Intro to the Study of Emerging Media and Communication (Graduate)

I taught this class in Fall 2010 and Spring 2014.

Syllabus

EMAC 6300: Introduction to the Study of Emerging Media and Communications
Spring 2014
These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Instructor.

 

Course Information

Class No. 25593
Meets: T 7:00 pm – 9:45 pm
Location: ATC 2.811
Credit Hours: 3

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Kim Knight
Email (preferred method of contact): kim.knight@utdallas.edu
Office Phone: 972-883-4346
Office: ATC 1.903
Contact policies:

  • I respond to email M-F within 24 hours.
    • If I do not respond within that timeframe, check my email address and re-send it.
    • Use official UTD email only.
  • I will not respond to
    • Emails that request information found on the syllabus or assignment sheets.
    • Twitter direct messages.

Office Hours:

  • Drop-in hours (no appointment needed) Thursdays 5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Schedule appointments at http://doodle.com/purplekimchi

Course website: http://kimknight.com
Twitter hashtag: #EMAC6300
Twitter archive
Diigo Group: https://groups.diigo.com/group/emac6300

Course Description

In EMAC 6300 we will explore some of the theoretical foundations of the study of emerging media and communication. We will begin with a bit of media history to understand certain patterns that occur with the emergence of new technologies in Western culture. We will continue with an examination of ongoing questions regarding the influence of technology on society. For the remainder of the semester we will examine the specific impacts of digital media on social structures such as community, personal identity, privacy, politics, and activism. We will end with a short examination of emerging areas of interest.

Our explorations will be carried out primarily through discussions of readings and student presentations. In other words, this is not a lecture course. Students are expected to actively engage with course readings as part of an active scholarly community. Each class meeting with also include a short skills workshop.

Course Goals

In this course, students will:

  • Identify and analyze developments in software, hardware, and media.
  • Analyze the impact of these developments on social structures.
  • Communicate with the new media community through the use of blogs, microblogs, social bookmarking, live presentations, etc.
  • Engage in the collaborative production of knowledge.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Various chapters and essays, available online or through course reserve. The username for protected downloads is “emac6300” and the password is media

  • Coleman, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking; ISBN: 0691144613
  • Drahos and Braithwaite, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?; ISBN: 1565848047 (This one has some limited availability – Off Campus Books will have the hard cover version; I also found a lot of copies on Alibris. Be sure to order in advance).
  • Gauntlett, Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0; ISBN: 0745650023
  • Ito, et al, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media; ISBN: 0262518546
  • Lévy, Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace; ISBN: 0738202614
  • Mackinnon, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom; ISBN: 0465063756
  • Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life ISBN: 0804752370
  • Papacharissi, ed., A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites; ISBN: 0415801818

You will also need the following:

  • an email account that is checked frequently
  • a public WordPress blog
    • preferably self-hosted: check out http://reclaimhosting.com/ for inexpensive web hosting aimed at students; alternatively you may register a free blog at wordpress.com
  • a public Twitter account
  • accounts at Diigo and Codecademy.

Course Policies

Attendance: Some of the most valuable take-away from this course will come out of our class discussions.  Your participation is necessary for our success. It is important that you come to every class prepared and on time. To be “prepared” means that you have read the reading, developed and considered questions, and are prepared to discuss it in class.  Bring questions, comments, observations, disagreements, examples, etc.

Because your presence in class is important, more than one absence (i.e. missing more than 1 week of class) will negatively affect your participation grade. In most cases, more than four absences (i.e. missing more than 1 month of class) will result in a failing participation grade. Missing more than 8 classes (more than 2 months in class) will result in a failing course grade. There is no distinction between excused and unexcused absences. Use that one freebie wisely. If you need to miss class for religious reasons, please speak to me ahead of time. Absences for religious purposes do not count against the permitted number (as long as prior notification is given).

Lateness is also unacceptable; if you arrive more than thirty minutes late to class you will be marked as absent. If you leave more than 30 minutes early, you will be marked absent. In addition, please try to be as fully present and engaged as possible – silence cell phones, don’t send or receive texts or emails, etc.  Excessive distraction may be counted as an absence.

Accommodation: If you have a disability that requires accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act -2008(ADAAA), please present your letter of accommodations from the Office of Student AccessAbility and meet with me as soon as possible so that I can support your success in an informed manner. If you would like to know more about the University of Texas at Dallas, Office of Student AccessAbility, please contact the office at 972-883-6104 or email: studentaccessability@utdallas.edu.  Their office is located in the Student Service Building (SSB), suite 3.200.

