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JOMC 50
Syllabus

Instructor:  Sriram "Sri" Kalyanaraman, PhD

Assistant Professor

School of Journalism and Mass Communication

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

843-5858 (leave message)

sri@unc.edu

 

Teaching Assistants:  Cary Frith (frith@email.unc.edu)

                                       Jimmy Ivory (jivory@email.unc.edu)

                                       Lisa Paulin (lpaulin@email.unc.edu)

                                       Charlene Simmons (charlene@email.unc.edu)

                                      Anton Zuiker (zuiker@email.unc.edu)

 

Meeting Times:

 

Lectures

Mon. & Wed. 2.00 pm—2. 50 pm in 111, Carroll.

 

Labs

Section #

Day

Time

 TA Name

Room #

 

50.401

F

9-10.50 am

Cary Frith

CA 141

50.402

F

11-12.50 pm

Cary Frith

CA 141

50.403

F

1-2.50 pm

Anton Zuiker

CA 141

50.404

F

9-10.50 am

Lisa Paulin

CA 142

50.405

F

11-12.50 pm

Lisa Paulin

CA 142

50.406

F

1-2.50 pm

Charlene Simmons

CA 142

50.407

M

5-6.50 pm

Anton Zuiker

CA 141

50.408

W

5-6.50 pm

Charlene Simmons

CA 141

50.409

M

5.30-7.20 pm

Jimmy Ivory

CA 142

50.410

W

5.30-7.20 pm

Jimmy Ivory

CA 142

 

 

Office Hours:  Monday and Wednesday, 12.30 pm1.30 pm  and 3.00—4.00 pm (and by appointment) at 369, Carroll.

 

 

Course Overview:  The advent of new media and communication technologies—especially the Internet and the World Wide Web—and the rising sophistication of computer software and hardware has transformed the nature of electronic information.  Indeed, this transformation is occurring at such a rapid pace that current new media theory and research are continually evolving.  This course attempts to introduce students to cutting-edge research and the latest advancements in the current information technology landscape.  Through a combination of lectures, readings, assignments, and projects, you will learn essential practical skills (e.g., creating a Website) as well as a nuanced understanding of diverse new media topics (e.g., online journalism, Web advertising, e-commerce).  At the end of the course, we expect you to become more discerning producers—and consumers—of electronic information.

 

Course Objectives:  The course objectives are:

 

·        To learn about a variety of new media research domains

·        To learn to use new media as sources of research information

·        To develop essential practical skills pertaining to dissemination of electronic information

·        To obtain a first-hand practical perspective into how new media research is conducted

 

Textbook and Readings:  The basic textbook for the course is Living in the Information Age:  A New Media Reader edited by Erik P. Bucy, and published by Wadsworth.  Additional readings will be handed out in class and/or put up on the course Website.

 

Grading Criteria:  The total points that can be accumulated in this class are 500.  Your final score will be computed on a 100-point scale and a letter grade will be assigned based on the “Grading System” section in the UNC-CH Undergraduate Bulletin.  A final score between 91 and 100 will be in the “A” range; between 81 and 90 in the “B” range; between 71 and 80 in the “C” range; between 61 and 70 in the “D” range; and below 60 in the “F” range.  The 500 points are broken down as follows:

 

Exams:  There will be two exams, each accounting for 125 points.  The exams are designed to test your mastery of the materials presented in the readings and lectures.  

 

Web Project:  The Web project accounts for 125 points.  More detailed guidelines will be distributed in your respective lab sections. 

 

Assignments:  This aspect of the course is designed to provide experiential learning.  You will be asked to carry out 3-4 small exercises that are designed to help you attain the course objectives.  These include writing a short research paper, an electronic treasure hunt, a Website evaluation assignment, and reaction papers.  Altogether, the assignments account for 100 points and further instructions will be detailed in the labs.

Attendance:

 

Lectures

The lectures have been designed to provide the latest, cutting-edge research findings in the current new media landscape.  We will also have a series of guest lectures throughout the course of the semester.  We expect you to be regular to class and enhance the quality of the course with interactive participation.  Also, a substantial number of questions that appear on the exams are drawn from material discussed in class that may not be addressed in the readings. Therefore, you may have a hard time doing well on the exams without regular attendance. 

 

Labs

Attendance is mandatory for every lab.  If a student needs to miss a class, prior permission must be obtained from the lab instructor.  All or most of the practical skills that you will learn during the course of the semester will be accomplished in the labs, so it is critical that you attend every single lab session.  Your attendance in the labs accounts for 25 points.

 

Course Format:  The course is structured such that the 50-minute lecture sessions will be devoted to developing a better understanding of new media theory and research.  The lab sessions are structured to be more intimate and interactive to assist in development of essential practical skills.

 

Policy on Academic Integrity:  Students are expected to conform to the Honor Code in all academic matters.  For more information on the Honor Code, please visit the following URL:  http://www.unc.edu/depts/honor/studinfo.html, or feel free to speak to me or someone at the Office of the Student Attorney General or the Office of the Dean of Students.

 

Note: Based on your input and our progress, I reserve the right to amend and change the syllabus, reading schedules, and grading events during the semester.

 

Schedule: The schedule includes the main topics for each week.  The lectures will synthesize material from the readings and/or add different perspectives to the existing material.  Students are expected to have completed the assigned readings BEFORE coming to class.  Given the nature of the course, the schedule may change (depending on the availability and convenience of guest lecturers).  However, we will make every attempt to follow this as closely as possible.  Nevertheless, please follow the course Website on a regular basis to note down both the topic of discussion as well as the readings required for a particular date.

 

Course Schedule

 

Week of 01/05           INTRODUCTION TO CLASS & OVERVIEW

                                   

Week of 01/12           NEW MEDIA AND SOCIETY:  THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES  

 

Week of 01/19          DIFFUSION OF NEW MEDIA (No class on 01/19)

 

Week of 01/26          ONLINE JOURNALISM

 

Week of 02/02           NEW MEDIA AND PUBLIC 

                                   

Week of 02/09          PRINCIPLES OF WEB DESIGN; HCI VS CMC 

 

Week of 02/16          VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES; NEW MEDIA AND SOCIAL ROLES

 

Week of 02/23           EXAM 1 REVIEW; EXAM 1 ON 02/25

 

Week of 03/01          WEB LOGS; NEW MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT

 

Week of 03/08          SPRING BREAK (No classes)

 

Week of 03/15           ONLINE ADVERTISING AND E-COMMERCE

                                   

Week of 03/22          ONLINE GAMES; INTERNET AND ETHICAL ISSUES

 

Week of 03/29          TECHNOLOGY & HEALTH; NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF NEW MEDIA

 

Week of 04/05          GUEST LECTURE (TBA); THE FUTURE OF NEW MEDIA

                                   

Week of 04/12          WRAP-UP & REVIEW

 

Week of 04/19           EXAM 2 REVIEW; EXAM 2 ON 04/21