Model Projects: Third Course Syllabus "Media, Self and Society."


Jour 1871, Section 802

Spring 2007


Instructor: Kendra Gale Office hours: TR 2-3 pm and Wednesday by appointment


Office: Armory 1B35

Course Description

As future media professionals you have the opportunity to make significant contributions to society. But what does that really mean? What does it mean to be a citizen within contemporary society? How can you contribute? What roles do the media and media professionals play in the practices of citizenship? This course invites you to explore all of those questions. We'll look at the relationship between the individual and collective responsibilities, how we connect with others and how the media engage with and participate in contemporary social issues - from documentary films to PSAs to blogs and more.

The course is based on a service-learning model so we will work with and provide service to organizations within the larger Boulder community. Working with the community and people who are different from us helps each of us get clearer about the causes we believe in, the underlying reasons for injustice and what role media professionals might play. To further develop an understanding of media possibilities, the course includes a wide variety of guest speakers from various media communities who have produced messages with the intent of creating some kind of social change. Other than guest speakers, class time will be used to make connections between readings, your observations from the service site, your personal interests and possibilities for the future.

Course Expectations

Attendance at special events: Conference on World Affairs, Community Day

20-30 hours of Community Service

Regular attendance Be accountable

Challenge yourself Challenge meCome prepared Be willing to engage

Required Readings


Andreatta, Britt. (2006).Navigating the research university. Boston, MA: Thomson (Wadsworth) Higher Education.

Loeb, Paul. (1999). Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Readings (available through CU Learn site or distributed in class)

Berndt, Michael and Amy Muse (2007) "What does it mean to be a citizen?" fromComposing a Civic Life. Pearson Longman.

CU Honor Code Website:

Hauser, Gerald "What's a kid from Athens doing in Berlin?"

King, Martin Luther "I have a dream" speech.

Myerhoff, Barbara. (1979) "Number Our Days"Natural History," vol 38 (3), March, pp 76-86.

Reagan, Ronald "Evil Empire" speech.

Stengel, Richard (2007). "A Time to Serve,"Time, Sept. 10. pp 49-67.

U.S. Constitution

Course Policies

You are responsible for knowing the information on the syllabus and for announcements made in class, including changes to the schedule, as well as material distributed in class. Material distributed in class is available on CULearn or on the door to my office if I don't have an electronic version.

I often send emails to the entire class via your CU account. You are responsible for this information. If you are using another email account, check that it is being forwarded properly.

Poor attendance will affect your performance in the class as well as your grade. I get two "free" misses; you get two free misses. Save these for unavoidable conflicts or illness. There are no distinctions between excused and unexcused absences. That means you should not email me with reasons for your absence or tell me about them. You have two misses to accommodate illness, emergencies, etc. It is not two misses in addition to illness or conflicts. Extreme tardiness will count as an absence.

The participation component of your grade will be reduced by 10 points for each absence after two. I reserve the right to fail you or drop you from the course if you miss the equivalent of two or more weeks of the class (4 or more absences).

If you miss a class or arrive late, contact another student in the class to find out what you missed. You are welcome to come see me if you have additional questions after reviewing the notes and materials from class.

Demonstration of Learning % of Course Grade Blog discussion leader 05

Journals 15

Faculty interview 10

Two short papers 30

Final Project and Presentation 15

Participation 25

Community service (20-30 hours) all/nothing

Blog Discussion Leader

We will use blogging as a way to process information and share perspectives before and after class. As a blog leader, you will be the first to post a thoughtful assessment of the topic. Each of you will be assigned 2 days during the semester when it will be your responsibility to provide the initial analysis of the reading or a response to a guest speaker. Blog entries are available to everyone in the class.

For readings the blog should be posted 24 hours before the class in which we will discuss the reading or topic. I will provide some discussion prompts to help get you started.

For speakers, the blog response should be posted within 24 hours after the class (while your thoughts are fresh). The speaker blogs should focus on making connections with classroom material: where/how do you see ideas from the reading or classroom discussion reflected in their work,


Only you and I see the journal entries. This is a place for you to respond to some specific prompts from me as well as keep a log of your community experience. The prompts will often build on something from the reading so you are advised to complete that before journaling. I will also expect to see weekly entries (after you have been paired up with a community partner) that document some of your observations from the site: a general description of what you are doing and how it is going, connections you are making between your site experience and other aspects of the course, the kinds of problems or issues that you see, etc.

Faculty Interview

This is an opportunity to get to know a faculty member within the SJMC better and to understand his/her perspective on undergraduate education. You will interview a faculty member and create a profile to share with the class. I'll do my best to pair you with someone in an area of interest to you. More detail will be provided a couple of weeks before the assignment is due.

Short Papers(3-5 pages)

These are short, analytically driven papers that invite you to make connections between your community site, course concepts and what role you think the media might play. More detail will be provided before each assignment is due.

Final Project and Presentation

This is intended to be a synthesizing project. We will jointly determine the focus as the semester proceeds.

Community Service

You are responsible for 20-30 hours of community service from apprx. Feb 1 - April 18. This isn't graded per se but you must complete the service in order to pass the course.

