arts department policy for all written assignments is that students will receive one grade reduction for more than three errors in grammar, mechanics, syntax, spelling and punctuation.

Don’t cheat. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Any instances of plagiarism, cheating, or dishonesty will be dealt with as outlined in the student handbook.

Wait one night. I do not discuss the grades I assign on the day that I return them to you. I encourage students to question and be forthright about their questions, but our conversation will proceed more productively if you have at least one night to reflect on my feedback, and construct your response.

What can I expect to learn in this course?

The successful student, upon completion of this course should be able to:

1. identify fundamental trends in the history and development of mass media.

2. evaluate claims regarding the effects of media upon society.

3. articulate themes which frame mass media development today.

4. evaluate mass media messages and production processes using moral frameworks.

5. identify Judeo - Christian critiques of mass media

6. critically evaluate media using several different criteria.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Communication Arts Department Mission Statement

We, the Communication Arts Department, commit to develop communicators rooted in communities, acting as agents of truth, reflection, transformation and reconciliation in a way that celebrates God’s grace and faithfulness.