Skip to content

Course Syllabus

Course: COMM 1500

Division: Fine Arts, Comm, and New Media
Department: Communications
Title: Introduction to Mass Media

Semester Approved: Spring 2016
Five-Year Review Semester: Spring 2021
End Semester: Spring 2022

Catalog Description: This course is an introduction into the nature of media and its relationship with the individual. The course teaches students to analyze, assess and evaluate popular culture, literature, and media. It includes a focus on various mediums including literature, radio, television, film, books, newspaper, and advertising to assist students in looking at the big picture of how media affects their perceptions.;

General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0

Justification: Introduction to Mass Media is a discursive study of media organizations, how they operate and exert their influence on individuals. It assists students to become more knowledgeable and self-critical consumers of media content.This class is more about questions than answers, and students are asked to wrestle with some big questions.The emphasis will be on the various forms of media to include literature,; radio, television, film, newspaper and advertising to determine how they influence and manipulate the ways students see reality, and relate to themselves and others.This class requires both exploratory and academic writing, as well as critical, close-text reading skills, all of which are essential skills developed through the Humanities Division course offerings.The humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component: languages, literature, and philosophy. The methods by which the humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.Similar courses are taught at USHE institutions and will transfer to these schools and others as a HU GE credit.

General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum will have a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world, with particular emphasis on American institutions, the social and behavioral sciences, the physical and life sciences, the humanities, the fine arts and personal wellness.  Students will read and discuss a selection of oral and written media related texts-including some of the well-known political campaigns, famous speeches, literary works, art and stories from a variety of cultures- focusing discussion on the ways these workers have influenced the way humans attempt to understand themselves and their world. Students will demonstrate their knowledge on these topics through class discussions, written assignments, and quizzes/exams.

2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read, retrieve, evaluate, interpret, and deliver information using a variety of traditional and electronic media. Students will read a variety of primary texts and will be required to respond to the content. These texts will vary in nature to include some aspects of political campaigns, famous speeches, literary works, art, stories, film, art, and/or others. Students will not only be able to read, understand, and engage with these texts, but will also evaluate, respond, and work to apply relevant theoretical approaches to further their own understanding and application. Students will demonstrate constructive and critical responses through essay exams and writing assignments.

3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can speak and write effectively and respectfully as a member of the global community, and work effectively as a member of a team. Students will identify and discuss interpretations and applications of the primary texts in class, both in small groups and in open discussion. Students will also be able to write in an effective, convincing, and informed manner concerning the big questions addressed throughout the class. They will be asked to analyze and evaluate the complex interaction between media and society. Students will demonstrate an ability to write effectively through frequent and varied writing assignments encouraging students to think independently about the nature of media influences. Written assignments will be returned with suggestions for improving the student's writing skills. Students will be assessed through discussion questions, essay exams, oral assignments, and written assignments.

6: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively about nature, culture, facts, values, ethics, and civic policy. Students will critically evaluate the ideas and themes of political campaigns, famous speeches, literary works, art, and stories by identifying differences between their values and the values of the culture being studied. Students will be able to read and analyze media influences, understand the place of media in society, and make connections within the larger realm of past, and present. Students will look at the ethics used in media and its influences on society and culture. Students will demonstrate their ability to read and think critically about media, understand its context, and interpret meaning through essay exams, papers, and class discussion.


Student Learning Outcomes:
Ask and explore a variety of philosophical and theoretical questions about human thought and experience 

Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy 

Understand cultural traditions within a historical context and make connections with the present 

Critically read and respond to primary texts (Original and uninterpreted) from a Humanities perspective 

Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments 


Content:
This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of primary texts and media influences. They will be asked to analyze and evaluate the complex interaction between media and the individual. They will be encouraged to think independently about the nature of media, to analyze primary texts, to critically think about how media influences their lives and to analyze ways in which media influences each individual. This course will focus on a variety of readings, primary text analysis, media conventions, historical influences, interpretation, critical thinking and writing. The following topics will be covered in this course through lectures, discussions, readings and oral/written assignments: The complex interaction between media and the individual; The impact of primary texts and the resulting cultural influences. The Constitution of the United States is an example of a primary text which has influenced the U.S. as well as other nations.; The influence of literary works on society such as the Pearl Harbor Address delivered 08 December 1941 and its impact on the nation.; The impact media has on individuals, cultures and societies; Language diversity in the media, its influences and the effects it has on society; The development and influences of seven major media industries; Ethics used in media and its influences on society and culture; Media outlets use of ethos, pathos and logo to get a desired response.

Key Performance Indicators:
Written Assignments (30%-35% of final grade). 

Essay Exams and Quizzes (30%-35% of final grade). 

Oral Presentations (15%-20% of final grade). 

Class Participation and Group Activities (10%-20% of final grade). 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Brown, Brene. The Gifts of Imperfection. Hazeldon Publishing

"Glamour Magazine", Current edition. available http://www.glamour.com/

Kennedy, John, F. Inaugural Address, delivered 20 January 1961

King, Martin Luther Jr. I have a Dream, delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

Rodman, George. Mass Media in a Changing World. McGraw- Hill Current Edition

Roosevelt, Franklin, D. (1941) Pearl Harbor Address delivered 08 December 1941

"The Constitution of the United States,"

Wells, H. G. (1897). The War of the Worlds. Raleigh, N.C. Alex Catalogue

Woodward, B. & Bernstein. (1974) All of the President's Men. ISBN-10:1276770514


Pedagogy Statement:


Maximum Class Size: 30
Optimum Class Size: 25