Spring 2021 - CMNS 130 D100
Communication and Social Change (3)
Class Number: 2858
Delivery Method: Remote
An introduction to the forms, theories and institutions of communication as they relate to broader social change, with a focus on the political, economic and regulatory shifts characterizing Canadian and transnational media systems. This course is required for a major, honours or minor in communication.
This course offers an introduction to the forms, theories, and institutions of communication as they relate to social change. The first section of the course introduces the era of mass communication and some of the more influential approaches to its study. In weeks 1-7 we examine questions such as: What is mass communication? What is the role of mass media in a democracy? How has mass media been regulated? What are the differences between critical, liberal-democratic, and neoliberal understandings of mass communication? The second part of the course focuses on contemporary, networked forms of media and perspectives that seek to explain what has been called the “network society.” In weeks 8-12 we examine questions such as: Are we in the midst of a transition from an era of mass communication to an era of networked communication? What are the implications of this shift for social inequality? What role can we play in this transformation? What regulatory approaches are being applied to digital media? How does concentration of ownership affect media content? How have media production, distribution and consumption changed along with the arrival of the internet and social media? The course concludes (weeks 10-13) by investigating these questions through case studies of media industries and practices, including work in the communication and cultural industries, independent media, social media and mobile communication, and the relationship between media and globalization.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this course will be held remotely through BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra, available through Canvas. See below for specific instructions for lectures and tutorials.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
- To introduce some of the key concepts, theoretical approaches and political perspectives used in the study of communication.
- To provide a foundation for a number of second-year communication courses in the School of Communication.
- To consider the role played by communication within broader social change.
- To develop the capacity to critically assess, and intervene within, the media environment.
- Tutorial Attendance and Participation 20%
- Midterm exams (2 x 20%) 40%
- Final Exam 40%
Tutorials will be held synchronously. They will take place virtually via Canvas / BlackBoard (Bb) Collaborate Ultra. The tutorials will begin in week 2, on Friday, January 14.
TUTORIAL ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION (20%):
Attending and participating in online tutorials is an essential part of CMNS 130. Tutorials will include discussions of the course material and help prepare you for exams. Attendance alone is not enough however: you will be evaluated on the basis of your contributions to class discussions, not your presence in tutorial. You are expected to know the week’s readings before tutorial, to have attended or viewed the weekly lecture, and to be prepared to participate in tutorial discussion every week.
Your enrolment (in this course) means you acknowledge that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases, your instructor may use Zoom/BB or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class. Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-782-3112).
Each week’s lecture will be recorded synchronously using the classroom in BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra on Canvas. Although attendance at the live recording is optional, some students might find the interactive nature of the live recording helpful. For students opting to view these lectures asynchronously, they will be available for download in the Canvas ‘files’ section the same day as the live recording.
Unless otherwise instructed, all assignments will be submitted on Canvas by 11:59pm on the day indicated on the syllabus. Late submissions will be penalized a grade step per calendar day (example: A B+ assignment submitted a day late becomes a B). Assignments will not be accepted after 3 days past the due date. If you need an extension on an assignment, consult with your TA at least a week
MIDTERM EXAMS (2x20%)
There are two midterms in this course. They will be arranged via Canvas on February 4 and March 11. These 2-hour exams will cover all course material (readings, lectures, and tutorials) for weeks 2-4 (Midterm 1) and weeks 6-8 (Midterm 2). They will consist of short answer and essay questions. The purpose of these exams is to give you an indication both of how you are doing so far and what to expect as far as the final exam is concerned.
Part of a 3-hour final exam will cover the material of the weeks 10-12. Another part of it will be designed for you to demonstrate your ability to synthetize and bring in conversation the material of the entire course. The exam will be scheduled at least one
FINAL EXAM (40%)
• All readings will be available digitally in the ‘files’ section on Canvas
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.
Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html
TEACHING AT SFU IN SPRING 2021
Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (email@example.com or 778-782-3112).