|COURSE:||Mass Media & Social Institutions (Jour/EMC/RI 1020-H01),
T-Th 9:40-11:05, COMM 151
Mass Media & Social Institutions (Jour/EMC/RI 1020-H02), T-Th 1:00-2:25, COMM 151
|TEXT:||Shirley Biagi, Media Impact|
|INSTRUCTOR:||Dr. Larry L. Burriss, Ph.D., J.D.|
|OFFICE:||204 Mass Communication Building|
Dr. Burriss is a professor in the School of Journalism and has served as dean of the College of Mass Communication, chairman of the Department of Journalism, director of the School of Journalism and director of graduate studies. He is a past president of the MTSU Faculty Senate, and served on the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Dr. Burriss received his bachelor's and master's degrees from The Ohio State University, where he majored in broadcast journalism. He also has a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma.
He received his Ph.D. in communication from Ohio University, where he minored in law. He earned his J.D. degree through the Concord Law School.
He is particularly interested in issues dealing with government-media relations.
Dr. Burriss has worked in both print and broadcast news, as well as in public relations. He has published extensively in professional research journals, as well as in popular magazines. He has won numerous awards for both writing and work with new technologies.
He was a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee Air National Guard, where he was the director of public affairs. He served in Mali, Bosnia, Somalia, Central America, England and Germany.
Dr. Burriss enjoys travel, reading, and was ranked 3rd in the Tennessee Division, American Fencing Association.
IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ATTEND CLASS, TAKE NOTES, STUDY THE TEXT AND HANDOUTS, ETC. IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT THE MATERIAL IS PRESENTED IN A COHERENT, INTERESTING MANNER. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL.
You should, of course, ask as many questions as you like about the readings for the course.
It would be a serious misunderstanding of the intent of the instructor to assume that because a tape or film is being shown that no important material is being presented. Quite the contrary is true.
Regular attendance is expected--if you aren't here you can't gain anything.
Your fellow students and I will be concerned, possibly insulted, if you do not take part in the conversations we will be having. Treat this class as if were a job. You wouldn't think of cutting a day of work without a good reason and without calling in ahead of time with a reasonable explanation. I and your classmates deserve the same courtesy. "I had to miss our class because I have a test tomorrow in physics, and I needed the time to study" is NOT a valid excuse.
Giving make-up exams and quizzes is unfair to your classmates who came to class and took the exam or quiz on time. In general, life's rewards to to those who get their work done on time. In this light, no tests or quizzes may be made up unless you can document, to the satisfaction of the instructor, that your absence was due to personal illness or death in the immediate family. Any make-up work will be essay in nature, and is more difficult than the original test material.
The tests will be objective, multiple choice and true/false. "Pop" quizzes will include fill-in-the-blank questions. The quizzes and exams will cover material from previous readings and lectures. The final exam is not comprehensive. There will be no extra credit assignments. Make-up quizzes and tests will be given only due to documented personal illness or death in the family, are essay in nature, and are more difficult than the regular test material.
We will discuss the project and research component in class.
The university requires students taking this course to engage with, and contribute to, research. You may fulfill this requirement by selecting a Communication Research Pool study to participate in as a research subject. More information, along with deadlines and an online registration link, can be found here
|Quizzes||1/5 (quiz grades are averaged together)|
In a course with this many students, consideration of individual differences in learning styles, abilities, potentials, etc., is difficult, if not impossible. And, of course, different students respond differently to different teaching styles.
As you may know, the normal "90-80-70" grading scale has some severe problems (see, for example, William B. Gartner, "Dr. Deming Comes to Class," Journal of Management Education, May 1993, 143-158), which can be summarized in the following question: "Is the student who gets 90% of the questions right really that much better than a student who gets 89% right?" Obviously, the one student will get an "A," while the other will receive a "B." And, then, of course, the student who received the 89% wants the scale dropped so that 89% will be an "A." Then the student who receives an 88 wants the scale dropped again, and so on. At this point the grade scale becomes arbitrary, and has no basis in reality.
Therefore, I am going to let YOU determine the grading scale. Here's how it works: If any student receives a grade of 90 or above, the standard 90-80-70 scale will apply. However, if no student receives at least a 90, then the person(s) who received the highest grade will have enough points added to his/her score to bring the grade up to 90. The same number of points will be added to all other scores, and the 90-80-70 scale then applied. This will (1) remove the arbitrary nature of the "90-80-70" scale, (2) will allow for material that was unclear, etc (if everyone misses a question, is the problem with the students who just didn't "get it," or is the problem with the instructor who didn't present the material very clearly, or is the problem with the question?) and (3) will correct for any systemic "defects" in the course, environment, teacher, students, etc.
Suppose, for example, the high grade is 92%. The grade scale would look like this:
This method allows you and your classmates to set the standards for the course. I believe all students want to learn as much as they can, and want to do as well as they can. So, if you are as good as everyone else in the course, then you will get an "as good as" grade. If you do a lot better than everyone else (either because you really ARE better, or because you work harder), you will be rewarded accordingly. If, on the other hand you are not as good as everyone else in the course . . . well, we don't want to go there, do we?
In determining your final grade, A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1
Final grades will not be curved beyond the criteria described above.
We will NOT be using +/- grades.
Honors College representatives would like to speak with students individually to determine their research or creative interests and goals. Honors students are encouraged to begin planning their thesis or creative project as soon as possible.
You also need to know that if you repeat a course, both are counted towards your lottery scholarship GPA. Suppose, for example, you receive an "F" in a course but then repeat the course and receive an "A" grade. Your MTSU GPA is now 4.0. But your lottery scholarship GPA is only 2.0, not high enough to keep the scholarship.
Finally, please be aware that these rules and proedures have been established by the Tennessee Legislature, not by the Board of Regents, MTSU, your college or department.
Also, please be aware that all e-mail correspondence, whether related to the class or not, must be via your MTSU e-mail account. If you send me an e-mail from an off-campus account, I will return it to you and ask that you send the message from your MTSU account.
1. This schedule, including exam dates, may be adjusted to fit the needs of speakers, availability of films, etc.
2. The numbers beside the topics are chapter numbers from the text.
3. The topic discussions do not necessarily correspond to the dates under the chronological reading list. That is, for example, we may or may not be discussing Perception and the Mass Media on Sept. 24, the date by which you should have read Chapter 4 (Magazines).
4. Exams will follow the discussion of the topics "Perception and Mass Media," "Law of Mass Communication" and on Thursday, Dec. 12. This is one exam approximately every four weeks.
|Topical Reading List||Chronological Reading List|
|Nature of Communication||1||Sept. 17||Newspapers||3|
|Perception and Mass Media||Sept. 24||Magazines||4|
|Media and Society||13, 14, 15||Oct. 1||Recording||5|
|Four Theories of the Press||Oct. 8||Radio||6|
|Media Law and Control||Oct. 22||Film||7|
|Law of Mass Communication||Oct. 29||Television||8|
|Media Business and Economics||16||Nov. 5||Digital Media||9|
|Media History||Nov. 12||Advertising||10|
|Selected Topics||Nov. 19||Public Relations||11|
|Nov. 26||News and Information||12|
Exam, H01 Thursday, Dec. 12, 10:00-12:00 p.m.
Final Exam, H02 Thursday, Dec. 12, 1:00-3:00