Online Due Dates: All online assignments are due by 11:59pm on the date listed, unless otherwise noted.

Late work: Late work will be accepted for some assignments. Out of fairness to those who turn them in on time, a late penalty will be applied. On other assignments, work will not be accpted past the due date. See specific assignment sheets for details.

Respectful behavior: Our many discussions and online assignments will require vigilance to ensure that we are always preserving an atmosphere of mutual respect in which everyone is welcome to learn. Disagreements may arise and consensus may not be possible.  We can, however, respect each person’s right to express an opinion and right to have the opportunity to learn. Name calling, harassment, or menacing behavior will not be tolerated.

Online identity: This class asks students to participate in publicly accessible blogs and other forms of public writing. Writing in public has several advantages for student learning. It creates a closer analogue to the offline environments, and allows for the creation of writing that is designed to be shared with an actual audience, instead of just an instructor. It also allows students to learn from each other. However, some students may have legitimate privacy concerns about participating in publicly accessible assignments. These students may choose to participate in public assignments under a pseudonym, or assumed name. If you wish to request this accommodation for any reason, please contact me immediately.

Academic Honesty: From the UT-D Handbook of Operating Procedures: “The university expects from its students a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends on the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student maintain a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. The dean may initiate disciplinary proceedings under subchapter C against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty upon complaint by a faculty member or a student.” (http://www.utdallas.edu/dept/graddean/gsPolDishonesty.htm)

Plagiarism will be referred to the Dean of Students and may result in a failing grade on the plagiarized assignment and/or possible disciplinary action by the university. If you have any questions regarding the proper use of outside sources or the distinction between sampling and plagiarism, I encourage you to meet with me.

University Policies: Please visit http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies for the University’s policies regarding all courses.

Course Requirements and Grading Policy

Grading Scale:

A Range: Excellent B Range: Good B- to C- Range: Good / Satisfactory D Range: Needs Improvement F: Failing
A, A- B+, B  B-, C+, C, C-  D+, D, D- F

Please note that since EMAC 6300 is a core course, no grade below a B will count toward your degree plan.  In other words, if you get a B- or lower, you will need to repeat the course in order to graduate.

Assignments (see assignment sheets for more detail):

In-class participation – 10%
Participation includes attendance and participation in discussion. To receive full participation credit, you should meet with me during drop in hours or by appointment at least once before March 6, 2014.

Digital participation – 10%
Digital participation includes online participation via Twitter, Diigo, and other platforms the class may choose. Twitter content should be tagged with #emac6300 and Diigo content should be. posted to the EMAC6300 group.

Blogging – 25%
Your discussions of material should extend outside the classroom into a blog that discusses the course material.  You will be placed in a group with other students and you will rotate between posting original content and responding to your peers. In general you will be responsible for writing 200 – 500 words each week.

Case Study Presentation – 15%
A lot of our reading is dense theory that can be enhanced by connecting it to examples of media objects: hardware, software, websites, art objects, pop culture texts, etc.  Each week one or more students will perform an ignite presentation on a case study for the class to discuss in relation to the week’s reading.

Midterm Exam – 15%
The midterm will be a take-home exam that will be distributed in class. Students will have 1 week to compose a 1,500 – 1,800 word essay in response to an essay question.

Final Research Paper – 25%
A 2,400 – 3,000 word research paper that uses the class readings and independent research to analyze and make an argument about a media object or event. The paper should also address the larger context of the topic; in other words, it should address the “so what?” of the topic. This assignment also includes a paper proposal and annotated bibliography that will be due at various points in the second half of the semester.

General Requirements: This class involves a lot of dense reading.  My hope is that you will apply the ideas from that reading to your online and offline experiences. You will be most successful in this class if you are able to have an open mind and take a critical approach to our topics. Please note that being “critical” does not necessarily mean being negative, but it does mean that you are willing to question assumptions and explore the implications of the seemingly mundane and minute aspects of contemporary media culture. Openness to experimentation and play and a willingness to try and fail are critical to the study of emerging media.  In short, in this class we will be enacting some of the very changes we are studying – collaborative learning, alternative models of scholarship, etc.

