Week 5








Week 6



Week 7



Week 9



Week 10


Participation & Collaboration




This course includes assignments in two areas of learning: Exams, and Projects. Students will also be graded on their level of Participation, Collaboration & Leadership. Full assignment descriptions will be made available on the course website.

Exams                180 points

We will have 1 take-home midterm exam and 6 short pop-quizzes throughout the quarter. Questions will be a combination of multiple choice, analysis/application, and short answer, and will cover key concepts from the reading, multimedia, lecture, and in-class activities.

Midterm exam. This exam will focus on content from weeks 1 & 2 (how our access to the world is mediated through our meaning making processes) and weeks 3 &4 (media organizations, technologies, and practices). It will cover the ways that we construct the social world through our communication practices and how we come to know that world through language and communication, including the relationship between culture, meaning, ideology, discourse, identity & subjectivity, professional media practices, economic funding systems, and regulatory structures. (90 points)

Quizzes. We will have periodic pop quizzes throughout the quarter. These short exams will cover material from the readings or activities for the day. (15 points each x 6 = 90 points)

Project                140 points

We will employ the concepts from weeks 1-4 to explain a current social issue, and build collaborative projects around our analysis. We will work in groups of 4-5 students to design and implement a research project focused on the production of race, class or gender in public discourse. Each group will work in coordination with two other groups focusing on the same topic, forming a research cluster. Each research cluster will work together to present a coherent statement on the topic through a presentation to classmates and the broader community.

Proposal. The first assignment in this track will be to write a proposal for what the specific focus of your research group’s project will be. We will talk about this in class and coordinate focus between groups. One assignment per group. (20 points) Full assignment description here.

Dataset. The collection of the dataset for analysis. The characteristics of your dataset will vary depending on your research proposal. One assignment per student. (20 points) Full assignment description here.

Analysis. The analysis assignment will provide you with an opportunity to apply your understanding of communication theory and method to your interpretation of the dataset in light of your research focus. One assignment per student. (50 points) Full assignment description here.

(Re)Presentation. This assignment will be a collaborative presentation of your group’s work in coordination with other groups in your research cluster. This will be the culmination of each group member’s contribution to the group project, alongside other group projects in a public setting. Presentation modalities are flexible and based on the groups interest and project proposal (options include an analysis paper, a radio story, a short film, a digital collection/collage, a panel/event, or a combination of these options). Grades are based on coherence of statement, and potential for facilitating change. One assignment per group. (50 points)

Participation, Collaboration & Leadership                      80 points

This section of the course will help you to build skills in collaboration and shared leadership by working in small groups, engaging in in-class discussions and activities, and providing feedback to your peers on their work. At a minimum, participating in class requires that you come to class having done the required readings and assignments for that day, with those readings in hand, and be ready to engage in a range of in-class activities and works based on those readings.

In-class participation. You will be expected to participate in discussions about course materials. This will involve summary of course concepts, analysis exercises and skills-based workshops. We all contribute to creating a safe and nurturing learning environment in our class. Being prepared is important, but it is also important that you come to class willing to share your own experiences and that you be respectful of others. Please see course policies for further guidelines. (40 points)

Research project groups. You will be assigned to a small group (4-5 people) that you will work with during the quarter. You will work in groups gathered around shared projects, and will submit some assignments as a group, while others will be submitted individually. Opportunities for self- and peer-evaluation will be provided. (40 points)

Grading Scale

Assignments will be graded on a point scale. You will have access to a grade sheet during the quarter online. Your final grade for the class will be converted to a percentage of points earned/available for the quarter and then converted to a 4.0 scale using the following conversion table:

Range Percentage Meaning
3.9-4.0 97-100 Superior performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying the highest quality.
3.5-3.8 90-96 Superior performance in most aspects of the course; high quality work in the remainder.
3.2 – 3.4 87-89 High quality performance in all or most aspects of the course.
2.9 – 3.1 84-86 High quality performance in some of the course; satisfactory performance in the remainder.
2.5 – 2.8 80-83 Satisfactory performance in the course.
2.2 – 2.4 77-79 Satisfactory performance in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard.
1.9 – 2.1 74-76 Evidence of some learning but generally marginal performance.
1.5-1.8 70-73 Minimal evidence of learning and substandard performance throughout the course.
1.2 – 1.4 67-69 Little evidence of learning. Poor performance in all aspects of the course.
0.9 – 1.1 62-66 Very minimal evidence of learning and very low quality performance in all aspects of the course.
0.7-0.8* 60-61 Hardly any evidence of learning. Poor performance in all aspects of the course.
0.0-0.6** 59 & Below Complete absence of evidence of learning. Totally unprepared for subsequent courses in field.

*Lowest passing grade
**Academic failure no credit earned


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