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Page history last edited by ted.coopman@... 10 years ago

Last syllabus update:

San José State U

Communication Studies

COMM 181F, Internet Communication, Section 1, Spring 2011

Instructor:    Ted M. Coopman

Office location:    HGH 216

Telephone:    408-924-5865

Email:    comm181@gmail.com

Office hours: online and T-TH 1:30-3:00 PM by appointment

Class days/time: 9:00 - 10:15

Classroom: HGH 219

Prerequisites: Completion of GE oral communication

Catalog Description

Explores impact of internet-based communication on social action, corporate environments and interpersonal relationships. Formation and management of online identities discussed. Introduction to online media construction and analysis with particular emphasis on the world wide web.


Succeeding in a Four-Unit Course

At SJSU, students are expected to spend two hours outside of class for every one hour of class time. Because this is a four-unit class, you can expect to spend a minimum of eight hours per week in addition to time spent in class and on scheduled tutorials or activities. Careful time management will help you keep up with readings and assignments and enable you to be successful in all of your courses. In this class, one of the four units is an engagement unit, which consists of a research project. You are expected to spend 45 hours this semester (both to prepare for and to complete the work) to successfully complete this unit. This unit is worth 25% of your grade. In this class the 4th unit consists of online  workshops and Discuss and Reports on assigned readings.


Desire2Learn Class Website

We will be using Desire2 Learn < https://sjsu.desire2learn.com> for quizzes and to view your grades. If you are having issues with Desire2Learn you should contact eCampus. The best way to reach someone fast is by phone at 924-5865. The student resources website <http://www.sjsu.edu/ecampus/students/D2L_students/> has Tutorials and Guides on how to use D2L


Course Web Resources – Wiki & Google Groups

Copies of the course syllabus and major assignment sheets may be found on the class wiki site [http://comm181.pbworks.com]. You are responsible for regularly checking messages sent via Google Groups. Please use the comm181@gmail.com email address to contact me. I will also send regularly messages through an announcement only listserv. Please visit the Google Groups page for sign-up details. You are responsible for making sure you are signed up for the class listserv and reading the posts.


FOUNDATIONS, Inquiry, Practice

Each course in the Department of Communication Studies primarily focuses on one of three areas: Foundations (theoretical underpinnings of the discipline), Inquiry (research in the discipline), or Practice (application of communication theories and concepts to real world contexts). COMM 181F is a Foundations course. Although the course addresses research (inquiry), and practice (application), the primary purpose of COMM 181F is to expose students to and increase their understanding of the complex and evolving nature of new media networks.


Foundations Area Objectives

This course satisfies the FOUNDATIONS area of Communication Studies learning objectives. All FOUNDATIONS courses, including COMM 181F, share these learning objectives:

•    Theories of Communication: Demonstrate understanding of the major theories that have shaped the communication field.

•    Ethics: Demonstrate understanding of ethical responsibilities in communicating with others in interpersonal, organizational, small group, intercultural, mediated, and public settings.  


Course Goals

The goal of this course is to develop a critical and working understanding on how the Internet and “new media” operate in both the technical and theoretical sense as well as the current and possible future impacts of communication technology on society and individuals.


Course Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, you will:

LO1.    Discuss the scope and nature of Internet communication (Theory)

LO2.    Identify, define, and apply the concepts and theories associated with Internet communication to your own and others' experiences (Theory and Ethics)

LO3.    Identify and discuss the ethical issues associated with Internet communication (Ethics)

LO4.    Better participate in, critique and evaluate online communication (Theory and Ethics)

LO5.    Demonstrate communication skills necessary for presenting concepts and theories associated with internet communication (Theory and Ethics)


Required Texts and Readings


Castels, M (2003). The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society.

Oxford University Press, USA (old but still the best)

ISBN-10: 0199255776

ISBN-13: 978-0199255771


Please note the the statistical data in Castells has been updated by a previous course. You can also update some of the information for extra credit. See the Castells Update page.PP 


Other Readings

Additional reading will be assigned as needed and will be provided electronically as pdfs, via library databases, or as links to websites.