Schedule

Week One: January 14 – Introduction

Week Two: January 21 – A Tiny Slice of Media History

Friday, January 24

  • Blog responses due online – B & C bloggers

Week Three: January 28 – Determinism and Constructivism

Friday, January 31

  • Blog responses due online – A & C bloggers

Week Four: February 4 – Infrastructure and Protocols

Friday, February 7

  • Blog responses due online – A & B bloggers

Week Five: February 11 – Selves and Networks

  • Readings
    • Papacharissi, ed., A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites; ISBN: 0415801818
        • Intro, Ch 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, Conclusion
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – A bloggers
    • Rejoin your favorite social networking site
  • Case study presentations
    • Katie, Sardos
  • Tech Workshop
    • Types of WordPress themes
    • Child themes and Customizing Themes
    • Using Plugins on your WordPress blog

Friday, February 14

  • Blog responses due online – B & C bloggers

Week Six: February 18 – Digital Youth Culture

  • Reading
    • Ito, et al, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media; ISBN: 0262518546
      • Intro, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and Conclusion
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – B bloggers
    • 40 minutes of uninterrupted reading
    • Start a fake gender-swapped social media profile – post frequently for the next week
  • Case study presentations
    • Remi, Lari
  • Tech Workshop
    • FTP, Diigo, WordPress backups, and Moreofit

Friday, February 21

  • Blog responses due online – A & C bloggers

Week Seven: February 25 – Digital Identity

Friday, February 28

  • Blog responses due online – A & B bloggers

Week Eight: March 4 – Collectives

  • Readings
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – A bloggers
    • Edit the Wikipedia entry for one of the topics on which you are very knowledgeable.
    • Register for an IFTT account http://iftt.com
  • Case study presentations
    • Carlos
  • Tech Workshop
    • Automation and IFTT

Friday, March 7

  • Blog responses due online – B & C bloggers

Spring Break: March 10 – 14

Week Nine: March 18 – Intellectual Property and Ownership

  • Readings
    • Drahos and Braithwaite, Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?; ISBN: 1565848047
      • Entire book
    • Film: Rip! A Remix Manifesto
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – B bloggers
    • Research Project proposal due before class.
    • Visit either Flickr or Delicious and find something tagged with your birth month or favorite color.
    • Consider getting a head start on JavaScript at Codecademy. It’s due April 22.
  • Take Home Midterm will be Distributed in Class
  • Case study presentations
    • Tony
  • Tech Workshop
    • Markdown

Friday, March 21

  • Blog responses due online – A & C bloggers

Week Ten: March 25 – Free and Open Source Communities

  • Readings
    • Coleman, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking; ISBN: 0691144613
      • Intro, Ch 1, 2, 5, Conclusion, Epilogue
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – C bloggers
    • Take home midterm due
    • Open Source Inventory: Catalog each open source tool you use in the course of one day.
  • Case study presentations
    • Yidan
  • Tech Workshop
    • VPN and TOR

Friday, March 28

  • Blog responses due online – A & B bloggers

Week Eleven: April 1 – Civil Liberties and Governance

  • Readings
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – A bloggers
    • Read the terms and conditions on any current or new service.
    • Sign up for a Storify account
  • Case study presentations
    • Norma
  • Tech Workshop
    • Storify

Friday, April 4

      • Blog responses due online – B & C bloggers

Week Twelve: April 8 – Activism

  • Readings
    • Eubanks, Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; ISBN: 0262518139
      • Everything except the appendices
  • Homework
  • Case study presentations
    • Jodi, Jared
  • Tech Workshop
    • Web Designing for Accessibility

Friday, April 11

  • Blog responses due online – A & C bloggers

Week Thirteen: April 15 – Privacy 1

  • Readings
    • Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life ISBN: 0804752370
      • Parts 1 and 2
  • Homework
    • Blog post due before class – C bloggers
    • Reflect on 1 week of Ghostery usage
    • Register for a Github account and download the mac or windows desktop app
  • Case study presentations
    • Suzanna
  • Tech Workshop
    • Github

Friday, April 18

  • Blog responses due online – A & B bloggers

Week Fourteen: April 22 – Privacy 2

  • Readings
    • Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life ISBN: 0804752370
      • Part 3 and Conclusion
  • Homework
    • Research Project annotated bibliography due before class.
    • Complete JavaScript course on Codecademy
  • Case study presentations
  • Tech Workshop
    • JavaScript – guest lecture by Harrison Massey

Week Fifteen: April 29 – The Digital and the Material

  • Readings
  • Homework
    • (Optional) Last day to meet with Kim for feedback on early versions of papers.
    • Download Arduino IDE (http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage#.Uy7vkV60aT4)
    • Download the FTDI drivers for your laptop (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm)
  • Case study presentations
    • Rachel, Trevor
  • Tech Workshop
    • Physical computing with the Lilypad Arduino (Kim)

May 6: Research Paper due by 11:59pm

  • Upload a pdf file to your blog and publish the link to the file in a blog post.

