Course Description

A survey of nine contemporary media institutions including their technical, economic, social, political and cultural implications. We will also examine the social and individual effects of these media, the policies that govern them, and their role in globalization.

Time and Place

Thursdays, 1:40 – 4:30 PM
Kiely Hall, Room 264
Sections: MEDST 101–01 (51563) and MEDST 101–02 (51567)

Instructor

Juan Monroy

Office Hours:

G Building, Room 102-D
Thursday, 4:30 – 5:30 PM, by appointment

Schedule an appointment

Textbooks

Review Materials

Under each class, I will post on this site the following review materials:

Use these materials to prepare for the exams.

Blackboard

We will not be using Blackboard for this course. Instead, consult the Course Website for the syllabus and Google Classroom for submitting assignments.

G Suite for Education

This course will use G Suite for Education using your QC CAMS (often referred to as the QC Active Directory) account. Below are instructions for how to activate your QC G Suite for Education account and how to join Google Classroom.

About Google accounts

You can have more than one Google account. If you use Gmail, you already have a Google Account: it is likely a personal Google account. Google offers organizations, businesses and educational institutions G Suite accounts for its users. Since you’re enrolled at Queens College, you have access to a QC G Suite for Education account.

You cannot access QC G Suite for Education using your personal Gmail or another G Suite account.

You can be logged into both accounts at the same time, but you will likely have to switch between accounts to access your QC G Suite for Education account versus your personal G Suite.

Activate Your QC G Suite for Education account

Students New to Queens College, Recently Transferred to QC, or Enrolled in another CUNY Campus: You must activate your email and QC CAMS accounts before you can activate your G Suite for Education account. The process takes about three (3) business days so please start this process as soon as possible.

Information Technology at Queens College offers detailed instructions for activating (or claiming) your QC G Suite for Education account. The process comes down to four steps.

  1. Go to https://gdrive.qc.cuny.edu/.
  2. Enter your complete Queens College username (e.g., jmonroy100@qc.cuny.edu).
  3. From the QC authentication page, sign in with your QC CAMS account. Use your QC CAMS username (e.g. jmonroy100) and your QC CAMS password. (If you’re having trouble contact the QC CAMS Help Desk at 718–997–4444.)
  4. Accept the terms of service.

You can always access your QC G Suite for Education account at https://google.com/a/qc.cuny.edu.

Your Google G Suite for Education username is [Your QC AD username]@qc.cuny.edu, for example, jmonroy100@qc.cuny.edu.

Join Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a barebones, learning management system that you will use to submit your assignments and I will use to grade your work. We will not be using Blackboard.

I will also post announcements to Google Classroom instead of emailing everyone in class. However, you should use email to contact me, instead of the private commenting system in Google Classroom because it doesn’t work properly.

To add the class:

  1. Go to Google Classroom.
  2. Sign in using your QC CAMS login.
  3. Near the top-left of your web browser window, click the “+” to “Join class.”
  4. Enter the code I provided at the first meeting (for face-to-face classes) or via email (for online classes).

I highly recommend downloading the Google Classroom mobile app for iOS or Android. If you allow push notifications, you will immediately receive important announcements from me and learn when assignments are posted.

Use the QC G Suite for Education Apps

We will be using some QC G Suite applications in this class.

  • Google Docs is a cloud-based, word-processing application. It is comparable to Microsoft Word on your personal computer except that all your documents are stored in your Google Drive. Be sure you’re using your QC G Suite account, not your personal Google account. Download the Google Docs mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Meet is a video-based, communication platform used for remote office hours. Download the Google Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Forms is a survey and data collection platform that we will use for quizzes in some courses. There’s a bug in Forms that requires you to authenticate using your QC G Suite account on a web browser if you navigate to the quiz from the Google Classroom apps. To avoid this bug, I recommend taking the quizzes on a desktop computer.
  • Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage platform. Your QC Google Drive offers unlimited storage, compared to 15 GB with your personal Google Drive. Download the Google Drive mobile apps for iOS or Android.

Troubleshooting

A majority of access issues can be resolved by logging out of all your Google accounts in your web browser and then logging back into your QC G Suite account at https://google.com/a/qc.cuny.edu.

Policies

Attendance

For in-person classes, regular attendance is required. Attend twelve or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than four classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

For hybrid course, regular attendance is required. Attend seven or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than three classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

This policy does not apply to online courses.

