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Course Title: New Media Perspectives

Semester: Spring 2020
Credit Hours: 3
Course #: NMC*101
CRN#: 1462
Time: MW 10:00-11:15AM

INSTRUCTOR
Ersinghaus

CONTACT AND OFFICE HOURS
See Course Website

REQUIRED TEXTS
Required texts are indicated on the Course Calendar.

REQUIRED MATERIALS
1. Access to a laptop or desk-top computer

COURSE DESCRIPTION
What qualities do video games, comics, films, and computer simulations share? New Media Perspectives considers this question by examining the underlying structures and interrelated qualities of various media and communication technologies. Students will study selected text-based stories, films, video games, simulations, comics, visual art, and web design. Students will apply what they learn by developing hypertexts, digital stories, and games. The course will also address questions such as: what is new media? How does human experience shape the design of technology? What is interactivity?

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be taken every day. If a student misses class for whatever reason, the student is responsible for work due or to be completed at the next meeting in the same way as those individuals in attendance. Typically, missed information will be demonstrated in the assessed materials required for the course. Issues in attendance my be complicated by work, health-related issues, weather, or family responsibilities. Please make sure you plan ahead to schedule other appointments so that they do not conflict with class session times because there is no such thing as an “excused” absence. All absences from class mean that you miss the materials, concepts and ideas presented on that day and these cannot be made up. It’s advised that you take contact information from other students in class so that you can share notes.

I reserve the right to change, reword, add and/or subtract materials in order to meet changing circumstances, expectations, and course requirements. This means that it is possible that if you miss a particular day, you may miss new assignments, new assessment criteria, or changes to an assignment. Note that it is the student’s responsibility to keep a close eye on the Course Calendar which is online and always available.

Another issue with attendance has to do with how learning is constructed in the course. Each class meeting adds to what has come before in a specific way, so missing class leaves gaps that are nearly impossible to reconstruct. So the second sentence in the above paragraph is deceptive. Life happens, so “requiring” perfect attendance is impossible. On the other hand, choosing not to attend will affect your ability to perform at peak.

There are days on the Calendar that are required for your attendance. These include all days where work must be handed in, days where a quiz may be given, and peer review sessions. Note that no work provided in other ways other than indicated on the Course Calendar will be accepted for review or for a grade.

DECORUM
The instructors for this course believe strongly in being on time and that students not enter the classroom when the door to the classroom has been closed. We discourage leaving class also while class is in session. In New Media studies, courtesy is appreciated.

Ability-based Education

Assessed Course Abilities:

Project Building

D. Applies inter-disciplinary concepts, ideas, and tools in communication contexts

Level 1: Identifies media interrelationships and associated concepts

New Media Literacy
A. Describes, evaluates, and compares systems

Level 1: Observes and accurately describes the use and properties of a traditional and digital system

B. Effectively communicates new media concepts, experiences, and their contexts

Level 1: Builds effective media experiences and new media objects using multiple modes of expression

C. Selects, manipulates, and integrates digital and traditional media in appropriate contexts

Level 1: Describes the affective qualities and structural elements of a traditional and digital media form

Assessed General Education Abilities:

Aesthetic Dimensions: Students will understand the diverse nature, meanings, and functions of creative endeavors through the study and practice of literature, music, the theatrical and visual arts, and related forms of expression.

Rubric

Demonstrates:  Identifies and describes formal aspects, historical or cultural context, and aesthetic elements of the genre with clarity and appropriate vocabulary.

Does Not Demonstrate:  Unable to clearly identify and describe the formal aspects, historical context, and aesthetic elements of the genre.

EVALUATION
Students will generate  assignments evaluated against the course and General Education abilities typically in the manner of a studio course. The assessments are project-based and are typically followed by exams.

GRADING SCALE
1 = D and F
2 = C-/B+
3 = A

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS
During the course of the semester, students might want to experience works from the list below. Some of these will be mentioned on the syllabus as relevant to a particular topic. Excerpts of these works may be required, while the work in its entirety may be experienced over a weekend. For instance, a computer game or simulation such as Skyrim or Fallout would be difficult to complete in a semester.

Films: The Godfather, Sliding Doors, Groundhog Day, Minority Report, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Garden State, 12 Monkeys, Lone Star, Final Destination 3 (Special Feature DVD).
Games: Monopoly, Life, The Sims, Journey, Flower, Civilization series, Battlefield I, Half-Life series, Call of Duty, Halo, No Mans Sky.
Stories and novels: The Diamond Age, Hopscotch, afternoon, a story, The Garden of Forking Paths.
Sequential Art: Moore and Gibbons, Watchmen, Moore et al, Tomorrow Stories Book 1, Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, Neil Gaiman, The Sandman. Of course there are too many to name.

SOME IDEAS
Today the fundamental concepts and tools of new media, such as laptop computers, smart phones, social (Twitter) and cloud networks (Dropbox), are influencing nearly all areas of life. They influence the way we build buildings (where are the broadband cables or wireless stations threaded or the robot network?), entertain ourselves, market products, conduct business, teach, tell stories, collaborate, and create works of art. Education, entertainment, business, communications, science, engineering, the creative arts–all are influenced by and are influencing digital computing and expression.  No matter what your plans for the future, some aspect of new and traditional media will play a role; you may even be considering a career in a new media field.

New Media Perspectives, in a lot of ways, is about definitions and questions. “What is new media?” is just one of them.  Here are a few more: What are the criteria that we use to define new media; what characteristics do new media and traditional media share: that is, how is a film related to a game and why is it important to know this?  Moreover, how do the narrative structures of new and traditional media shape the way we interpret, use, and innovate them?