Assignments

In-class Participation

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC
Spring 2014
Participation: In-class

Purpose:

      • To involve students in active processes of learning.

Overview:
Forget the model of education you see in the movies where a brilliant professor lectures from a podium and students scribble away furiously in their notebooks. Research evidence overwhelmingly suggests that students learn better and retain more information when they are actively involved in the process of learning.

My classroom philosophy is that I am a coach, there to guide you through these active processes. I very seldom lecture and most of our class meetings will involve whole class discussion. And this will lead to some of the most valuable take-away from this course, in class and online. Your participation is necessary for our success. It is important that you participate in every class meeting and that you share resources between classes.

The Requirements:

      • Do the reading. Take notes. Come to class prepared to discuss key ideas, vocabulary, questions, disagreements, examples, etc.
      • Do the homework activities and reflect on them in relation to the week’s topic prior to coming to class.
      • Be in class. More than one absence will affect your grade, and in most cases, four or more absences will result in a failing participation grade.
      • Arrive on time and stay for the duration of the class session. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late, you will be marked as absent. Leaving more than 30 minutes early also counts as an absence. If you arrive after I take role, it is unlikely I will stop what I am doing when you walk in to record your presence. It is up to you to remind me mark you present at the break.
      • Pay attention. Silence cell phones. Don’t send or receive texts or emails. Stay off of social networking sites unless it is part of an in-class activity. Excessive distraction may be counted as an absence.
      • Visit office hours (either drop-in or make an appointment) at least once by March 6, 2014.

Grading
In-class participation is worth 10% of your final grade.

The criteria for grading your work are:

Excellent

Good

Satisfactory

Needs Improvement

Failing

Attendance

The student has no more than 1 absence. The student is always on-time and stays for the duration of class.

The student has no more than two absences and has no consistent problems with tardiness or leaving early.

The student has no more than three absences and is generally on time and in class for the duration.

The student may have more than three absences or frequently arrives late or leaves early.

The student has four or more absences and/or consistently arrives late or leave early.

Homework

The student completes all homework assignments and has thoughtfully engaged with them in preparation for class.

The student completes all homework assignments and is prepared to discuss them in class.

The student generally completes the homework assignments and is prepared to discuss them in class.

The student misses frequent homework assignments or does not come to class prepared to discuss them.

The student misses an excessive number of homework assignments.

In-class discussion

The student always contributes meaningful comments and ideas to class discussion*.

The student consistently contributes comments and ideas to class discussion.

The student contributes comments and ideas to class discussion at least once per meeting.

The student rarely contributes comments and ideas to class discussion.

The student never contributes to class discussion.

*Note: you do not always have to fully grasp the material to make meaningful comments. You may ask questions and make a good effort to understand.

Late Work: Work associated with participation may not be completed late.

Digital Participation

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC
Spring 2014
Participation: Digital

Purpose:

      • To involve students in active processes of learning beyond the walls of the classroom.
      • To give students the chance to participate in the wider community of intellectuals interested in emerging media and communication.
      • To help students develop their professional presence on multiple platforms.

Overview:
In this class we not only study emerging media, but also practice communicating via multiple media platforms. Students should select individual platforms according to their unique affordances. For instance, the Diigo group might be used to share links that may be of ongoing interest to the class, while Twitter might be used to share or engage with more ephemeral content.

Currently the approved platforms for digital participation are:

      • Twitter for micro-blogging (use hashtag #emac6300).
      • Diigo for shared bookmarks (add them to the EMAC6300 group)

Students may suggest other platforms but please keep in mind that I will need a way to evaluate individual contributions.

The Requirements:

      • Share content or engage in discussion relevant to class themes. If referring to readings, give author’s name and page or paragraph numbers.
      • Use publicly accessible accounts / settings.
      • Select the correct platform for each task.
      • Use the hashtag or put content into the proper group.
      • Adapt language / conventions to the platform, but keep it professional.

Grading

Digital participation is worth 10% of your final grade.

