MC4382Y | Mobile Storytelling in the Parks | Spring 2017

Instructor: Dale Blasingame, M.A.
Temporary Office: Old Main 230Z
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 3-5 p.m. and Thursdays 9:30-10:30 a.m. or by appointment. If my door is open, feel free to stop in.
E: blasingame@txstate.edu | T: @daleblasingame | W: daleblasingame.net

Catalog Description

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.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will possess an understanding of how to utilize smart phones for mobile storytelling, an understanding of proper mobile storytelling techniques and experience with mobile storytelling for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Teaching Method

This class uses a variety of teaching methods to accommodate various learning styles, including in-class lectures, potential online modules and in-person time at state parks. Our weekend at Bastrop State Park is February 24-26. You will also be responsible for an individual trip to a different park at a later point in the semester. My website provides a variety of resources for reinforcement of learning, including downloadable handouts and video tutorials. Students should be prepared to for public consumption and constructive criticism of their work in this class.

Email

You MUST have a Texas State email account. The grading program I use and the TRACS system utilize the Texas State email system. Check your Texas State email account regularly because I often send notices concerning class.

Textbook

There are no required textbooks this semester. Students will be assigned online readings during this course.

Grading

Grades are available via the TRACS Gradebook. All categories, assignments and weights of grades are visible in the Gradebook. Missed assignments will result in a zero. Late work is not accepted in this class and will also result in a zero.

Bastrop Media Projects: 50%

  • You will be responsible for Instagram, Snapchat and FB Native Video stories during our weekend at Bastrop State Park. In addition, you will work in a team to produce a 2-minute mini-documentary in the park.

Other Media Projects: 20%

  • You will be responsible for a second park visit at some point in the semester. You will work individually to produce a 1-2 minute mini-documentary at a park of your choice. In addition, you’ll be responsible for a wildcard assignment during this time, which will be produced for the social network of your choice.

Class Assignments: 15%

  • We will have various quizzes and practice assignments throughout the semester to prepare you for your time in the parks.

Attitude/Participation: 10%

  • You will be expected to have a good attitude, proper respect for equipment and participate in class discussions/assignments.

Final Portfolio: 5%

  • Your final portfolio will be due by the end of the scheduled final exam period. This course’s final exam slot is Monday, May 8th from 5-7:30 p.m.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for the park weekend and additional park time is mandatory, and there is no chance to make it up. There is no chance to make up missed assignments. Since we only meet in person one time per week, one absence will be allowed without penalty. A second absence will result in a 10-point deduction on your overall grade. A third absence will result in an additional 10-point deduction on your overall grade. A fourth absence will result in a failing grade for the course.

Class Behavior

A negative attitude is not allowed in this course. In this class, 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. You are expected and encouraged to use your phone for class-related activities – since it is the focus of the course. In general, please be respectful of others’ desire to learn and help to create a fun and beneficial environment. In addition, you be will expected to behave in a way that represents Texas State in a positive light during our time in the parks. There will be waivers for students to sign from both the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Use of School-Owned Camera Equipment

This class may 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. 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.

Academic Dishonesty

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.

Drop Policy

You can drop this or any course by March 28, 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