Indiana University Northwest

Indiana University Northwest

Department of Communication




C200 Introduction to Mass Media


Instructor Name: Alicia Wright
Phone: 219-980-6595 or 219-670-3390


See the **Course Guide/Schedule**for
session themes, readings, resources, and all assignment due dates.

Course Description

This class is a survey of the function, responsibilities, and influence of various mass communication media. Directed toward the consumer and critic of mass media in modern society.  This course is online and all assignments and discussion for it will be conducted through OnCourse.

Course Goals and Objectives

 1) To increase the student’s knowledge of the history of mass communication, how various types of media were developed, and the roles they play in mass communication and the media landscape.

2) To increase the student’s awareness of the interconnections between mass media and culture – manifested in fields such as entertainment, advertising, law, politics, religion, gender, class and race.

3) To foster the development of the student’s critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking skills for critically analyzing all media types so he or she can become a more knowledgeable media consumer.

Course Materials 

Required Text

Text: Introduction to Mass Communication, 8th edition, Stanley J. Baran


Grading Information 

Grades will be determined as shown in the following assignment chart.  Detailed descriptions of assignments are available below and from the assignment links in the chart. Due dates are detailed in the Course Schedule.  You will access your progress through the course by clicking on “Gradebook”     in this course.           





Weekly Forum Discussion Responses/Participation @ 10 points each


6 Papers @ 25 points each


4 Chapter Quizzes @ 20 points each


5 Exams @ 50 points each


Total Possible Points




Class Policies Regarding Graded Work 

**The following policies are in effect for all individual deliverables throughout the semester, unless noted otherwise. **

      ***Late Work***


No late work. Period. The only way out of this is a documented emergency. Notes from parents, spouses, friends do not count.   Since work is received online and documented through time stamps it is important that you turn in your work when it is due to get credit. 


***Original Work***

This is a writing class, so I know how easy and tempting it might be to use the lovely Google search engine to help you write your assignments and/or your discussion and weekly reflections.

What I want you to think about is the fact that I’ve taught for a long time and I can spot plagiarism immediately.

 It is not in your best interest to even attempt ‘borrowing’ information (anyone else’s ideas, their words, or their sentences) from any website, someone else’s paper, or any other source without proper citations of your sources.

If you don’t know what plagiarism is, you need to get yourself familiar with what it is and what it isn’t. If you visit these sites it might help you: 

I will check all major assignments through You can see your own results when I use the plagiarism detection tool. If I suspect plagiarism on your discussion responses and/or your reading reflections, I will check them too. The same policy applies, whether it’s a discussion response, reflection, or assignment.



If you do plagiarize, here are the consequences:


1st offense: You will earn a 0 on that assignment/discussion/reflection


2nd offense: You will be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences Dean, which might result in failing the course and could also affect your college record.


It’s not worth it. I promise. Trust your own brain to come up with its own ideas, and use the internet as research only."




I follow the University policy when it comes to late work which states:

The grade I may be given only when the work of the course is substantially completed and when the student's work is of a passing quality.  The time allowed for the removal of an Incomplete is one calendar year from the date of its recording.


NOTE: The instructor will keep students apprised of assignment grades via the online class Grade book. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor if they do not receive any grade by 10 days after the assignment submission date.



Computer Technology Needs

Should your personal computer system or network go down at home or work, you must still turn in your work by the due date. Students need to plan ahead by seeking alternative means for submitting coursework (by the due date) if a student’s home computer malfunctions. IU Northwest can serve as an alternative location for doing your assignments. Not having access to the required software on your home or work computer is not a legitimate excuse for turning in coursework late. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your assignments. Start your coursework early in the week in case a situation occurs. It is not an excuse if your Internet service is disrupted during the academic year. It is your responsibility to assure that your course work is submitted to your instructor on time. If you lose Internet Service, you can always use a computer at IU Northwest.

Student Technology Labs

Students must have a valid IU Northwest email and password to LOGIN any computer on campus! Each lab has its open lab times posted outside of its door. The website for student technology open labs:

If you are a returning student and once had an account (roughly within the last two years) but have forgotten your password, etc., stop in at the IU Northwest IT Help Desk in Hawthorn 108 with a photo ID and the technician on duty will be able to assist you. Please make sure to bring your photo ID because IU Northwest cannot do anything without confirming identity through your Photo ID.

Computer Information Systems Tutors

If you need additional help outside of class, CIS has tutors located in HH320. Hours are posted outside HH320.

Microsoft® Software (Windows 7 and Office 2010)

Windows 7 & Office 2010 may be purchased from the IU Northwest bookstore under the Indiana University/Microsoft® agreement. Students can also download software from for free.