The criteria for grading your work are:

Excellent

Good

Satisfactory

Needs Improvement

Failing

Frequency

The student shares content or engages in hashtagged discussion* three or more times a week.

The student shares content or engages in hashtagged discussion* two or more times a week.

The student shares content or engages in hashtagged discussion* at least once a week.

The student shares content or participates in discussion* less frequently than once per week.

The student is inconsistent in sharing content or participating in discussion.

Platform

The student enhances the content through their use of the unique features of the chosen platform.

The student consistently makes good use of the unique features of the chosen platform.

The student generally shows awareness of the unique features of the chosen platform.

The student may exhibit a lack of awareness of the appropriate platform and/or its features.

The student consistently chooses a poor platform or fails to use its features.

Content

The student always contributes meaningful and relevant content.

The student consistently contributes meaningful and relevant content.

The student contributes relevant content.

Content may be irrelevant or unprofessional.

The student never contributes content.

*Though students may use Twitter to engage in back channel discussion during class meetings, this does not count toward digital participation.

Late Work:

Work associated with digital participation may not be completed late.

Blogging Assignment

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC
Spring 2014
Blogging Assignment

Purpose:

  • To help students identify areas of interest or challenge prior to class meetings.
  • To seed ideas for class discussion and the final paper.
  • To facilitate the formation of community in the classroom.
  • To communicate with the emerging media community.

Overview
Each student will keep a public scholarly blog that will provide the means of working through some of the more complex issues in the class. Students may respond directly to the ideas in the course material or they may apply concepts from the class to analyze an event, website, media object, etc. Either way, each student should incorporate at least two ideas or concepts from the week’s material into his or her blog entry. Students are encouraged to incorporate relevant material from previous weeks, other classes, and outside experience, in addition to the material for the current week.

Keep in mind that this is a scholarly research blog. Though a certain informality in tone is permissible, even desirable, student writing should be well-written, coherently organized, and thought-provoking.

Rather than writing into the void each week, students will be placed into groups of three-four who will alternate writing and responding. See below for more information.

Requirements

  • Original Blog Posts
    • Minimum 500 words
    • Take advantage of digital qualities of a blog
      • links, images, videos, sound, block quotes
      • categories and tags
    • Name the blog something interesting
    • due on the day of the class meeting
    • address class reading
    • cite or corroborate when necessary
  • Responding
    • 200 word minimum
    • if your blogger is late or does not post, choose someone else and respond to them. In this case, please email me so I know where to look for your response.
    • due Friday at 11:59 pm.
    • address the original post, expand, engage with the ideas
  • Be conscientious and include trigger warnings when applicable

Technical Specifications

  • Use WordPress as your blogging platform – either self-hosted or use the free hosting on http://wordpress.com
  • Allow time for technical difficulties

Grading:
The blog assignment is worth 25% of your course grade.

Excellent

Good

Satisfactory

Needs Improvement

Failing

Quality of Writing

Posts and responses are always well-written, including proper use of grammar, mechanics, and organization. They are written in a tone appropriate for an intellectual audience who is interested in issues in the field of emerging media.

Posts are consistently well-written and in a proper tone.

Posts are generally well-written and in a proper tone.

Posts may falter in the writing quality or the tone.

Posts are consistently poorly written or inappropriate in tone.

Quality of Ideas & Engagement

Posts are consistently thought-provoking and engaging. They use specific examples to analyze readings, relate it to outside material, or address the wider implications (the “so what”) of the material. Responses engage with and extend the original posts. The writer is daring!

Posts are more often than not thought-provoking and engaging. Responses engage with the original posts.

Posts do not merely summarize course material. Responses move beyond simplistic agreement or disagreement.

Posts may stick too closely to summary or fail to use specific examples. Responses may be superficial in agreement or disagreement.

Posts are often muddled or boring. Responses are disconnected from original posts.

Blog format

The digital blog format is used to enhance the ideas and writing.

The blog fully utilizes the digital blog format with a links section, tags/categories, etc.

The writer uses the digital blog format for most posts.

The blog may not take advantage of the digital blog format or use these features poorly.

The

Please note that original posts and responses are considered with equal weight in determining the assignment grade. The emphasis here is on interaction and the building of discourse communities. In other words, if you skip a response week, it has as much impact as if you skipped an original post.