In this course your instructor will be coming at the idea and forms of new media from a lot of directions, one of the most important being a continual reflection on what has come before and what is still influencing contemporary communications, creative production, social media, collaboration, art, business, how people work together to shape understandable and meaningful media experiences and tools, and how past and current work in art, games, film, business, design, architecture, and programming may guide our thinking about the future. It should be an interesting tour.

INCOMPLETES
Requests for an incomplete must meet the college’s criteria (see below) and must be put to the instructors in writing one week prior to the end of the semester and an Incomplete Grade Agreement.

Incomplete grades may be given when the instructor determines that the student has completed 80 percent of the course work or when extraordinary circumstances have arisen which prevent the student from completing course requirements within the prescribed time limits. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange with the instructor the conditions under which an incomplete will be made up. Additionally, the student and instructor must sign an Incomplete Grade Agreement, available in the Records Office that identifies the specific work to be completed. The agreement must be filed in the Records Office.

An incomplete must be made up by the end of the fourth week of the following full semester (fall or spring). Deadline dates appear in the Calendar portion of course catalogs and on the Tunxis Web site.

An incomplete that is not made up within the time limits set above will be converted to an “F” grade at the end of the following fall or spring semester.”

ACADEMIC HONESTY
One of the greatest sins that can be committed in education is an act of plagiarism:

1: a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work 2: the act of plagiarizing; taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own”
Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University
(http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=plagiarism)
Anyone caught plagiarizing in this course will face one of the following penalties (based upon my determination of the seriousness of the offense):

A warning and a grade of “0” or “F” for that assignment;
A grade of “0” or “F” for the course;
Disciplinary action by the Dean of Student Services and/or the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The instructors reserve the right to edit or modify this syllabus at any time.

Resources, Policies & Procedures

The Tunxis Values and Principles—integrity, responsibility, respect, excellence, open communication, and humor and well-being—guide the important work of our college community. We hope these policies and statements will help all students to achieve their educational and career goals in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Academic Integrity

Tunxis is committed to academic integrity and we expect our students to be academically honest. The work you submit, including tests, papers, reports, presentations, or written ideas, must represent only your own academic achievement and knowledge.

Academic Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

  • Plagiarism (submitting another person’s work as your own or submitting work which includes borrowed words or ideas without proper citation)
  • Copying to any extent the work of another student
  • Intentionally assisting another student during an examination
  • Having access to material related to an examination during an examination
  • Possessing or having access to unauthorized copies of an examination
  • Departing from any stated examination conditions

Plagiarism and cheating will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs and may result in suspension, expulsion, or removal of college privileges.

Course Withdrawal Policy

If you stop attending class or submitting work but do not formally withdraw from the course, then you will receive zeros for all missing work, and they will be calculated in your final grade. To formally withdraw, you need to go the Records Office. Instructors cannot assign a grade of “W” to students who simply stop attending class and/or submitting work.

If you are thinking about withdrawing from a class, speak to the instructor first. The instructor will be able to give you an idea of how you are doing overall and may be able to offer you suggestions for improvement and explain other options available.

Withdrawing from a class can impact your current funding (e.g. Financial Aid, Veteran’s benefits or Scholarships, etc.) and may also impact your FUTURE funding. For more information: www.Tunxis.edu/offices-departments/records-office-registrar/information-and-services-for-students/information-and-services-for-students-changing-your-schedule/

Student Code of Conduct

At Tunxis, we work to create a community where individuals are respected and valued, and interact and communicate effectively and respectfully. You are expected to behave according to the standards of the College as listed in the “Student Code of Conduct” in the Tunxis Catalog. Failure to comply with the College’s guidelines for conduct may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Discipline section of the Tunxis Catalog.

Class Cancellations

If class is cancelled by Tunxis due to inclement weather conditions or other emergency, students will be notified via the school’s web page and myCommNet Alert. Alerts are sent out via text, email, and voicemail. All students are automatically enrolled in the alert system based on the phone number entered at time of admission. You are strongly encouraged to review and update your information at my.commnet.edu. Follow these instructions: https://cscu.edusupportcenter.com

Although closing information may be broadcast on local news and radio stations, you are encouraged to check the college website or information line for the latest closing information. If class is cancelled by your instructor, students will be informed by an official college notice posted at the door of the classroom.

Academic Success & Tutoring Center

Free tutoring, study labs, and workshops may be available for this course. For more information visit www.tunxis.edu/asc.

Tunxis is committed to the full participation of all students in its programs. Students with disabilities who feel they may require specific accommodations are encouraged to contact the Learning Disabilities Specialist in the Academic Success & Tutoring Center. Students with documented disabilities are eligible to receive reasonable academic services accommodations. For full information: www.tunxis.edu/asc/disability-services

 Additional Resources

If you find yourself experiencing personal difficulties which are impacting your ability to be successful in college, please contact your advisor or faculty member or reach out to our Counseling Office for assistance. Email Tx-counseling@tunxis.edu or stop in the Counseling Center for access to emergency gift cards, gas cards, thePantry@Tunxis (our food pantry), Tunxis’s clothing closet, and more. For more information, please go to: www.tunxis.edu/student-services/academic-advising-and-counseling/

 

Title IX: Discrimination, Harassment, & Sexual Misconduct Reporting

Tunxis is committed to fostering a safe and productive learning environment. Title VII, Title IX, Board of Regents, and Tunxis policies prohibit harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment (including sexual violence) refers to behavior that interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. Sexual harassment in any form will not be tolerated at Tunxis.

We encourage anyone experiencing harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct to talk with a Tunxis faculty or staff member so they can get the support they need and Tunxis can respond appropriately. A list of resources and contacts are available at www.Tunxis.edu/student-services/crisis-services/titleix/

Additional College Policies & Information

Please review all college and Board of Regents policies beyond those noted above at: www.tunxis.edu/essential-policy.