Library Liaison

The Communication Studies Department encourages vigorous and ethical research as part of information literacy for all of its students. For assistance contact Crystal Goldman our Academic Liaison Librarian <Crystal.Goldman@sjsu.edu>, in the library go to the King Library Reference Desk (2nd floor; 408-808-2100) and/or utilize the Communication Research Guide available at http://libguides.sjsu.edu/communication.


Classroom Protocol/Terms of Service


General Behavior

Don’t be a jerk. Show respect for your peers, the course, and myself. If you do not want to be in class or would rather be doing something else than participate, then don’t come.


Food and Drink

Eating and drinking in class is okay as long as it is not disruptive (noisy/smelly), that you pick-up after yourselves, and clean up any spills.



Being late to class is disruptive and rude. It is your responsibility to be in class when it begins. If you have a schedule or an event that may result in you being late then contact me ahead of time. Extreme tardiness may result in loss of credit for in-class activities. At the very least, expect to be called out on it if you are late.


Policy on Personal Electronic Devices

Personal Electronic Devices (PED) includes laptops, tablets, mobile phones, or any web enabled communication device. PEDs are ubiquitous both in and outside the classroom. Research and my own experience finds that when someone is using a PED they are, for all practical purposes, “absent” from class as completely as if they are physically gone. Of course, for the individual student, being physically absent is a personal choice.


However, in-class use of PEDs ceases to be a personal choice when it has negative impacts on peers and the course. Experience has shown that:

• PED use is annoying and distracting to those around you and interferes with your peer’s classroom experience. Students complain about it regularly.

• PED users are much more likely to ask questions on information that has already been discussed in class. This wastes class time and is annoying to both your peers and myself. This is effectively stealing others time – time, which they and taxpayers have paid for.

• PED users are much more likely to be confused on class assignments and expectations or miss critical information with three results:

     1. Contacting the instructor with requests for repeating information disseminated in class, which is disrespectful of

     my time.

     2.  Being much more likely to misinterpret assignment directions and miss important deadlines and instructions and

     thus receive lower grades or no points for missed assignments/deadlines.

     3. Habitual in class PED users earn poorer final grades.


Rules on use of Policy on Personal Electronic Devices

1. PEDs are to be kept off desktops and on silent mode at all times (ear phones should be removed and stored).

2. Checking PEDs for messages, texting, or any other activity is prohibited.

3. Students who violate this policy will receive one warning (for the semester). After that, the student will be ejected from the class session and forfeits any class activity points.

PED use is allowed when:

     • It is explicitly authorized by the instructor. Laptops and smart phones may be used for some activities or during


     • If students have an ongoing need to be available via mobile phone such as communication with young children,

     family medical issues, or other similar serious and compelling reasons they need to contact me to work out an arrangement immediately. 

     • If students have a serious and compelling reason on a particular day such as an emergency situation involving family or work they need to contact me at the start of class and exit the classroom to answer calls or text replies. Note that abuse of this privilege will not be tolerated.


Missed Assignment Policy

Deadlines for assignments are required for several important reasons. First, deadlines keep students together and moving forward at the same rate. This allows enough time to cover all course material over the semester. Moreover, deadlines help students to distribute their workload and ensure enough time and attention to successfully complete assignments. Second, instructors usually teach between 3 and 5 classes (or more) per term. Designing a course is complex and requires a tight schedule. These classes, in turn, must be scheduled so that they do not conflict with each other and there is enough time for the instructor to assist students and grade assignments. Late assignments complicate this schedule and need to be made-up within specific framework to lessen their negative impact. Therefore, this class uses the following Missed Assignment Policy:


Regular access to a fully functional computer with internet access is a requirement for this course. Lack of internet access as an excuse for failure to complete assignments or meet deadlines is not a valid excuse.


Since quizzes are open and available for 7 days, quiz make-ups will only be allowed for students who did not have access to D2L due to administrative issues such as late ads, suspension due to financial issues, or verified technical problems with D2L. To avoid problems, do not wait until the last day to take the quizzes.