The following will detract from your grade:

      • Failure to meet minimum length requirements
      • Going off-topic
      • Using something other than WordPress

Though I will read the blog posts every week, and even periodically respond to them, I will not grade them each week. If you want to know how you are doing, see me during office hours.

Late Work

      • No late work will be accepted for the blogging assignment.

Groups

(If your group has four members, there will be two with the same letter. During the week that the double letter is posting, you can split your response across both or concentrate on one.)

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 1

Case Study Assignment

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC
Spring 2014
Case Study Assignment

Purpose:

      • To connect theoretical readings with the analysis of emerging media and communication.
      • To build a collection of examples and analysis to be shared with the emerging media community
      • To seed ideas for class discussion and the final paper.

Overview:

Our class involves reading a lot of theory. The goal of the case studies assignment is to connect the theory to “the real world” through a sophisticated take on the grade-school notion of the “show-and-tell.” In other words, your task is to bring in some kind of media object or event to supplement the discussion of our readings. This media object may be software, hardware, a device or gadget, websites, art objects, pop culture texts, etc. For example, if the topic of your assigned week were privacy, you might choose to do a case study on a privacy protection tools or on Edward Snowden and the NSA.

Requirements:

      • Prepare an ignite-style presentation about the media object under analysis
        • 5 minutes: 20 slides that auto-advance at 15 seconds each. Shoot for minimal text or images on each slide.
        • Post the slide deck and your notes to your blog (this does not take the place of your primary post if it is your week to blog).
        • Cite at least two sources from the course readings.
      • The case study should be informative and analytic. The presentation may address the following areas:
        • Description & History
          • describe the media object under examination, including any relevant links, images, videos
          • describe its genesis, rise to popularity, any relevant viewership or download statistics, etc.
          • describe any parodies, associated products, etc.
        • Audience
          • Identify the likely audience for the media object (Hint: the audience is never “everyone”)
          • Describe how the media object appeals to that audience
        • Social and Cultural Factors
          • analyze any social conditions that might have particularly influenced the creation and transmission of this object. What are the social conditions, attitudes, laws, trends, etc. that intersect to enable the circulation of this media object?
        • Resources / Further Information
          • include links to your sources, related media objects, etc.
      • Presentation
        • 5 minutes exactly. Rehearse, rehearse, reshearse!
        • Clear and concise presentation of the case study object and your analysis of the object.
        • Be prepared for questions.

Technical Specifications:

      • All case studies must be posted to the presenter’s blog.
      • For more information on the Ignite format or for videos of exemplary presentations, see the links tagged “ignite” in the Diigo group.

Grading Criteria:
The case study assignment is worth 15% of your course grade.

Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Improvement Failing
Quality of ideas The student chose an appropriate case study and offers engaging analysis that is supported by course readings. The student chose an appropriate case study and offers engaging analysis that is connected to course readings. The student chose an appropriate case study and offers analysis that is connected to course readings. The choice of case study or level of analysis may need improvement. The connection to cited readings may be unclear. The case study is not connected to the week’s readings and/or contains no analysis or references.
Quality of slides Well-designed slides contain a minimal amount of imagery or text and enhance the speaker’s ideas. Well-designed slides contain a minimal amount of imagery or text and support the speaker’s ideas. Well-designed slides contain a minimal amount of imagery or text and connect to the speaker’s ideas. Slides may contain too much text or too many images or may be disconnected from the speaker’s ideas. Slides are poorly designed or confusing.
Presentation The presentation is dynamic and well-organized. The timing is excellent. The presentation is clear, engaging, and well-timed. The presentation is clear and is well-timed. The presentation may lack clarity or have timing issues. The presentation lacks clarity or may be too long or too short.

The following will detract from your grade:

      • Failure to meet minimum length requirements
      • Failure to properly format the case study or upload it to your blog.
      • Failure to present the case study to the class.
      • Evidence of a lack of preparation for the presentation, including time management.

Late work:

      • Work associated with the case study assignment will not be accepted late.

Timeline and Due Dates:

      • Ongoing. See the course schedule for your assigned date.
      • Slide decks and notes should be posted to your blog before class on the day of your presentation.

 Research Paper Assignment

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC
Spring 2014
Research Paper

Purpose:

  • To deeply analyze one area from the EMAC 6300 syllabus.
  • To synthesize the varied course materials and topics into a deeper understanding of a subject.
  • To utilize the existing research and publications of media studies.