You will have a choice of 3-4 different volunteer sites that will accommodate a range of schedules and preferences. Each volunteer experience will connect with the senior population in one form or another.


Class time is used primarily for discussion and application of readings. Therefore, it is critical that you attend class, complete readings and assignments prior to the class period for which they are assigned so that you may be actively engaged. Our conversations are apt to deal with examples and questions of why, how, and under what circumstances, rather than simply repeating information from the readings. Students can demonstrate participation in many ways:

* regular attendance in class.

* completion of short, ungraded exercises, e.g. profile sheets, career inventory, etc.

* complete short quizzes on reading

* completion of self evaluations and peer evaluations

* giving attention to the instructor and/or other students when they are making a presentation;

* coming to class prepared (having completed the reading and/or discussion assignment for the day);

* contributing to in-class discussion in a productive manner;

* engaging in group discussions with attention and energy;

* asking questions of the instructor and/or other students regarding the material examined in that class;

* providing examples to support or challenge the issues talked about in class;

* making comments, raising objections, or providing observations about topics in the course, particularly those which tie in the classroom material to "real world";

* dealing with other students and/or the instructor in a respectful fashion.


I do not grade on a curve. Simply showing up for class and completing assignments does not guarantee a passing grade in this course nor does the amount of effort you appear to put into the class. You will be evaluated both on your mastery of content as well as your engagement with the course and the field.

Extra Credit

I have no plans to offer extra credit assignments. If I do offer any extra credit, it will be available to the entire class.

Writing Assignments

All assignments must be typed.

Assignments are due as noted in the syllabus. Late assignments lose at least one full grade for each day or increment of a day that they are late. The instructor is not required to accept late assignments. If you are unable to attend class on the day a written assignment is due, the assignment must still be turned in before class begins.


Disabilities Accommodations

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to your instructor a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Disability Services contact information: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, and http://www.Colorado.EDU/disabilityservices

Academic Integrity

All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (; 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at

Classroom Behavior

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. See polices at

Religious Observances

Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and fairly deal with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. If you cannot attend a class or have a conflict with a scheduled assignment or exam due to a religious obligation, please see me within the first two weeks of the semester and we will make alternate arrangements.

See full details at

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships apply to all students, staff and faculty. Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at

Tentative Schedule

This schedule is tentative given the need to accommodate changes in the schedules of guest speakers as well as the pace of our progress through the material. The most current schedule can be found on the CULearn site.

Dates for the beginning and end of spring break and the final exam do not change. You can count on those and should plan your schedule accordingly.

Dates for blogs and journals are provided here. We will fill in specific names for discussion leaders and respondents when the course roster is finalized. Prompts will generally be posted a week before they are due.


15 Introductions

17 Constructing Knowledge

Reading: Cranium instructions

Complete background sheets for next class

22 The University Community

Reading: Andreatta, Ch 1, and pp 115 - 122


24 Learners and Learning

Reading: Andreatta pp 96- 101 and hand out on plagiarism guidelines

Review CU Honor Code Website:

29 The Surrounding Community

Reading: profiles of service sites; Loeb, Intro and Ch 1: Making Our Lives Count

Guests: Volunteer Clearing House

31 What is a citizen?

Guest: Michael Tracey

Reading: "What does it mean to be a citizen?" [Ch 1 fromComposing a Civic Life], King's "I have a dream," Reagan's "Evil Empire."


5 Citizenship and Civic Engagement - What's good enough?

Reading: Loeb Ch 2: We Don't Have to Be Saints, Chapter 3: One Step at a Time

7 Generational Cohorts

Reading: Andreatta pp 239 - 243, Loeb Ch 4: The Cynical Smirk

Faculty interview profile sheets due

12 Social Justice

Reading: Loeb Ch 5: Unforeseen Fruits

14 Storytelling

Guest: David Slayden

19 Storytelling for social change

Reading: Loeb Ch 6

21 Work and Community

Reading: Loeb Ch 7: Values, Work and Family

26 Issues of Aging

Guest: TBD

Reading: Loeb Ch 8: Village Politics

28 Number our days

Reading: Number Our Days


4 Documentary Film and Social Justice

Reading: Loeb Ch 9: Widening the Circle

6 Taking Stock

Reading: Loeb Ch 10: Coping with Burnout

11 Telling the Stories of Ordinary People

Guest: James Sheeler

Reading: Loeb Ch 11: Pieces of a Vision

13 Public Service Advertising

Guest: Truth Campaign

Paper Due

18 TBD

20 Mass Media and Public Health Initiatives




1 Education and Social Justice

Reading: Reading: Loeb Ch 12: The Fullness of Time

3 Leadership

Reading: Andreatta Ch 8

8 Conference on World Affairs Panel

10 Conference on World Affairs

15 National Service

Guest: Puksta Scholars Panel

Reading: A Time to Serve by Richard Stengel

Paper Due

17 The Future

Reading: Andreatta Ch 9

Last week of service site

22 The Future

Career Services

24 Work Day

29 Final project presentations and discussions


1 Final project presentations and discussions

FINAL EXAMMonday, May 5, 7:30 - 10 am