Students who miss assignments due to legitimate excuses for unplanned/unscheduled events such as illness, emergencies, or sudden changes in work schedule must contact the instructor by the next class period via email only (for documentation purposes) to request permission to make-up these assignments. If approved, students must make-up the missed assignments with the specific time frame proscribed by the instructor. Requests made to make up assignments after the Missed Assignment Policy deadline will be rejected. Assignments submitted after the specific time frame proscribed by the instructor will not be accepted.


Students with regular or planned absences due to sanctioned campus activities, work, family issues, deployment, or other unavoidable occurrences need to contact the instructor immediately, explain the situation, and (if accepted as valid) come to an understanding on the best course of action. Please note, the range for valid excuses is limited and if there are many times students will miss class then the best course of action is to drop.


Any alternative assignments or submissions for missed class sessions with graded assignments or activities must be turned in PRIOR to the deadline or day missed to earn credit.


Requests to make-up assignments at the end of the term will not be accepted.


Dropping and Adding

You are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, and similar topics found at sa.sjsu.edu/student_conduct.


Assignments and Grading Policy

For more information on assignments, go to the assignments page. See the course schedule page for the assignment of the week. For information on late assignments and missing quizzes please see the Missed Quiz and Late Paper Policy Page.  and Go here for information on grade review requests.


Discuss and Report (11)

Many Tuesdays we will discuss the readings for that week. Readings assigned for the week need to be completed before the first class meeting. Each student must identify the 4 most important aspects of each reading and the 4 most interesting findings, facts, concepts, etc. and either print them out or hand write them (must be signed off by the instructor at the start of class) to bring to class.


If there are multiple readings, then each reading needs to have at least 2 things from each category. For example, for three readings there should be a total of 6 things from the reading you found interesting and why and 6 things from the reading you think were the most important takeaways. Each set of interesting/important items should be clearly labeled.


Students will be numbered off into random teams of 5. Teams need to decide what they think as a group were the most important and most interesting aspects of the reading and prepare a 10 minute presentation on them. This is not just a reading of the items but a coherent discussion where all the elements interact and support each other. In the case of multiple readings, how the readings interact with each other. One team will be chosen at random to present. Unprepared teams will be called mean names and asked to sit down and another team will be chosen (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).


Workshops (9)

Workshops are basic slide presentations (in pdf) on selected topics that provide critical information to help you understand the text, the subject, and prepare for your final project. While students are not quizzed on workshop content, you are responsible for the material and will find it hard to succeed in the course without them. These workshops also provide good information sources that you may revisit for your course work. See the Assignments Instruction Page for details (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).


Wiki Expert Research Project

The main project for this course is the construction of a Wiki Expert page, which is similar to the subject/topic pages you would find on Wikipedia. This assignment is broken down into three phases: a proposal, Phase 1, and the final project. Each section has specific requirements and is explained in detail below. Students are also required to post comments (100 word minimum) on at least 10 other student’s wiki pages. Post on every students wiki at least once by the end of Thursday, May 12 and earn 10 extra credit points.

You have the option of working individually, in pairs, or in teams of three. Regardless of the number of students on a project, the amount of work is the same. If you decide to work with others managing the assignment is entirely up to you. Your entire grade will be collective. You need to notify me of your team when you submit your proposal (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

See the Assignments Instruction Page for details.



Quizzes (11)

Readings will be assessed though regular quizzes. All quizzes are multiple choice, open book and note, and are timed.


Administered weekly via D2L, they consist of 12 multiple-choice questions, are open book/note, and timed (20 minutes) (2x12=24x13=312). Quiz questions are randomly drawn from a pool of questions, so every quiz is different. All quizzes open at the beginning of the semester and close as we finish covering the material (the following Tuesday at 9 am). See the assignments page for details and the course schedule for closing dates (LO2, LO5).



The final consists of an opportunity to retake OR make-up ONE online quiz.


Extra Credit

Course Orientation Quiz (12 pts)

Castells Updates: Earn 10 points for updating information for the textbook.

Course Process and Evaluations (10): Write down the 3 things you liked about the course and 3 things that need improvement or should be added/deleted. Attend class and turn in for credit.




