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Journalism 190 calendar and grading -- an example





Schedule:

Readings in Bagdikian's "New Media Monopoly" and Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" should be completed by the BEGINNING of the week assigned below.

  • Week 1 (Jan. 8-11) -- Syllabus explanation; students read Ch. 1 and 2 in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures
    DUE:
    FIRST-DAY WRITING RESPONSE (done in class) Tues., Jan. 9 (5 pts.)
    TOWN HALL MEETING #1 -- Fri., Jan. 11 in regular classroom at regular time (15 pts.)
    VIDEOS:
    #1 Jan.9 -- (parts of) "The Corporation"
    #2 Jan.10 -- "Tough Guise"

  • Week 2 (Jan. 14-18) -- Read Ch. 4 in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    VIDEOS:
    #3 Jan. 14 -- "Killing Us Softly 4"
    #4 Jan. 16 -- "Money for Nothing"
    #5 Jan. 17 -- "Generation M: misogyny in media and culture"

  • Week 3 (Jan. 21-25 -- no class MLK Day) -- Read Chapter 5 in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly"; read the "Introduction to Twentieth Anniversary Edition" and Chapter 1 in Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    VIDEOS:
    #6 Jan. 23 -- "Behind the Screens"
    #7 Jan. 24 -- (parts of) "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"

  • Week 4 (Jan. 28 - Feb. 1) -- Read Chapter 2 and 3 in Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; for Exam 1, study material and readings and video and other Week 1-4 notes; also, study Week 4 lecture material; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    DUE:
    QUIZ 1 on Thurs., Jan. 31 over material including Week 4.
    Pilgrim will review part of Wed., Jan. 30 -- and will provide under Announcements on the main J190 website a list of material to be EXCLUDED from Quiz 1.
    VIDEOS:
    #8 Jan. 28 -- "Mickey Mouse Monopoly"
    #9 Jan. 29 -- "Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class"

  • Week 5 (Feb, 4-8) -- Read Chapters 5 and 6 in Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures
    No Friday class meeting
    VIDEOS:
    #10 Feb. 4 -- "Overspent American"
    #11 Feb. 6 -- "Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood"
    #12 Feb. 7 -- "The Ad and the Ego"

  • Week 6 (Feb. 11-15) -- Read Ch. 7 in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly" and Chapters 7 and 9 in Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    DUE:
    VIDEOS:
    #13 Feb. 11 -- "Advertising and the End of the World"
    #14 Feb. 13 -- "Toxic Sludge is Good For You"
    #15 Feb. 14 -- "The Billionaire's Tea Party"

  • Week 7 (Feb. 18-22 -- no class Presidents Day, Feb. 18) -- Read Chapter 10 and 11 in Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"; take lecture notes and supplementary material posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    DUE:
    Quiz 2 -- Thurs., Feb. 21 -- covers material of Week 5 through and including Week 7; review part of Wed., Feb. 20; On Monday of Week 7 (Feb. 13) under Announcements on J190 website, Pilgrim will post EXCLUSIONS for Quiz 2
    TOWN HALL MEETING #2 -- Fri., Feb. 22 in regular classroom at regular time. (15 pts.)
    VIDEOS:
    #16 Feb. 19 -- "No Logo"

  • Week 8 (Feb. 25 - March 1) -- Read Chapter 8 in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    DUE: ON-LINE DISCUSSION ENTRIES -- Make first entry by midnight Tues., Feb. 26; 3 entries are due by Tues., March 5 at 3 p.m. -- spread entries over both week -- be certain to address Pilgrim's entry on your first entry -- no more than 1 entry per calendar day -- midnight to midnight (25 pts. possible for each entry) -- 75 possible points total
    VIDEOS:
    #17 Feb. 25 --"Constructing Public Opinion"
    #18 Feb. 27 -- "Outfoxed"
    #19 Feb. 28 -- "Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property"

  • Week 9 (March 4-8) -- Read Chapters 12 and the Afterward in Bagdikian's "The New Media Monopoly"; take lecture notes, study lecture material and supplementary notes posted on Pilgrim's J190 website; analyze and synthesize them with class lectures.
    No Friday class meeting
    DUE:
    VIDEOS:
    #20 March 4-- (brief part of) "Manufacturing Consent"
    #21 March 5 -- "War Made Easy" -- part 1
    #22 March 6 -- "War Made Easy" -- part 2
    #23 March 7 -- "Beyond Good and Evil"