Verification of Attendance

You must be present or participating in class during the verification of attendance period. Otherwise, I will report you as not attending and you will be dropped from the class.

The verification period is as follows:

  • fall and spring semesters: the first three weeks of classes
  • summer and winter semesters: the first four days of classes

Academically-related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matter;
  • engaging in an online academically-related activity, or initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course or ask a course-related question.

Note: Logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate participation in an academically-related activity by the student.

Professionalism

Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid digital distractions. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices.

On a personal note, it’s very difficult to stay motivated as a teacher if I see students seemingly disinterested in their own education. Seriously, I’m this close to banning all digital devices in class.

If I find you engaging in disruptive behavior, such as watching online videos, passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, photographing, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.

Late Work and “Incomplete” Grades

Please submit your work on time. Late quizzes and take-home final exams will not be accepted. In-class exams must be taken at the date and time listed below unless other we make other arrangements. All other work will be penalized as follows.

Fall and Spring Courses
After a 24-hour grace period, late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After one calendar week, the assignment will not be accepted, and you will likely fail this class.
Summer and Winter Courses
After a one-hour grace period, late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction up to 24 hours after the deadline. Late work will not be accepted after 24 hours.
All courses
No work will be accepted after 11:59 PM on the day of the final exam.

There are no incomplete grades for this class except in the case of a documented emergency in the final weeks of the semester. If you experience such an emergency, please contact me immediately, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work before the beginning of the following semester.

But aside from these circumstances, no late work will be accepted and no “incomplete” grades will be granted. If you have difficulty keeping up with coursework, consider giving yourself extra time to complete assignments, reducing your overall course load, and/or taking this class at a later semester.

No Extra Credit Assignments

There are no opportunities for extra credit. As a matter of fairness, your grade will be based on the work assigned to all students.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. Examples of Academic Dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, obtaining an unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.

Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student.

For tips and information on how to maintain academic integrity, consult Writing at Queens document, “What is Plagiarism?”.

Computers, Tablets, and Mobile Phones

Please refrain from using your digital devices during class. Also remember to silence your mobile phone, or turn it off to save your battery.

It is particularly rude to use your devices in class because it distracts not only me but also the students around you. And others can see what you’re doing.

Students must surrender mobile phones, tablets, and computers on exam days.

QC Email

Do not use the commenting system in Google Classroom to communicate with me.

Always use your QC email account (student@qmail.cuny.edu). This is the only way I can communicate with you, other than face-to-face meetings or via video conferencing.

Students with Disabilities

Queens College has a history of commitment to the enhancement of education of students with disabilities. The Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities was established in 1974 to provide equal opportunities for a college education to academically qualified students with physical disabilities. The office offers comprehensive support services to students with various disabilities. Queens College prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and it ensures full access and equal opportunity to qualified students with disabilities to all academic programs and social activities on campus.

To receive these services, a student must first register with the office in Kiely 171. To do so, you must bring proper documentation pertaining to the nature of your disability from a qualified professional. To learn more about CUNY Assistive Technology Services and the office located at Queens College, call (718) 997–3775 or visit Kiely Hall 173. For more information, visit The Office of Special Services.

Help with Writing

One of the most important skills you will learn throughout your education is writing. If you cannot write, you will not succeed at communicating your ideas and will endanger your professional development.

The Writing Center at Queens College offers free assistance to students with writing. Please visit the center at least once for each writing assignment you have for your classes this semester. You can schedule a one-hour session or drop in to consult an on-duty tutor.

Assignments

Quizzes

You will take a quiz on the reading materials assigned each week. Each quiz is due the day of our class at 12:00 PM, as noted on the course schedule and on Google Classroom.

  • Due the day of class, 12:00 PM
  • Ten of twelve quizzes are required
  • No late quizzes will be accepted
  • Weight: 30%

Political Economy of Contemporary Media

After midterm exam, begin reading Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert McChesney.

Write a 1,500-word summary of how money affects contemporary media, particularly the Internet, and consider the larger impacts of this relationship in contemporary society.

Follow these guidelines for formatting and submitting your paper.

