Comm 180 Redesign Project
ETS will work with Matt Jackson to participate in the redesign components of his Communications 180. Comm 180 is a large enrollment course (350 students a semester) that takes place in the Forum.
- Allan Gyorke -- Project Manager
- Erin Long -- Lead Instructional Designer
- Kim Winck -- Digital Commons
- Matt would like his course content to be developed in the open and include student input
- The course materials should be available to the public
- Matt may want to integrate something like the Live Question Tool into the course.
COMM 180 (GS) Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications (3) The development of electronic media and telecommunications, emphasizing social, economic, political and global impact.
Fall 2008 Schedule
Tuesday and Thursday, 11:15 - 12:30, 111 Forum, 350 students maximum, 0 seats open!
Official Course Description
This course is an introduction to electronic communications (telecommunications) and their consequences for society and the economy. Until a few years ago, this primarily meant over-the-air television, radio and cable TV, and a dial-up telephone. Increasingly, however, the field has expanded to include a wide variety of broadcast, wire-based and wireless forms of video, data and voice communications. The rapid convergence of previously disparate industries and services, especially the melding of television, telephone and Internet systems, will be a dominant theme in the course. At the same time, a global system of electronic communications has been steadily evolving. This class is also about the dynamics of that changing system; it is about the origins of the telecommunications system, and its future. To better understand these developments, we will examine powerful interacting forces that are shaping the world of information by drawing on history, economics, technology studies, politics, and culture.
While the course is intended primarily for Telecommunications majors planning careers in these fields, all students will benefit from the course by learning to critically analyze media structures and programming and to better appreciate the importance of ICTs (Information, Communication and Technology) in their lives. This course serves both as an introductory core course for students in the Telecommunications major and as a broad social science course for students in other departments across the university. For students within the Telecommunications major, the course introduces the key terminology, concepts and issues in the field as well as the range of career options within the telecommunications industries. For students outside the major, this course provides a grounding in the current shift from an industrial society to an information society in which electronic media play a pervasive role in our personal, social, economic, and political lives.
- Sparky Awards - student produced videos about the value of sharing information
Week of 8 December 2008
Final Exam Review and Final Exam
Asked Matt to present questions to class about extra credit blogging assignments
- Which extra credit blogs did you complete?
- Did the extra credit blogging assignments help in advancing your knowledge of the subject? Please explain your answer.
- What technical issues, if any, did you have in completing the blogs?
- Please add any other comments about the blogs here.
Week of 1 December 2008
Guest Speaker - Professor of Ethics (College of Communications)
Ethics of American Youth
- 2008 summary survey of teens
- alarming rate of cheaters (over 60%), stealers, etc.
Major Areas of Concern
- Ownership and Access
- Virtual Communities
- Content Control
- Intellectual Property
- Social Responsibility
- Ethical Challenges and Dilemmas
Week of 24 November 2008
Thanksgiving Break - no classes
Week of 17 November 2008
Media in Democracy extra credit blog was due.
- 190 students (54% of class) completed this assignment
Dan Tamill (TA for class & 2nd-year PhD student) guest lectured on Media Effects.
- Studies changes in attitudes, behavior, cognition, etc.
- With 300 million people in the US, even if 1% are affected by media that's 3 million people
- Cultivation effect
- The more TV you watch the more violent you perceive the world to be (over-estimation of crime/violence)
- Methods employed in Media Effects
- Content Analysis
- Survey (statistical control and random selection)
- There are ALWAYS grounded in theory
Week of 10 November 2008
Class had Exam 3 on Tuesday - did not attend.
Week of 3 November 2008
Guest Speaker: Professor Michael Elavsky
Spoke on Media in Democracy
Week of 27 October 2008
143 students completed the second extra credit assignment (wrote about their technology deprivation assignment)
Interesting site: The Wayback Machine http://www.archive.org/web/web.php "Browse through 85 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible."
Week of 20 October 2008
Guest Speaker: Richard Taylor Telecommunications department Gave an overview of the gaming industry
Media and Democracy assignment now posted on ANGEL
- Due Election Day (Nov. 4)
- Another extra credit blog entry is included with this assignment
Week of 13 October 2008
Matt really liked the idea of a fishbowl debate for future use (discussed week of 22 September).
Allan, Brett, and I talked about the issue of the extra credit assignment discussed the week of 2 October being a little too high-tech for many of the students. An option would be to come up with an equivalent non-tech assignment that students would then be able to choose instead.
Another thought if Matt wants to grade less is to give out 5 or so assignments and tell the students that three assignments will be chosen at random for grading.