  • Week 10 (March 11-15) -- Ethics lecture; final Pilgrim remarks; in-class written response; survey; course evaluation.
    No class Friday.
    DUE:
    LAST-DAY WRITING RESPONSE (done in class) Wed., March 13 (5 pts.)
    QUIZ 3 -- Thurs., March 14 -- covers material of Week 8, 9 & part of 10 (early in Week 10 under Announcements on J190 website, Pilgrim will post EXCLUSIONS for Quiz 3)
    VIDEOS:
    #24 March 11 -- "Jon Stewart on humor and an informed public"
    #25 March 12 -- "Project Censored"

  • Week 11 (March 18-22) -- Finals Week
    DUE:
    Final Analysis -- posted in assigned J190 group before 8 a.m. Wed., March 20 (near the scheduled final exam time).



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    Grading:

    A total of 1,000 points is possible during the quarter. Here are the point-gathering areas:

    A) QUIZZES -- Three quizzes (Quiz #1 on Thursday of Week 4; Quiz 2 on Thursday of Week 7; Quiz 3 on Thursday of Week 10). Quiz 1 and 2 will be worth 235 points each. Quiz 3 will be worth 175 points. Exam 1 and 2 will have 25 matching (7 pts. each) and 1 short-essay (60 points) -- see samples at the link on the main J190 page. Pilgrim does not hand out a review sheet, but, instead, as he lectures, he notes material to be included and excluded form exams. Total exam point -- 645.

    B) RANDOM VIDEO ATTENDANCE POINTS -- ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED for class videos. VIDEO CONCEPTS & MAJOR POINTS are also a significant PART OF QUIZ CONTENT, so students should arrive on time & take notes during entire video -- focusing on concepts and lists specified and posted at the bottom of each week's J190 Web page.

    When video attendance sheet is circulated, STUDENTS MUST SIGN ONLY FOR THEMSELVES. Signatures will normally be worth at least 20 points. Students are honor-bound to remove their signatures if they leave the classroom for longer than 5 minutes or if they leave early. Total video attendance points -- 200.

    C) ONLINE DISCUSSION -- Students will be assigned to a group and will participate during Week 8 and 9 in a group discussion. A J190-related question posted by Pilgrim will begin the discussio. Students may earn up to 25 POINTS EACH for three thoughtful entries over Week 8 and the beginning of Week 9 (ends Tuesday of Week 9 at midnight), with all entries being "fat paragraphs" in length. See details just below and on the main J190 discussion Web page. These discussions, which take several hours of reading responses by others and thoughtfully composing entries each week and, thus, replace several Friday meetings. Online postings must be WITHIN the student's ASSIGNED GROUP -- students must respond to Pilgrim's initial question by midnight Tuesday of Week 8. No more than one entry during any one day (midnight to midnight). Total online discussion points -- 75.

    D) FINAL ANALYSIS -- In answer to a final question from Pilgrim, a FINAL ANALYSIS essay due online BY THE END OF THE FINAL EXAM TIME DURING WEEK 11 and worth 40 points. Total Final Analysis points -- 40.

    E) TOWN HALL MEETINGS --Two "town hall" meetings held in the regular classroom at the regular hour on Friday early in the quarter and mid-way through the quarter. ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY -- 15 POINTS EACH. Total Town Hall Meeting points -- 30.

    F) FIRST-DAY RESPONSE/LAST-DAY RESPONSE --First-week and last-day in-class written analysis of media's impact on society, culture and self-governance. 5 points each. Total in-class points -- 10.

    Total possible points for the quarter: 1,000

    ALL WORK DUE AS SPECIFIED. NO SPECIAL FAVORS. NO MAKEUPS.

    Worried about how to get a good grade in J190? Think of the class as having 5 major parts:
    1) 235-point Quiz 1;
    2) 235-point Quiz 2;
    3) 200 points for attending in-class videos -- AT RANDOM. attendance sheets worth at least 20 points will be circulated;
    4) 175-point Quiz 3;
    5) 155 points for online writings, first- and last-day responses, town hall meetings and final analysis.
    To get a high grade, you will need to do well in all 5 areas.