Exams

Midterm Exam

The midterm exam is an in-class exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Thursday, October 18, in class
  • Weight: 25%

Final Exam

The final exam is an take-home exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the second-half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Due: Thursday, December 20, 1:45 PM
  • Submit on Google Classroom
  • Weight: 25%

Schedule

August 30 • Getting Started

Assignments
  1. Buy the required textbooks
  2. Activate your Google Apps at QC account
  3. Join the class on Google Classroom: 5hm34yy
  4. Complete the Welcome Survey on Google Classroom.

September 6 • Contemporary Media

Contemporary Media signals a dramatic shift from mass media to more narrowly targeted “new media” that is made possible by technological changes (digitalization) and cultural changes (the rise of information society).

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 1, “Changing Media”
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 2, “Media and Society”
  • Complete Quiz 1, available August 31, due September 6 at noon.
Review

September 13 • Books and Magazines

The emergence of mass print in the nineteenth century ushered in an age of books and magazines, but new competition from other media has changed how books and magazines survive in a post-print age and how they continue to circulate ideas.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 3, “Books and Magazines”
  • Complete Quiz 2, available September 7, due September 13 at noon.
Review

September 20 • Newspapers

Once a means to deliver news to the public, newspapers were synonymous with the print media that carried the news. However, recent technological and cultural changes have made newspapers find new ways to reach its audience beyond the same print product for everyone.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 4, “Print to Digital Newspapers”
  • Complete Quiz 3, available September 14, due September 20 at noon.
Review

September 27 • Recorded Music and Radio

Radio and recorded music have evolved together since the beginning of the 20th century and have adapted to recent technological challenges by specializing its content and moving to new, different platforms for distribution.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 5, “Recorded Music”
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 6, “Radio”
  • Complete Quiz 4, available September 21, due September 27 at noon.
Review

October 4 • Film and Home Video

The film industry has evolved from a tightly controlled vertically integrated studio system to one that today requires a variety of different and segmented ways to reach its audiences.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 7, “Film and Home Video”
  • Complete Quiz 5, available September 28, due October 4 at noon.
Review

October 11 • Television

Once dominated by the former radio networks, television in the United States has evolved to new programming forms and new platforms, all while facing new competition as your primary screen.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 8, “Television”
  • Complete Quiz 6, available October 5, due October 11 at noon.
Review

October 18 • Midterm Exam

We will take our midterm exam today in class.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

October 25 • Internet

The rise of interoperable networks and personal computers since the 1960s made possible the emergence of the Internet in the 1990s and the digital revolution in contemporary media.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 9, “Internet”
  • Complete Quiz 7, available October 19, due October 25 at noon.
Review

November 1 • Persuasion Industries

Emerging during the industrial revolution, advertising and public relations emerged as ways to direct messages to consumers and the public through the media. In the digital age, the media may have changed but the messages have persisted.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 10, “Public Relations”
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 11, “Advertising”
  • Complete Quiz 8, available October 26, due November 1 at noon.
Supplements
Review

November 8 • Video Games and the Third Screen

The telephone has converged into the smartphone and the third screen—the movies and TV being the first two screens. As a carrier for binary data, the phone is now a bona fide computer connected not just to the telephone network but also the Internet. Video games represent media convergence, consisting of many other media and a born-digital form.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 12, “Third Screen: Smart Phones and Tablets”
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 13, "Video Games
  • Complete Quiz 9, available November 2, due November 8 at noon.
Review

November 15 • Media Effects, Impacts, and Uses

As media ingratiate themselves into our lives, we study how media effects can impact the cognitions, emotions, and behavior of individuals and the impact it has on social behavior, the environment, and the economy.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 14, “Media Uses and Impacts”
  • Complete Quiz 10, available November 9, due November 15 at noon.
Review

November 29 • Media Policy and Regulation

Contemporary media are subject to governmental policies and regulations intended to curb their influence, ensuring universal access, and protecting consumers.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 15, “Media Policy and Law”
  • Complete Quiz 11, available November 16, due November 29 at noon.
Review

December 6 • Media and Globalization

Contemporary media and information networks are crucial for globalization, an accelerating process of integrating communication, culture, trade, and governance among people across the world.

Assignments
  • Read Media Now, Chapter 17, “Global Communications Media”
  • Complete Quiz 12, available November 30, due December 6 at noon.
Review

Finals Week • Final Exam

We will take our final exam in class today, in class.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.