Assignment Guidelines

Media Critiques

  • Click here for details on the assignments.

Leading Class Discussion

  • Click here for details on the assignment. Click here for the schedule, in order to find out when you and your partner will be leading class discussion.

Final Paper (or Project)

  • This can be done individually or by a small group. The assignment is due on the last Friday of finals weeks and details are accessible here.

Participation – Social Media

  • The first portion of this grade comes from your successful creation of both a Twitter handle and personal/customized blog that you make through Sites at Penn State. Everyone will send me their blog addresses and Twitter handles by the beginning of the Week Two. I will be making your blog addresses available to everyone in our class, so please make sure that you blog is specifically dedicated to this course. Doing so will help you protect your privacy and it will help make your class-related posts easy for your professor to find and read. If you are an experienced blogger and know how to effectively tag content: you have the option of using your personal blog for our class, as long as you tag relevant weekly posts with COMM292 and you don’t mind providing the class with your personal blog address.
  • The bulk of your grade stems from your regular use of each format. For the purpose of our class, I consider ‘regular use’ to be at least two blog posts per week and at least five tweets per week.
    • Blog posts can simply be a paragraph or two, though you are welcome to write as much as you like. The point of blog posts is to provide you with space in which to freely reflect on course readings and/or related issues, and to give you the opportunity to engage with your classmates outside of the classroom (by reading and commenting upon their posts, if you choose to do so).
    • Tweets need to include the hashtag #COMM292.
  • I will not be grading you on the content or style of your blog posts and tweets. My only requirement is that they specifically pertain to issues and themes raised in the course, i.e. the intersections of media and politics. In other words, don’t compose unrelated tweets with the #COMM292 hashtag and don’t write random blog posts and expect them to count them for credit. The point of blogging is to get you in the habit of thinking analytically about media on a regular basis and having a space in which to express ideas. The point of tweeting, despite all the nonsense one can find on Twitter, is to familiarize oneself with the way in which the influential medium actually works, and to explore the range of conversations and perspectives that people share about contemporary media.

Participation – In Class

  • Participating in class is not to be confused with simply showing up and occupying the same space as your fellow students. Participation means coming to class ready to ask questions, discuss weekly reading assignments, and engage in thoughtful, respectful conversation with your peers and the professor. In short, your participation grade is not a ‘freebie’; it is earned and I do not give A’s as a reward for just paying attention in class (this much is expected of you in any college course).

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