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Contents

CMNS253W D100 Spring 2011
Introduction to Information Technology: The New Media

Information technology ("IT") is all around us and has been for more than fifty years. IT has been a factor in many of the transformations of modern life in the latter half of the twentieth century. These include: dramatic changes in the way that business is conducted, education is delivered, health care is provided, politics are played, and even how we carry on our social life. The transformations have been felt particularly strongly as information technology has become more than a computational device and been transformed into a medium for communication. In this course, we take a historical approach to understanding the way in which information technology embodies a new medium of communication in society and the implications that may have now and in the future. We pay special attention to "social software", including web logs ("blogs"), instant messaging ("IM" or "MSN"), and short text messaging ("SMS").

Instructor & TAs

Special Messages

Links

Schedule

Detailed information on each week is in the Lectures page.

  1. January 10 - WEEK 1 Introduction, assignments, exams, lecture Prologue and Chapters 1,2,3
  2. January 17 - WEEK 2 Chapters 4, 5, 6 of Wade Rowland's Spirit of the Web. You can get ahead by reviewing the web videos for this week.
  3. January 24 - WEEK 3 Chapters 7, 8, 9 of Wade Rowland's Spirit of the Web. Assignment 1 DUE.
  4. January 31 - WEEK 4 Lecture on Chapters 10, 11, 12 Assignment 2 DUE
  5. February 7 - WEEK 5 Lecture on Chapters 13, 14, 15 
    1. February 14 - READING WEEK - NO CLASSES
  6. February 21 - WEEK 6 Lecture on Chapters 16, 17, 18 Assignment 3 DUE (to peers)
  7. February 28 - WEEK 7 In class midterm (45 minutes) no tutorials
  8. March 7 - WEEK 8 Lecture on Chapters 19, 20, 21
  9. March 14 - WEEK 9 Lecture on Lecture on Chapters 22, 23, 24
  10. March 21 - WEEK 10 Lecture on Chapters 25, 26 Assignment 3 DUE (to TA)
  11. March 28 - WEEK 11 Lecture on Chapter 27, 28, 29 Internet and you
  12. April 4 - WEEK 12 Chapters 30, 31.
  13. April 11 - WEEK 13 final presentations Assignment 4 DUE, take home exam distributed in class
  14. April 18 - WEEK 14 final (take home) exam due.

Syllabus

The course outline is available from the School of Communication web page. This wiki is the syllabus.

Assignments

We have four assignments for this course.

  1. Assignment One: a presence for yourself on the wiki (10%) linked to Student Pages DUE WEEK 3 in tutorial
    1. Next semester I am changing Assignment One to look like this: AssignmentOne2011
  2. Assignment Two: a research journal (10%) DUE WEEK 4 in tutorial
  3. Assignment Three: a literature review (10%) DUE WEEK 6 (for peer review) and WEEK 10 (to TA) in tutorial
  4. Assignment Four: a web video. Link the final result to the Student Pages. (20%) DUE WEEK 13

NOTE: Late assignments are STRONGLY discouraged. There will be a 2 mark deduction per day for late assignments.

Exams

  • Midterm Exam (in class, short-answer and multiple-choice questions, based on the assigned readings and material from the lectures, Week 7, 15%)
  • Final Exam (take home, end of the semester, your choice of three (out of 5) essay questions, due one week after the last class, 15%)

Participation

  • Tutorial Participation (20%)
    • 5 marks for attendance 
    • 5 marks for completing all of the two-minute essays - these will be submitted in person or (optionally) via the student pages, typically by midnight the day we have a tutorial; they are a type of Low stakes writing.
    • 10 marks for active participation - this means you come to tutorial prepared (e.g. having done the reading), and generate or contribute to the discussion in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

Participation is an extremely important aspect of your learning experience, in this and your other CMNS courses. If you don't ask questions, respond to discussions and interact with your peers, your understanding of the material will be limited. We learn through engaging critically - in this case through spoken language - with ideas, subjecting them to a rigorous examination. Plus tutorials will be really boring if no one but the TA speaks!

Help

Additional OPTIONAL Reading

  1. Lecture Links: additional readings, arranged by lecture.
  2. Other Readings: additional resources, arranged by type
  3. Long articles: a collection of long articles on themes relating to the course.

Tutorial Schedule

Details will be added by your TAs.

Tutorials 1, 3, 5 in HC1530. TA: Maggie MacAulay

Tutorials 2, 4, 6 in HC1505. TA: Catherine Hart

  1. January 10 - WEEK 1 No tutorials.
  2. January 17 - WEEK 2 Tutorials begin.
  3. January 24 - WEEK 3 Assignment 1 DUE.
  4. January 31 - WEEK 4 Assignment 2 DUE
  5. February 7 - WEEK 5
    1. February 14 - READING WEEK - NO CLASSES
  6. February 21 - WEEK 6 Assignment 3 DUE (to peers)
  7. February 28 - WEEK 7 In class midterm (45 minutes) no tutorials
  8. March 7 - WEEK 8
  9. March 14 - WEEK 9
  10. March 21 - WEEK 10 Assignment 3 DUE (to TA)
  11. March 28 - WEEK 11
  12. April 4 - WEEK 12
  13. April 11 - WEEK 13 Final presentations - no tutorials.
  14. April 18 - WEEK 14

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.

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