Syllabus

Interested to know about COM242: Effects of Mass Media?

This is a Spring 2007 communication course currently managed by the University at Buffalo (SUNY) at the Singapore Institute of Management.

Instructor Kevin Lim
E-mail injulim [at] buffalo [dottie] edu
Telephone 6248-9654
Classroom LT4.12 (Confirm on electronic board daily)
Class Hours Mon: 11:30am – 1:00pm & Wed: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Office 5-36
Office Hours Mon: 1:00 – 2:00pm & Tues: 11:45 – 12:45pm

Course Description
Every day, every hour, every minute and maybe every second, we’re bombarded with messages from the mass media. This course is designed to acquaint you with the theory and research related to media effects. We will examine the theories and research relating to effects between individuals and the media and then progress to larger social systems: families, communities, nations, and the world.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Understand theories and research about media effects.
2. Critically evaluate the appropriateness of study designs and data analysis techniques used in media research studies.
3. Analyze how your media consumption routines affect your thinking and behavior, based on theories and research about media effects.

Course Requirements
This course is structured in a discussion format requiring students to keep up with the assigned readings and to actively participate in class discussions. Lectures may be augmented with audio/video media presentations, as well as guest speakers, where deemed appropriate. Classes may be recorded for reference.

Required Textbook
Glenn G. Sparks, Media Effects Research: A Basic Overview, 2nd edition (Thomson 2006)

Additional Readings
In addition to the textbook, related readings will be distributed in class or made available online for this course. The assigned readings must be completed by the dates scheduled in this syllabus. It is critically important that you keep up with the readings so that you can intelligently contribute to class discussions.


Course Assessment

The following class activities determines your grade for the course:

1. Group Presentation & Outline
All students will be assigned to a panel to prepare an in-class presentation on one of the topics listed in the course calendar outline sections. The panels are expected and required to go beyond the assigned reading(s) and to present a coordinated, thorough and extended treatment of the subject under investigation. All panels will typically be presented on Mondays and will take up the full allotment of class time. A documented outline of the panel topic will be compiled and is due at the time of the presentation. It is important to note that all panelists will receive the same grade for the panel; consequently in the spirit of fairness, all panelists must carry their full share of the effort and work being expended.

2. Individual Research Project
Students will be required to work on an additional media effects research project, the details of which will be discussed early in the semester. The three individual research projects will be due on the following dates: 19th March, 2nd April and 16th April. You should start on them as early as possible.

3. Mid-term & Final Exams
There will be a mid-term exam (worth 20%) and a final exam (worth 30%). The mid-term exam will be given midway through the semester (Week 8), while the final exam will held during final exam week. Both exams will be closed-book, and consist of multiple choice, true/false as well as terminology matching questions.
Syllabus subject to change accordingly. Contact the instructor if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: The syllabus may be adjusted according to situation. For questions, contact the instructor.