Writing for New Media (COM 315)
Department of Communications
PDF of the Syllabus (as of January 19, 2010)*
* Syllabus and Schedule on this blog (listed to the left under “pages”) are the most current versions of the syllabus and schedule. The PDF version is kept here simply for reference purposes.
Mondays & Wednesdays, 3:30 pm – 4:50 pm, 210/211 Steinman Center
Lieb, Thom. All The News: Writing and Reporting for Converged Media. 1st Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-13-134505-8
Additional readings (handouts, online, photocopies, etc.) will be made available throughout the semester. You are responsible for all materials (even if you absent from a particular class). Most of these readings will be made available via the course blog at http://blogs.etown.edu/com315.
This course will explore various methods of writing for new media. New media includes, but is not limited to, blogs, wikis, websites, social networking sites, audio, video, and other converged media. The course will present and discuss fundamentals of good media writing, technical knowhow, interactive and collaborative community, and professional online presence as related to future media(ted) professionals. Current trends and the future of new and digital media will be emphasized.
Following successful completion of this course, the student will:
- Develop specific skills and competencies needed for multimedia, web-based writing including new media journalism, converged media, blogging, social networking, and general web development.
- Gain experience in networking, interaction, and online writing.
- Gain the ability to write for and maintain a blog, as well as other online sites.
- Gain the ability to interact in web communities.
- Gain basic technological knowledge of website, blog, and social networking.
- Learn responsible social networking skills.
- Launch a manageable and sustainable website and/or blog.
- 50% – Online assignments
- 25% – Attendance, Participation, Attentiveness, Additional Grades
- 25% – Final Project
Occasionally running a little is inevitable. Unforeseeable circumstances happen, but that does not include habitually oversleeping or running late. Showing up late to more than a couple nonconsecutive classes will result in a substantial grade penalty.
Attendance, Participation, and Attentiveness:
You will receive a grade based on your attendance as well as your presence and participation while in class. While there is no such thing as an excused absence, you may miss up to two nonconsecutive absences and still receive an A for this portion of your grade. Missing class will always be looked up more favorably with prior notification in the form of an email. Emergency situations (serious illness, death in the family) will be dealt with if they arrive. Consecutive absences without emergency will result in the automatic lowering of your overall grade by 10%. Student Athletes must provide me with a schedule and meet with me to discuss probably scheduling conflicts as soon as possible.
Pledge of Integrity
“Elizabethtown College is a community engaged in a living and learning experience, the foundation of which is mutual trust and respect. Therefore, we will strive to behave toward one another with civility and with respect for the rights of others, and we promise to represent as our work only that which is indeed our own, refraining from all forms of lying, plagiarizing, and cheating.“
If you have a documented disability and need reasonable accommodations to fully participate in course activities or meet course requirements, you must (1) contact Disability Services, Dr. Kristen Sagun, in the Center for Student Success, BSC room 228 by calling 717-361-1227 and (2) meet with me, the instructor, within two weeks of receiving a copy the accommodation letter from Disability Services to discuss your accommodation needs and their implementation.
A blog will be maintained for this course at http://blogs.etown.edu/com315. Course news, updates, and assignments will be posted here. Most assignments will be “handed in” via the blog. All students are required to regularly check the BlackBoard site for the class, the course blog, and their etown.edu mail address. This course will be a very public course in that nearly all assignments, lessons, and student work will be made available for the general public to access. It is important that you conduct yourself professionally not only for the benefit of your own online identity, but as a representative of Elizabethtown College and the Department of Communications. You will be required to create accounts for several social networking and communications sites in order to explore their utility. While use of aliases will often be possible and appropriate, we are looking to create an online identity and media you want traceable to you as an employable professional. If you are not comfortable with this component of the course, you must make an appointment to discuss this as soon as possible.
You will often be expected to telecommute in order to hand in work or perform tasks outside of the classroom (notice in the schedule that many blog assignments are due by noon on Fridays). Telecommuting, or “working from home,” has become an unavoidable reality in many media industries. It is important that you observe and strictly adhere to deadlines and assignments. For more information on telecommuting, see the Wikipedia entry for “Telecommuting”
You have 15 assignments to complete throughout the semester. Most of these assignments are blogs posts. Some assignments are very simple tasks, but must be completed exactly as assigned for credit. Many assignments, no matter how simple they may seem, are mutually reliant upon each other. In other words, failure to complete certain assignments may negatively affect future assignments. If you are not completing all the assignments on time, you will fail this course. Additional assignments may be assigned throughout the semester.
Collaborative Work: Much of the Web is based on collaborative work. We will be exploring this concept directly. Often you will have to alter or edit a page that others will also be altering or editing. Be respectful of others’ work!
Quizzes and Test: While we do not have scheduled quizzes or tests, if it becomes apparent that students are not reading, assignments are not being completed, or attendance is low, penalty quizzes and/or tests will be given. You do not want this to occur.
Twitter Feeds: You are encouraged to post to Twitter during class and about class. All Tweets must include the hashtag “#etown315” so it feeds our common feed located at http://blogs.etown.edu/com315/index.php/twitter-feed/
Option 1: Using Dreamweaver or Wordpress, you will launch a personal professional portfolio. The purpose of this site is to create a positive and professional representation of yourself as you go out on the job market. The site should include a biography, statement of purpose, résumé, writing samples, links to relevant social networking membership, and portfolio of other relevant work. More details will be given in class.
Option 2: Using Dreaweaver or Wordpress, you will launch a site for a student organization, community organization, etc. This is not a practice site; this must be the “official” site for the organization and must be both recognized by and beneficial for the organization in the future (beyond your creation of the site). The site should make use of several aspects of social media, audio/video, and outreach towards membership/community members. More details will be given in class.
Option 3: Details to follow.
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