Week of 6 October 2008
Discussed online radio and the television industry.
Some students did not title their blogs.
- This leaves Matt unable to click into the blog from the aggregation page because the title is what is usually linked to the actual blog entry.
- Matt addressed this in class and a day later all but one was fixed.
Extra Credit Blogging Stats
- 47 Entries
- 30 entries for assignment one (free speech quotes)
- 17 entries for assignment two (technology deprivation)
- 12 people have completed both assignments
- 35 unique people have done one of the assignments
- This equals 10% of the class so far
Assignment One Blog must be complete by 15 October 2008
Assignment Two Blog must be complete by 25 October 2008
To view the entries: http://blogs.psu.edu/search/
Tags are COMM180FALL08, B1 for the first assignment and COMM180FALL08, B2 for the second assignment
Meeting with Matt - 2 October 2008
Provided Matt with the aggregated tag search link for the blogs
Matt is dropping the in-class quizzes next semester
- Attendance is not really mandated
- Not a good judge on if the student read the material
- Having students write multiple-choice test questions more useful (and worth 5 points of extra credit)
Keys going forward
- Class needs to be more "open"
- Blogging/conversing with each other should be mandatory
- Completing assignments as blogs/in the Blogs@PSU space?
- More online readings/resources
- Students should be finding and contributing resources to take ownership of learning
- Class-produced wiki project?
- Online group project?
Possible Extra Credit
- Matt would love to make a project where students must produce a media themselves by using only Creative Commons or Public Domain licensed material.
- There is a question as to whether digital commons would be able to handle everyone or if the complexity of the project excludes too many students.
Suggested to Matt that he get moving forward on his own blog so that students have a place to visit, note resources, and share thoughts next semester
Week of 29 September 2008
Review of Technology Deprivation Assignment
- Students must go without technology for 48 hours and report on what they learned
- If they mess up they must mark down how long they lasted and continue for the remainder of the 48 hours
Extra Credit Blogging
- Students have been given the option of blogging for extra credit
- EC1: Answer questions on Free Speech assignment
- EC2: Answer questions on Technology Deprivation assignment
- Must use appropriate tags for entries to be tracked and counted
- Depending on how this works the blogging will be mandatory next semester
Class Topic: Copyright
- Shared the ads made by Digital Commons with Matt
- Provided him with the postcards produced for the ads
- Suggested Matt mention Creative Commons to the class
Week of 22 September 2008
Class had Exam 1 on Tuesday.
Weekly meeting with Allan and Brett
For Media in Democracy - suggestions for assignments
- Find video or site with statistics or polling issues. How are they gathering data? How are they spinning it? What's their sampling? Where from?
- How are ballot measures being spun? Example: PA's new smoking ban
Media and Culture - suggestions for assignments
- Historical presentation of culture issues. Class votes on how many think gaming causes violence. Then use evidence to show what has been found.
- Fishbowl Debate: 3 students argue for and 3 students argue against a topic. Rest of class listens in. Students participating are giving a 0-10 for participation. Rest of class writes a short reaction on what they thought and how their view was affected because of the debate. They receive 0-5 points for the reaction.
Week of 15 September 2008
Professor in the Programming/Production Management track (30-minute presentation)
- Presentation showed a sample of a video created for a student project in Comm283
- Covered what students will learn and create in Comm383 and CommRadio
- Showed some examples of past grads and jobs they have now and what from PSU helped them get there
Matt provided some quotes on free speech that students had to read before coming to class. He then talked about what it has meant and how it has changed through the ages. Basically, if we censor the opposition, we may lose precious knowledge. You know your viewpoint better when you are focred to defend it against an opposing view. --quotes document is on ANGEL.
Thoughts on the week
The big thing that I noticed this week was people are catching on to the fact that pop quizzes are being held first thing when class starts. They don't even try to be sneaky... they just get up and leave (causing a major disruption to those around them). It was unfortunate that the guest speaker had to put up with it but it happened. I suggest moving the quiz to the end of the class period to lessen the disruption.
I'm also wondering if the quiz is meant to see if people really read what was required or is it an attendance check? If it's an attendance check, definitely do it at the end of the class or people just get counted as being there even when they can leave. If it's to see who read, things should change up also.
The two boys sitting next to me when the quiz was handed out obviously did not read. They worked with each other to come up with some answers (though 3 of 5 were still wrong). They then looked at the girl's paper in front of them and decided to copy her answers since "she looked smart." I don't think this is what is meant when Matt tells them they can work collaboratively. To me it was basic cheating by copying off of someone that was otherwise clueless. Some ideas on how to run this differently are in need.
