Summer 2023 - CMNS 253W OL01

Introduction to Information Technology: The New Media (3)

Class Number: 1405

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    Nine CMNS units with a minimum grade of C-.



An introduction to new communication/information technologies, seen as new media of communication: the technologies, their uses, and the social issues arising from them. Students with credit for CMNS 253 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


New media was supposed to be wonderful.

We thought the Internet would deliver democracy, free speech and better information to everyone. But the same technologies also support authoritarian censorship, the spread of hate speech, the triumph of trolling. How can we better understand the human and social consequences of information technology, and how can we ensure that it leads to a better society?

This is a complicated question, because ‘media’ isn’t just Twitter and television. It’s also facial recognition tech scanning you for job applications. It’s microtransactions in your video games (and in games for 3-year old kids, too). It’s deepfakes applying machine learning to put people’s faces on pornography. It’s your self-tracking wristband beeping at you to eat less and run more.

We’ll learn how to understand and analyse media that is no longer just on screens but is an entire background for our lives.


  • Assignment 1 15%
  • Assignment 2 20%
  • Assignment 3 30%
  • Five reading responses 35%



Readings are available as PDFs or links in the Files section and/or in the syllabus.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.