Overview
The final project for EMAC 6300 is the your opportunity to choose from among our fifteen week series of topics and explore one area more in depth by selecting a media object or event for analysis. Your paper should be centered on a thesis. In other words, you should use rhetorical strategies and carefully present evidence to support an argument. Be sure to address any likely counter arguments.

The subject of your paper should be sufficiently narrow to allow you to analyze it in-depth. At the same time, you should attempt to address the wider implications of your topic, i.e. the “so what?” question. For example, if you are interested in online privacy, you might select a recent event such as the NSA Prism program. Your research and argument should be about the Prism program, but at some point, (most likely in the paper’s conclusion) you should also speculate on what the Prism program teaches us about the current or future state of privacy. In other words, why should the reader care about the Prism program?

Requirements

  • The Research Paper assignment is broken down into three phases:
    • Topic Proposal,  300 – 500 words
      • The proposal should clearly identify a media object or event, give an overview of the wider context in which the event/object is situated, identify why it is important (the “so what?”), and list three potential questions for exploration.
      • The proposal should also include a working bibliography that lists the outside sources you will read for your annotated bibliography (see below).
      • The proposal should be uploaded to your course blog.
    • Annotated Bibliography, minimum 500 words of annotated material.
      • This is a research paper. You should utilize secondary sources as evidence.
        • To find and evaluate your outside sources, you are responsible for completing an annotated bibliography. In the bibliography you should examine at least five potential sources not on our syllabus.
      • An annotated bibliography is a works cited or reference list that includes annotations that summarize, assess, and reflect upon each work.
        • Each annotation should be a minimum of 100 words.
      • The annotated bibliography should be be posted to your course blog.
    • Research Paper, 2,400 – 3,000 words (in addition to the proposal and bibliography).
      • Cite at least four secondary scholarly sources, at least two of which should be from outside the assigned readings. In other words, at least two of your four sources should come from your annotated bibliography.
        • Choose a citation style (APA, MLA, etc) and stick with it.
      • The paper should be posted to your course blog as a .pdf file. Please do not go on summer hiatus until you receive email confirmation that Kim was able to access your paper.

Support:

  • For assistance with topic ideas, look at blog posts, case studies, the class tweet stream, or visit Kim during office hours.
  • For assistance with research, see the library’s guide to New and Emerging Media resources: http://libguides.utdallas.edu/media For further assistance, use the “Ask a Librarian” feature or contact Matt Makowka. He is the Media Studies subject librarian and is there to help you.
  • For assistance with writing your paper, consider visiting the UTD GEMS Writing Center. They are available to help you with: finding a topic for a paper; organizing ideas and clarifying thoughts; drafting and revising papers; documenting sources; preparing for essay exams.
    • Visit http://www.utdallas.edu/GEMS/writing/index.html for more information.
  • For more information about annotated bibliographies, visit the Purdue OWL website. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/614/01/
  • Kim will examine and give feedback on early versions of papers no later than April 29, 2014. You must make an appointment via doodle or come to drop in hours to receive the feedback. In either case, please email the paper at least 24 hours in advance.

Grading:
The research paper assignment is worth 25% of your course grade.

Excellent Good Satisfactory Needs Improvement Failing
Thesis and Argument The paper takes a daring approach and has a thought provoking thesis that is well-supported with evidence. The counterargument(s) is noted and addressed. The paper additionally addresses the wider implications of the object/event. The paper has a strong thesis that is well-supported with evidence. The counterargument(s) is noted and addressed. The paper additionally addresses the wider implications of the object/event. The paper has a clear thesis that is well-supported. The student indicates awareness of the counterargument and the wider implications of the topic. The paper may waiver in its thesis or support. The student may neglect the counterargument or wider implications. The paper may have no thesis, may not support the thesis, or may be off topic.
Quality of Writing The paper is written in such a way that the reader is drawn in to the topic. The writer is attentive to how language use and organization can support the thesis. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper without losing the writer’s voice. There are minimal grammatical or mechanical errors. The paper is written in such a way that the reader is interested in the topic. The writer is attentive to how language use and organization can support the thesis. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper. There may be grammatical or mechanical errors but they do not detract from the reading experience. The topic and its importance are clear. The writer uses careful word choice and has a clear organizational strategy. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper. There may be grammatical or mechanical errors but they do not detract from the reading experience. The writing may interfere with clarity regarding the topic. There may be word choice issues or organizational issues. The writer’s voice may be overwhelmed in the attempt to adopt a scholarly tone. Grammatical or mechanical errors may impede understanding. The paper is incomprehensible due to language, organization, tone, or grammar and mechanics.
Proposal and Bibliography The proposal takes risks and the bibliography demonstrates a well-rounded and scholarly approach to the topic. Both are well-written. The proposal is interesting and the bibliography demonstrates a well-rounded and scholarly approach to the topic. Both are well-written. The proposal is interesting and the bibliography demonstrates a scholarly approach to the topic. Both are well-written. The proposal may be boring or the bibliography may exhibit issues with focus or source evaluation. There may be issues with the quality of writing in either document. The proposal may be off topic or the bibliography may lack depth. The writing in either may impede understanding.

