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Course Outcomes

The course has been designed to achieve the following departmental outcomes:

  1. Students should be able to articulate the roles of communicators in their various professions.
  2. Students should be acquainted with professional expectations such as meeting expectations.
  3. Students should understand the history and role of professionals and institutions, whose media messages impact society.
  4. Students should be able to think critically about complex issues related to media and society.
  5. Students should understand media coverage of multicultural and international peoples. Issues include fairness, accuracy and sensitivity to groups, as well as how media coverage promotes or distorts understanding between different groups and cultures.
  6. Students should become proficient communicators by writing in clear, accurate, fair, compelling and--where appropriate--persuasvie ways and by making smooth and compelling verbal presentaitons.
  7. Students should be able to critique the organizational, economic and social constraints on media.

Course Materials

Dominick, Joseph R., The Dynamics of Mass Communication, 12th edition. McGraw Hill Publishing 2012.

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How This Course Works and What Will Be Expected of You

  1. Read the course material provided by the instructor to cue you to major highlights as well as important material or concepts not mentioned in your text.
  2. In each lesson, there are sections called “Learning Outcomes” and “Reading Assignments and Activities.” Pay particular attention to these sections because they will give you specific information and instructions for the lesson you are studying.
  3. Respond to the quiz questions following each lesson. The instructor will provide you with immediate feedback for these assignments. Note: These assignments can only be submitted once. No resubmissions are allowed.
  4. At the end of each lesson you will see a Portfolio Assignment. These assignments are intended to help you analyze your own media use and to articulate your growing awareness of how the media works. After each lesson, you will need to respond to each of those statements/questions in essay form. I am interested in your knowledge and your opinions of the topic area. I will expect you to put some thought into these questions providing me with enough detail to express your thoughts. I also expect real, recent, and relevant examples from the media to be included in your responses. These will be graded based on the amount of thought and the examples that go into your responses.
  5. When you have finished your final portfolio assignments, you will complete a Reflection Paper and submit it with the third portfolio submission. You should consider, after spending all of this time studying and analyzing the media and your own media use, what you have learned about the media in a 2-page paper (you will be penalized for going over 2 pages). Make sure you answer the following questions in your paper: What did you learn about the media? What were your expectations and were they met? Do you feel differently about the media now? How does the world see the media compared to how you see the media? How does all of this fit into the Lord’s plan for us?
  6. At two points during the lessons you will complete and submit a media issue paper.

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There are three exams for this course; midcourse exam1, midcourse exam 2, and the final exam. They are not comprehensive. To study for the exams, review the information in this course packet, review your graded assignments and quizzes, know the information in the review questions, look over and review the main sections of the text, and review the terms and review questions in the text.

Reflection Paper Submission

This should be sent to me after the completion of lesson 16.

For this assignment you should consider, after spending all of this time studying and analyzing the media and your own media use, what you have learned about the media in a 2-page paper (you will be penalized for going over 2 pages). Make sure you answer the following questions in your paper: 1) What did you learn about the media? 2) What were your expectations and were they met? 3) Do you feel differently about the media now? 4) How does the world see the media compared to how you see the media? 5) How does all of this fit into the Lord’s plan for us?

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Grades will be based on the following:

Assignment/Exam Value
3 Exams (16% each) 48%
Media Issue Paper #1 7%
Media Issue Paper #2 7%
Media Issue Paper Confirmations (#1 and #2)(1% each) 2%
Media Journals (Portfolio Submissions 1-2) (4% each) 8%
Portfolio 3 including Media Journal Reflection Paper 12%
16 Quizzes 16%

Grades will be based on the following percentages:

Grading Scale
A 100 94
A− 93 90
B+ 89 87
B 86 84
B− 83 80
C+ 79 77
C 76 74
C− 73 70
D+ 69 67
D 66 64
D− 63 60
E (fail) 59 0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Sixteen computer-graded assignments, may not retake; three instructor-graded assignments, and two five-page papers may be resubmitted once for a fee.


  • Three proctored computer-graded exams that may not be retaken.
  • Must pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514