    Video attendance -- the specifics

    On random days that videos are show, an attendance sheet will be circulated.

    Each student attending must PRINTS his/her LAST NAME and then SIGNS the first name in the appropriate alphabet section of the sheet.

    Each sign-in will normally be WORTH a minimum of 20 POINTS.

    NO MAKEUP POINTS GIVEN except medical/verifed emergencies (a written document required) and excused WWU activities.

    When the sheet circulates, PILGRIM COUNTS the students in attendance. THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES ON THE VIDEO ATTENDANCE SHEET MUST MATCH PILGRIM'S TOTAL OR NO POINTS WILL BE AWARDED (instead, detailed question about the video will be added to quizzes).

    It is ACADEMIC DISHONESTY to sign for an absent student -- see the WWU catalog about academic dishonesty (minimum penalty for sign-in fraud is 100 points & the WWU judicial process).

    Students should take notes on important concepts and information in the video. Required items will be announced in advance on the weeky J190 page. These items will be part of quizzes.

    Students may re-view videos in Wilson Library, where all the videos are on reserve. Many are available online as well.

    Online discussion -- the specifics

    Pilgrim will begin a week of online discussion (Week 8) by posting a question by Monday morning. All students must respond to this question by Tuesday at midnight with a "fat-paragraph" entry that is at least seven sentences long.

    The remaining two responses -- spread over Week 8 and early Week 9 -- should be made to other students within the assigned discussion group. Each entry should argue a point of view, be thoughtful and well-supported.

    No more than one response for points during any 24-hour period (extra non-point entries are welcome).

    On the entries intended for grading, students should place the number of the response after their name (1, 2, 3).

    The first response is worth up to 25 points, the second and third worth up to 25 points (full points for a full, thoughtful, argumentative entry at least 7 sentences long; 15 points for a shorter entry; 0 points for no entry or for any extra entry.

    All assigned online discussion must be completed by Tues., March 5 at midnight. In these discussions students should NOT ATTACK other writers. Students who don't like written viewpoint should respond with an argument that is compelling. No name-calling; no threats -- as it is important to strive for the civility that Alexander Meiklejohn would applaud.

    Important grading information

    During the quarter, "points" are given for attendance, assignments and exams. The only "grade" students will be assigned is at the end of the quarter after all points have been awarded. These final grades will be determined by a "loose curve." This system tends to help students achieve higher grades than they would under a regular "curve." For example, under Pilgrim's loose curve -- depending on performance of all class members during the quarter -- the "grade" of A and A- usually begins at 92% of the total possible points. That percentage may be a bit lower or higher, depending on how students perform during that quarter. Other + and - grades similarly vary.

    A loose curve is, for the most part, more benign to students and allows Pilgrim freedom NOT to give equal and offsetting numbers of grades (for example, instead of 7 A's and 7 F's, he may give 12 A's and 2 F's) and may alter traditional percentage cutoffs (for example, a D- some quarters falls below 60%).

    Make-up exams -- after the exam time, not before -- will given only in cases of medical emergency (accompanied by notes from physicians) or excused university functions. Make-up exams will be a different exam, with more short-answer questions. The exams will be given at 7:30 a.m. on Monday following the exam -- at Pilgrim's office in CF 265.

    In case of exams falling on days of university closure because of adverse weather, the scheduled exam will be given the next day or the following Monday -- check Announcements on the J190 website.

    Make-up of video attendance is permitted only for university activities or for medical or family emergencies (an official, written document is required).

    Pilgrim uses the plus and minus system for J190 grading.

    NO SPECIAL EXAM TIMES. Honesty in exam-taking, video attendance signing and writing is required.
    The official WWU policy concerning academic dishonesty is published in the WWU catalog in Appendix C. All students are required to abide by this and other WWU policies, also in the catalog. In addition students must know and adhere to the WWU standards for ethical computing.

    NOTE ALSO THE POLICIES ON DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT, INTERFERENCE WITH FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS, ETC.



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    Created December 2012; updated January 2013; checked 2016