The following will detract from your grade:

  • Late work or failure to complete any of the writing stages.
  • Failure to fulfill the requirements of the assignment, including minimum length, number of sources, etc.

Timeline and Due Dates:

  • March 18 – Topic proposal due on your blog before class starts.
  • April 22 – Annotated bibliography due on your blog before class starts.
  • April 29 (optional) – Last day to meet with Kim regarding feedback on an early version.
  • May 6 – Research paper should be saved as a .pdf file and uploaded to your blog no later than sunrise in Dallas on May 7.

Late Work:

  • Late submission of proposals and bibliographies will result in a loss of 1/3 of a grade on the paper for each late item.
  • Research papers will be marked down one letter grade for each day (or fraction thereof) that they are late.

 Take Home Midterm Exam

EMAC 6300: Intro to the Study of EMAC

Spring 2014

Take Home Midterm Exam

Purpose:

  • To demonstrate understanding of one or more readings from the EMAC 6300 syllabus.

  • To utilize the course readings and outside examples to support an argument.

  • To practice writing academic arguments in advance of the final research paper.

Overview

The midterm exam for EMAC 6300 is your opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of one or more important topics from the first half of our syllabus. Your paper should be centered on a thesis. In other words, you should use rhetorical strategies and carefully present evidence to support an argument. Be sure to address any likely counter arguments and address the “so what?” of your topic.

You will choose ONE question among the four options listed below. Compose a short paper (1,500 – 1,800 words, or five to six pages) to address the chosen question. You are required to cite two course readings but you may also bring in other readings and outside examples.

Requirements

  • Short Paper, 1,500 – 1,800 words
    • Cite at least two course readings.
    • Double space, 1 inch margins. Choose a citation style (APA, MLA, etc) and stick with it.
    • The paper should be posted to your course blog as a .pdf file.

Grading:

The midterm exam is worth 15% of your course grade.

Excellent

Good

Satisfactory

Needs Improvement

Failing

Thesis and Argument

The paper takes a daring approach and has a thought provoking thesis that is well-supported with evidence. The counterargument(s) is noted and addressed. The paper additionally addresses the wider implications of the topic.

The paper has a strong thesis that is well-supported with evidence. The counterargument(s) is noted and addressed. The paper additionally addresses the wider implications of the topic.

The paper has a clear thesis that is well-supported. The student indicates awareness of the counterargument and the wider implications of the topic.

The paper may waiver in its thesis or support. The student may neglect the counterargument or wider implications

The paper may have no thesis, may not support the thesis, or may be off topic.

Quality of Writing

The paper is written in such a way that the reader is drawn in to the topic. The writer is attentive to how language use and organization can support the thesis. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper without losing the writer’s voice. There are minimal grammatical or mechanical errors.

 

The paper is written in such a way that the reader is interested in the topic. The writer is attentive to how language use and organization can support the thesis. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper. There may be grammatical or mechanical errors but they do not detract from the reading experience.

The topic and its importance are clear. The writer uses careful word choice and has a clear organizational strategy. The tone is appropriate for an academic research paper. There may be grammatical or mechanical errors but they do not detract from the reading experience.

The writing may interfere with clarity regarding the topic. There may be word choice issues or organizational issues. The writer’s voice may be overwhelmed in the attempt to adopt a scholarly tone. Grammatical or mechanical errors may impede understanding.

The paper is incomprehensible due to language, organization, tone, or grammar and mechanics.

The following will detract from your grade:

  • Late work.

  • Failure to fulfill the requirements of the assignment, including minimum length, number of sources, etc.

Timeline and Due Dates:

  • March 25 – Short paper is due before class.

Late Work:

  • Take home exam papers will be marked down one letter grade for each day (or fraction thereof) that they are late.

Question Options

To be distributed in class.