Week of 8 September 2008
Debora Cheney, Foster Communications Librarian, News & Media Microforms Library, Pattee, Spoke to the class about Web searching strategies and understanding how different sources are more valid than others (.gov and .edu rather than .com). The assignment was to use a search engine to find out "how many students are in college today" from the most authoritative/reliable source in five clicks or less. Google was the preferred search engine. Cheney also suggested dogpile, kartoo.com and clusty.com for their different benefits.
The quiz was a very simple "match the term with the definition" quiz with terms from the assigned chapters. It was an easy way to tell if a student completed the assigned readings for the day. I was able to score 100% by just skimming the chapters and reading the chapter summaries. The book has a great review section at the end of each chapter that summarizes important terms and thoughts discussed within.
The quiz was closed-book and notes but students were allowed to work with those around them to answer the questions. Suggest this is done differently in the future as it was obvious that those that did not read just asked or copied from others around them. Also, the quiz was so straightforward that I'm not sure one really had to read in order to do well. The benefit of the quiz that I currently see is that it is a solid 100% for those that came to class and a zero for those that didn't. It's more of an attendance checker than a grade of assessment in its current form.
Meeting with Matt
Received a copy of the textbook.
One item he wants to spend a few days on is Media and Democracy.
- How does TV news shape democracy?
- How does the Internet/blogs affect democracy (from grassroots and mainstream outlets)?
- Do people research the opposing view or avoid everything but sites that share the same thoughts/ideals?
- Online poll for students? Relate class stats to national stats.
Another item time will be spent on is Consumer Culture.
- How does media shape our lives?
- Does media violence cause violence?
Matt will not be covering the Advertising/Public Relations section of the textbook.
Week of 2 September 2008
Matt conducted an online polling assignment.
- 100% have Internet access (high-speed)
- Most students have video on cells
- Most have put photos on Facebook
- About half have uploaded to YouTube
Author - Cairncross
Roots of Revolution
Three key technologies facing the future:
Author - Beniger
All living systems must process information to exert control.
Author - Rushkoff
Renaissance is rebirth - window where we can see the meta-level. The Matrix...
Meeting Notes - 28 August 2008
- Matt will get us a copy of the textbook
- Prefers more timely materials
- Ultimately, would like to move away from the textbook
- Students take responsibility for their own learning.
- Example: in two weeks, transition to digital television: One group finds readings, other students comment, vote
Goals: Content + other skills:
- How to think critically
- How to conduct research and evaluate sources
- Example Activity: Deborah Chaney - social sciences librarian
- How search engines work
- Activity: have students find the information before coming to class
- Creating successful search strategies
- Activity idea: have students search for a particular answer and rating each other
- Really like the notion of posting in the open
- How can we prevent people from copying?
- Stress on students for bouncing in and out of ANGEL and other systems
- Students working on class, posting to a blog,
- Random teams of 25 or less
- Blogs need to create discussion through comments instead of being one-way (Are comments the right tool? What about trackbacks to foster a network of blogs? assign groups to read each other blogs and react in their own blog)
- Rate comments and original posts (Erin will investigate)
- Launchpad for ePortfolio in the future
- Opportunities to do research and learn about the field on their own
- Live Question Tool with texting (no laptops, but have phones)???
- Ask as an assignment to create a mashup using all creative commons license
- Best student mashups and reviews are selected and collected as a resource for next semester
- Have 10 different assignments and students select the two they want to do.
- Fairly short and straightforward
- Next semester: could reduce exams down from four
- Wants to do the assignment where they turn off technology for 48 hours and see how students respond (3-5% of their grade)
- How should we grade this stuff:
- Matt only has access to 1.5 TA's, so grading may be an issue
- Undergraduate students as mentors in the future (A's in previous courses)
- Read recent NYT articles and posting them online
- Mostly the book, also reserved readings
- Other online resources
- del.icio.us may play into this, either to help organize new content or have students contribute links
Week of 26 August 2008
- First day of class. There seems to be mainly sophomores and juniors. This course is an open elective that fills a GS requirement.
- Matt started out by playing music from iTunes before class so this is a good indication that he is semi computer-savvy.
- Dan Campbell and Justin Clark (PhD candidates) are the GA's for the class.
- Dan had students complete a pre-test of technology uses and what students want out of the class.
- Not just teaching/lecturing, but fun and entertaining
- Real-life examples
- Relevant information
- Matt is going to ask students to submit multiple-choice questions that he may use on quizzes or exams. Students will receive some form of extra credit if he uses their question.
- Textbook: Media Now - Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology (2008 Update to the 5th Edition)