Instructor: Dale Blasingame, M.A.
Office: Old Main 230Z
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-3 p.m. and Thursdays 9:30-11 a.m. or by appointment. If my door is open, feel free to stop in.
E: email@example.com | T: @daleblasingame | W: daleblasingame.net
This course will explore new tools and skills relevant to the digital age, particularly the usage of smart phones in storytelling. Students will use those skills to produce video content as part of a weekend in a state park.
Students will be introduced to topics related to digital/online media and mass communication. Course covers the effects of the Internet and related technologies on the fields of journalism, interactive advertising and public relations, search engines, personal branding, social networking and mobile platforms.
This is a required core course for any Mass Communication major. We will study how the media has transformed due to the internet and new strategies and concepts for a digital age. We will spend time discussing the history and background of the Internet and web, as well as issues related to digital media, including search engines, social media companies, digital photography and video techniques, e-commerce, new media law and ethics, and more.
The course method is lecture and lab in a hybrid format. This means you are required to attend your assigned in-class lecture and your designated lab section once a week. Your labs will be taught by a graduate assistant in computer labs throughout campus. You are also expected to complete online assignments and lessons which work in tandem with lecture and lab. In this class, you will have regular readings, assignments, quizzes and projects, as well as a midterm and a final exam.
This course aims to teach students about a variety of digital topics and skills. By the end of the semester, students will be able to:
You must use an active Texas State email account. Communication via TRACS uses your Texas State email, and the university is required to send grade information out only through the Texas State email system. Contact the instructor, if you have questions. Make sure you check your email on a regular basis, as schedule changes will be communicated there as well as on our course site.
Upon completing this course, students can expect to gain the aforementioned digital skills and knowledge, as demonstrated by:
Course Grade Breakdown
There are a total of 1,000 points available in this class. Every ten points equals one percent of your overall grade.
30% Website Project
7% Online Module Quizzes
3% Lecture Quizzes
10% Lab Checkpoints
We do not use a textbook for this class. However, some of the material has been adapted from Journalism Next, Third Edition by Mark Briggs, CQ Press 2016 and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk. Other readings are taken from online news stories, handouts, videos and research articles, which will be provided in Online Modules.
Attendance and Late Assignments
Lecture Attendance: Attendance is not recorded in lecture. However, those who have succeeded in this class have been those with highest attendance. Extra credit is provided in lecture only, and you must be in attendance to receive those instructions. Also, news topics discussed in lecture, as well as lecture notes, will be on the midterm and final exams. If you miss a lecture, obtain class notes from a student who was in attendance. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to cover the material discussed on your own. We will start class at the designated time. It is important that you show up on time, as announcements tend to be made early, and you could miss valuable information. If you consistently arrive later than five minutes after the designated time, or if you create class disturbances, your grade may be reduced.
Lab Attendance: Lab attendance is required. Assignments will be completed in lab and cannot be made up. The two lowest grades will be dropped, meaning you can miss two labs without penalty. If you miss three or more lab sections, you cannot pass this class.
Late Work: The media industry is deadline-driven. As such, late or missed assignments will receive a zero (F).
In addition to your weekly lecture and lab, other material will be covered through Online Modules available on TRACS. These modules should be completed every week. There is a quiz at the end of each lesson, which you can take an unlimited number of times before Thursday at 11:59 p.m. of that week. TRACS will record your highest score. Some questions will be used for the midterm and final exams, so do not wait until the end of the semester to complete these modules and quizzes.
Supplies and Equipment
You may need a USB storage device (Flash drive) to save a backup of your files for some of the projects you work on in class. You may also need to visit a computer lab on campus to complete some of the projects if you do not have access to certain technologies at home. We will discuss this more in class.
Students should also have a Texas State University email account that they check frequently. This will be the main method of course communication.
Equipment Checkout: You may need to check out a camera or camcorder to complete an assignment, if you do not have access to your own. Located in Room 236E of Old Main, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Equipment Checkout Room is open five days a week to allow students to check out different types of camera and video equipment. Light kits, microphones and tripods are also available for checkout. Students must be on the valid roster of a SJMC class and bring their student IDs to be able to borrow equipment.
Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment: This class may/will utilize the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Equipment Checkout Room. Use of equipment is a privilege earned through your respect of and cooperation with the checkout rules. These rules are put in place to ensure all students have a chance to use the equipment. If you are late returning a camera to the Equipment Checkout Room, you lose all checkout privileges. In addition, a return that is two days late may result in up to a letter deduction on your grade. If equipment is kept five days past the due date, it is considered stolen, and UPD will be notified.
While the use of technology is encouraged in this class, it can also be a distraction. Be aware that multitasking on mobile devices and laptops can severely inhibit learning, and use of these electronic devices can disturb those around you, especially during lecture. Please be considerate and use discretion.
You should feel comfortable to participate and express opinions and ideas. Please respect the opinions of others and be considerate of their need to contribute and learn. Please do not have private conversations with your neighbors during class time, whether the instructor or other students are talking.
Any student who does not adhere to these conduct policies will be asked to leave the classroom. In general, please be respectful of others desire to learn and help to create a fun and beneficial classroom environment.
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication commits itself to the preparation of ethical mass media professionals and scholars. Such a mission demands the highest standard of academic honesty and integrity. Violations of academic honesty, including but not limited to plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, collusion, deception, conflict of interest and theft are not tolerated and can lead to severe penalties. Disciplinary actions are outlined in the Texas State Academic Honesty Statement, printed each year in the Texas State Student Handbook.
The policy is also available here: http://www.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01.html or http://www.txstate.edu/swtexan/apolices.html
Falsifying sources or other information and copying material without proper attribution are acts of academic dishonesty that will not be tolerated in this class. They will result in a failing grade on an assignment and potentially a failing grade in the course.
Students with Special Needs
If you are a student with a disability certified by ODS and you require accommodation in my class, it is your responsibility to tell me at the beginning of the semester so accommodations can be provided promptly. You must notify me by the second week of class if you need accommodation. If your status is pending with ODS, notify me as soon as possible. Contact the ODS office if you have questions 245.3451. It is my desire to accommodate students to the best of my ability. ODS certifications assist in this endeavor.
You can drop this or any course by October 30, 2017, and receive an automatic W. After that date, you cannot drop a single course. Instead, you must withdraw from all courses. Please review PPS 4.09 at this Web site: http://www.txstate.edu/academicaffairs/pps/pps4/4-09.html