com 250 r1 syllabus sp 2013

Download COM 250 R1 Syllabus Sp 2013

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School of Communication University of MiamiCOM 250 -- Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics Sec. R1, 3 Credits Spring 2013 T/R 2-3:15 p.m. CIB 2055 Dr. Sallie Hughes 2016 Wolfson Building Office Hours: T/R, 3:30-5 p.m. Phone - (305) 284-8163 Email - (usually quickest) COURSE DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE This course is an examination of the concept of freedom of expression, its philosophical roots and its application to contemporary issues in communication, as well as the basics of moral philosophy (ethics) and moral reasoning. Learning objectives are: 1. Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the origins, development, and prospects of the right to freedom of expression, and of the importance of ethics in communication with emphasis on ethnic, racial, gender, and socioeconomic diversity in a global context; 2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its application over the course of American history and in contemporary society abroad; 3. Demonstrate knowledge of major schools of ethical thought or moral principles emerging from various communication industries in either conventional or new media; 4. Demonstrate critical thinking and analytical abilities concerning ideas, issues and materials introduced by this course and its assignments. This class also encourages students to display critical thinking and learn digital literacy skills through content selection, analysis and communication in digital media environments. To this end, students will identify, analyze and communicate information about freedom of expression and professional ethics in a group blog, presentation and class discussion session using digital communication tools such as Crowdmap, InstaPoll or Polleverywhere, Prezi, WallWisher or any digital tool that helps communicate the information the presenters want their audience to understand. The class covers the dominant liberal and authoritarian approaches to free expression and public communication, as well as critical and participatory approaches to freedom of expression in the United States and a selection of countries around the world. The critical and comparative aspects of the class are designed to help identify and analyze assumptions that are not always explicitly stated in the readings. Communications professionals need to be culturally competent and aware of differences in power of all


kinds (ideological, economic, gender, etc.) to understand and act within multiple cultural communities and societies. COURSE PREREQUISITE COM 101. COURSE FORMAT Knowledge in COM 250 is generated, evaluated and shared through a combination of lectures, class discussions and exercises, and student group presentations, blogs and discussions. Assessment of student learning is based on three tests, the group blog and presentation, and participation in-class discussions and exercises. Attendance is recorded in one of two ways: 1) via participation in discussion questions that are posted on the class Blackboard site and available to be filled out during class, or 2) via roll taken at the beginning of class. While I always expect the best from you, experience requires I remind you that any fabrication of signature on attendance forms will be treated as a violation of the student honor code. Readings are posted on the course schedule below. However, please keep in mind that the professor, as well as the student presenters, will sometimes supplement textbook readings with materials and readings from think tanks, advocacy organizations and news media that cover free expression issues. In fact, make it a habit to regularly check freedom of expression NGO websites (Article 19, The First Amendment Center, etc.) as well as news media carrying international information (e.g. such as BBC, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, CNN, Al Jazeera, etc.). Since all media have a viewpoint of some kind, you will be able to judge an issue more independently and critically by exposing yourself to news across different media channels and from at least two different countries. TEXTBOOKS Fraleigh, D. M. & Tuman, J. S. (2011). Freedom of expression in the marketplace of ideas. Sage Publications. Available in the UM bookstore or online. ISBN 9781412974677 Christians, C.G., M. Fackler, K.B. Richardson, P. J. Kreshel & R. H. Woods. 2012. Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, 9th edition. Pearson. Available in the UM bookstore or online. ISBN-10: 0205029043. Additional readings and handouts are noted in the course schedule. Remember, readings and other materials are supplementary to class lectures. The readings and lectures will not always cover the same material. GRADING/EVALUATION Three exams are scheduled in the course topics outline. Tests will cover assigned readings, student blogs and presentations, lectures and other materials presented in-class. I will provide a study guide the Thursday before a Tuesday exam date. This is to focus your study before an exam, not to replace continuous study throughout the semester. Topics for student-led discussions and presentation dates are presented in the course outline and there is an online sign-up sheet for you to choose a topic of interest. I will explain the assignment in detail in the second week of class and provide a list of criteria for the assignment on Blackboard. The signup sheet for the group blog and presentation is located at: There are a limited number of spots per topic, so the slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.


The course blog is located on the link below. Sign-in to post your blog using the login classid and the password comschool. Let me know if you have any problems. Do not wait until the last minute to post because I have to approve the posts and there is an automatic delay to prevent spam. Tell me via email as soon as you have posted so I can approve the posts. Course blog: Freedom of Expression in the World -- Group blog and presentation topics are:

Government spying on U.S. citizens and residents National security, freedom of information and Wikileaks Privacy on Facebook and other social media Music, film and television piracy News ethics and truth-telling Advertising ethics and persuasion Public relations ethics and persuasion Ethics and entertainment media

Please remember that there will be no possibility to make-up presentations or in-class work. You can be excused from that assignment with a verifiable emergency or illness for which you bring evidence to me as soon as possible. If you have an emergency or are sick on an exam day, you must contact me as soon as possible and bring evidence of your emergency or illness in order to take a make-up test. You will not be allowed to take a make-up exam without a verifiable emergency or illness. Grading In-class discussions, exercises, and short essays ....10% Group blog and presentation ...20% Exam 1.20% Exam 2.20% Exam 3.20%

(2/19) (3/28) (5/7)

*** More than four unexcused absences will result in three points taken off your final grade for each extra day missed. Grade Scale: 93-100 90-92.5 87-89.5 83-86.5 80-82.5 = A 77-79.5 = C+ = A- 73-76.5 = C = B+ 70-72.5 = C= B 67-69.5 = D+ = B- 60-66.5 = D Below 59.5 = F

A grading criteria rubric is posted on Blackboard for the group presentation and blog. For other assignments, think of my grading criteria like this: An A grade represents outstanding work that is good enough to be distributed publicly and shown to other students as an example.


A B grade indicates better than average work that demonstrates excellent effort and understanding. A C grade is assigned to work that demonstrates competence but does not display any attempt to shine. A D grade indicates work that is lacking in some important way. An F is a failing grade. It will be given if an assignment or exam is not submitted or is extremely poorly executed, or in the case of plagiarism or other failure to adhere to norms of academic honesty. Accreditation: A pre-test, post-test evaluation for school-wide accreditation and assessment purposes will be conducted at the beginning and the end of the semester. These tests have no bearing on the final grade. Clarity of thought and writing: COM 250 is not a writing skills class. Still, quality writing is necessary for me to be able to evaluate your written work. Excellent spelling, word usage and grammar are thus expected for all assignments with the exception of exam essays written under time constraints, which nevertheless must be written clearly enough for me to understand. For more insight into how I grade, review the rubrics attached to particular assignments on Blackboard. Digital literacy and laptop computers The university is striving to enhance students digital literacy. In this course, the group assignments are designed to help students identify, evaluate and present information collected from digital media environments. If you have a laptop computer, smart phone, or cell phone, please bring it to class and use it appropriately as a way to participate in class discussions. We will have many opportunities for electronic participation in discussions, informal polls and other activities. An important note about Blackboard and email: Blackboard is an important platform for our classwork. I use the Blackboard email tool to communicate with you effectively outside of class. Blackboard uses your official university email address. It will be impossible for me to use your personal email address. Please be sure you check your university email on a daily basis or forward your UM email to a personal address. Class-discussions and periodic checks of your level of comprehension of the material will use the Survey, Discussion Board and Virtual Classroom functions of Blackboard. We will go


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