Instructor participation

  I will check this site once a day for messages and try my hardest to reply to any messages or questions within 24 hours of your posting of said items.  I will also give you feedback on assignments as far as points and/or written responses within 5 days of your due dates. 




Course Requirements


**All due dates are noted in the Course Guide/Schedule.**

Weekly Forum Discussion Responses/Participation @ 10 points each     150 points /23% of course grade

Answers should be in the range of 100 words.  Discussion question replies are 7 points each; peer responses are 3 points each.

Discussion questions, their replies and peer responses are done in the Forums link on this site.

Each of you is to log in and post your discussion question answer by mid-week (Wednesday) by 11:59 pm.  Your peer response reply is due by Sunday of that week at 11:59 pm.  No points are awarded for replies left after day 7 of that week (Sunday).

I look for quality of answers, and to a certain extent, length. Short responses to discussion questions will not earn full points. Once you meet each week’s minimum posting requirements (1 discussion question and 1 quality response to your peers), don’t worry about having some shorter posts to your peers or to me.

Note: Participation/Advancing discussion replies (1 each week) are in a separate category from your discussion question answers. Your discussion question answer is not counted as one of your participation replies.

6 Papers @ 25 points each       150 points/24% of course grade

You will be given 6 specific writing assignments throughout the course.  These are not necessarily related to the chapter we are covering but deal with issues/ideas in Mass Media. 

You are to follow the instructions for each paper and respond in an essay format of at least a minimum of 500 words. Correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar do count.

You can find these paper assignments and deposit your essays in the assignments section of this site. 

Papers are due by 11:59pm on Sunday of the week they are assigned.  No points are awarded for replies left after day 7 of that week (Sunday).

4 Chapter Quizzes @ 20 points each   80 points/13% of course grade

These are multiple choice, true/false quizzes. They cover material within your text chapter.  You can retake these until you get full credit on them up until they minute they are due of their assigned week.

They can be found through the Tests and Surveys link on this site. 

These can be taken at any time during the week and must be completed by day 7 (Sunday) 11:59 pm of the week they are assigned.  No points are awarded for replies left after day 7 of that week (Sunday). 

5 Exams @ 50 points each       250 points/40% of course grade


These exams are the biggest part of your grade.    Exams are essays that answer the questions posed in the test.  The exams cover material covered in the text and discussion questions. 

Grading is done by thoroughness of answers and by making sure you respond correctly to all parts of the question(s) posed.  Proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar do count.  Each exam typically has 4 to 5 questions.

These are to be found and turned in at the assignments link on this site. 

Exams are due by Sunday 11:59 pm of the week they are assigned. No points are awarded for replies left after day 7 of that week (Sunday).



IU Academic Policies 

This course is governed by IU academic policies in the following areas:

  • Grading Guidelines
  • Writing Standards
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Course Evaluations
  • Students With Disabilities



A (90-100) = Excellent
B (80-89) = Good
C (70-79) = Below standards
F (69 or below) = Failure
FN = Failure for nonattendance
I = Incomplete
W = Withdrew


Additional Information 


The home page of Oncourse has links, video tutorials and several tips and updates to help you navigate the website. IU has prepared a reference page containing links to information about a variety of resources to help you function successfully in your online Oncourse class.


Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.

Campus support office:

Student Support Services, HH 239, (219) 980-6798
Student Support Services

IU Northwest Attendance and Course Commitment Policy

This course has been approved to enforce the IU Northwest Attendance and Course Commitment Policy and the full text of this policy is available at

As a student in this course, you are expected to attend scheduled class meetings and actively participate in all class activities. Students who miss the first week of the semester or who do not attend 50% of the scheduled class meetings before the end of the fourth week of the semester may be subject to administrative withdrawal. Regardless of attendance, students who do not actively participate in this class by not submitting a majority of their assignments by the posted due date are subject to administrative withdrawal. Students who are administratively withdrawn from this class after the fourth week will not be eligible for a tuition refund. Administrative withdrawals may have an impact on the student’s financial aid awards and visa status.

IU FLAGS (Student Performance Early Alert System)

This semester I will be using IU’s Early Alert System to provide real-time feedback on your performance in this course. I will be entering data on factors such as your class attendance, participation, and success with coursework, among other things. This information will provide feedback on how you are faring in the course and offer you suggestions on how you might be able to improve your performance. You will be able to access this information in the student center: OneStart > Student Services page > Student Center > My Academics and Grades > My Grades. If there is no entry, then no concerns have been reported about your academic performance.