Your final grade will be based on the following point system:

Quizzes: 11 (12x2=24x11)                   264

APA Quiz                                                 24

Discuss and Report: 11 (11x10)            110 (4th)

Online Workshops: 9 (9x15)                  135 (4th)

F2F Workshops: 9 (9x10)                        90

Wiki Proposal:                                         50

Wiki Phase 1:                                         100

Wiki Final:                                              200

Presentations:                                          27

Total                                                    1000


Grading Scale  (points = letter grade>)

990-1000+ A+ 840-869 B 700-739 C-
950-990 A 800-839 B- 670-699 D+
900-949 A- 770-799 C+ 640-669 D
870-899 B+ 740-769 C 600-639 D-
        > 600 F








University Policies 

Academic Integrity

You must be familiar with the University’s Academic Integrity Policy available at sa.sjsu.edu/student_conduct. “Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University’s integrity policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical development.”


I will not tolerate instances of academic dishonesty. Cheating on quizzes or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. “If you would like to include in your assignment any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.”


Campus Policy in Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the DRC (Disability Resource Center) to establish a record of their disability.


Student Technology Resources

Computer labs for student use are available in the new Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. In addition, computers are available in the Martin Luther King Library. The COMM Lab, located in Clark Hall 240, also has a few computers available for student use.


A wide variety of audio-visual equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112. These items include digital and VHS camcorders, VHS and Beta video players, 16 mm, slide, overhead, DVD, CD, and audiotape players, sound systems, wireless microphones, screens and monitors.



The COMM Lab is located in Clark Hall 240. Tutors for the lab are recruited from well-qualified communication studies graduate and upper division students. The Lab provides resources for enrichment and assistance for those enrolled in all Communication Studies classes.  Lab hours vary by semester and are posted on the COMM Lab wiki. available at commlab.pbwiki.com. Support for the Lab is provided by enrollments in COMM 80.


Learning Assistance Resource Center

The Learning Assistance Resource Center is designed to assist students in the development of their full academic potential and to motivate them to become self-directed learners. The center provides support services, such as skills assessment, individual or group tutorials, subject advising, learning assistance, summer academic preparation and basic skills development. The Learning Assistance Resource Center is located in Room 600 in the Student Services Center.


SJSU Writing Center

The Writing Center in Clark Hall 126 offers tutoring services to San Jose State students in all courses. Writing Specialists assist in all areas of the writing process, including grammar, organization, paragraph development, coherence, syntax, and documentation styles. For more information, visit the Writing Center website at
http://www.sjsu.edu/writingcenter or call 924-2308.

Comm 181F Spring 2011 Class Schedule                                    

Subject to change with fair notice or I will announce any changes in class or I will notify you of any changes via Google Groups. The last day the syllabus was updated is in green at the top of this page.

See Course Schedule for more details.


Week #            Readings                                                Assignments/Quizzes

Week 1
Opening: The Network is the Message [8]; Coopman, T.M. (2009). Toward a pervasive communication environment perspective. First Monday 14. Available at: firstmonday.org [13]

Task: Introduction Workshop

Quiz: Orientation EC Quiz (workshop, syllabus, and wiki); Quiz #1 Opening and Coopman 2009


Thursday January 27

Introduction Workshop

All quizzes for the semester open Thursday January 27 at 9 am

Week 2
C1 Lessons from the History of the Internet [26] 

Task: APA+AB+Scholarly Workshop (Online+F2F); Explore Pew Internet and American Life Project website

Quiz: 2 [C1];


Tuesday February 1

Discuss and report on reading #1


Thursday February 3

APA+AB+Scholarly Workshop


Week 3

C2 The Culture of the Internet [27]; Wired Magazine: 17.06 The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online [6] < http://www.wired.com/wired/issue/17-06>

Task: Theory Workshop #1 Technology (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 3 [C2, New Socialism] Quiz #1 and #2, and APA quiz closes Tuesday February 8 at 9 am


Tuesday, February 8

Discuss and report on reading #2


Thursday, February 10

Theory Workshop #1 Technology

Week 4
C3 eBusiness and the New Economy [51];

Task: Theory Workshop #2 The Web Economy (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 4 [C3] Quiz 3 closes Tuesday, February 15


Tuesday, February 15

Discuss and report on reading #3


Thursday, February 17

Theory Workshop #2 The Web Economy

Week 5
Wired Magazine: 17.06 Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews

Profitability [6] <http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/magazine/17-06/nep_googlenomics>; Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter: It's Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity [7] <http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-07/mf_freer>; "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online"danah boyd, Personal Democracy Forum [10] <.danah.org/papers/talks/PDF2009.html>

Task: Theory Workshop #3 Information and News

Quiz: 5 [Wired, boyd]; Quiz #4 closes Tuesday, February 22


Tuesday, February 22

Discuss and report on reading #4


Thursday, February 24

Theory Workshop #3 Information and News (Online+F2F)


Week 6
C4 Virtual Communities or Network Society? [20]; Fletcher, D (2010, May 20) How Facebook is Redefining Privacy. Time [8]; Listen to Baym Interview (The Brian Lehrer Show "Does Facebook Care About Privacy?" Friday, May 14, 2010)

Task: Theory Workshop #4 Communication and Identity (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 6 [C4, Fletcher]; Quiz #5 closes Tuesday March 1


Tuesday, March 1

Discuss and report on reading #5


Thursday, March 3

Theory Workshop #4 Communication and Identity

Week 7
C5 The Politics of the Internet I [30]

Task: Theory Workshop #5 Regulation, Policy, and Law (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 7 [C5]; Quiz #6 closes Tuesday March 8


Tuesday, March 8

Discuss and report on reading #6


Thursday, March 10

Theory Workshop #5 Regulation, Policy, and Law


Week 8
C6 The Politics of the Internet II [30]

Task: Theory Workshop #6 Information (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 8 [C6]; Quiz #7 closes Tuesday March 15


Tuesday, March 15

Discuss and report on reading #7


Thursday, March 17

Theory Workshop #6 Information and Credibility

Week 9
C7 Multimedia and the Internet [20]

Task: Theory Workshop #7 Entertainment (Online+F2F) and Wiki Expert Proposal Workshop

Quiz: 9 [C7]; Quiz #8 closes Tuesday March 22


Tuesday, March 22

Discuss and report on reading #8


Thursday, March 24

Theory Workshop #7 Entertainment

Wiki Expert Proposal Workshop

Week 10


Week 11
C8 The Geography of the Internet [39]

Task: Wiki Expert Proposal; Using Wiki Tools Workshop (Online+F2F)

Quiz: 10 [C8]; Quiz #9 closes Tuesday April 5


Tuesday, April 5

Discuss and report on reading #10


Thursday, April 7

Using Wiki Tools Workshop

Wiki Expert Project Proposal Due Thursday April 7 at 9 am

Week 12
C9The Digital Divide in a Global Perspective [27] and Conclusion [7]

Task: Wiki Expert Projects

Quiz: 11 [C9 & Conclusion]; Quiz #10 closes Tuesday April 12


Tuesday, April 12

Discuss and report on reading #11


Thursday, April 14

Consultations on Wiki Projects

Week 13 Articles for your wiki pages

Task: Wiki Expert Project Phase 1; comment on student wikis

Quiz: none; Quiz #11 closes Tuesday April 19


Tuesday, April 19

No class meeting, work on Wiki Expert Project


Thursday, April 21

No class meeting, work on Wiki Expert Project

Wiki Expert Project Phase 1 Due (posted on Wiki) Thursday April 21 at 9 am


Week 14
Articles for your wiki pages

Task: Wiki Expert Project; comment on student wikis

Quiz: none


Tuesday, April 26

No class meeting, work on Wiki Expert Project


Thursday, April 28

No class meeting, work on Wiki Expert Project

Wiki Expert Project Due (posted on Wiki) Thursday April 28 at 9 am

Week 15

Task: Class Expert Wiki Presentations; comment on student wikis

Quiz: none


Tuesday, May 3

Class Expert Wiki Presentations


Thursday, May 5

Class Expert Wiki Presentations

Week 16

Task: Class Expert Wiki Presentations

Quiz: none


Tuesday, May 10

Class Expert Wiki Presentations


Thursday, May 12

Class Expert Wiki Presentations

Week 17 none

Task: Class Process and SOTES

Quiz: none


Tuesday, May 17

Class Process and SOTES



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