Online Education

Online Education Center


Summer 2016 Syllabus for JOUR-D002.-64Z
JOUR-D002.-64Z - Beth Grobman
Mass Communication and its Impact on Society
Call Number: 01140
Term: Spring 2012
4 units
De Anza College Online Education Center • LC 107 • Phone: 408-864-8969 • FAX: 408-864-8245 •
A survey of the mass media, and measurement of its impact on society. Mass media effects on global and American institutions. Theories of mass communications in the context of: radio, television, magazines, newspapers, books, and some films. Ethical, moral, and legal implications of media and their effects on the individual and society. Influences of the media on gender and minority issues.
Instructor Information: Beth Grobman
Welcome to Mass Comm! I hope you enjoy taking this class as much as I like teaching it. A course similar to "Mass Communication and its Impact on Society" was my favorite in college. In fact, it was because of that class that I chose my major (mass communication) and subsequently morphed from a bored C student to a relatively industrious A student enthralled with creating videos and films.

My major (and a lot of job hunting and networking) eventually led me to a varied career in film and TV production, newspaper design, print editing, and mediated instructional design and administration. I've taught in the communication departments at St. Louis University, Mission College and Santa Clara University. Until a couple of years ago, I was department chair of Journalism and Mass Communication at De Anza College and the faculty adviser for the De Anza College student newspaper, La Voz Weekly. I now live up near Clear Lake and teach just this one online class.

Instructor web page:
Textbook web page: Course web page information will be emailed to students the first week of class.

Phone: N/A
Office Location: N/A
Office Hours: N/A
Advisory: English Writing (EWRT) 1A or English as a Second Language (ESL) 5

This course qualifies for the De Anza A.A./A.S. degree in area D, the general education requirement for CSU in area D7, and the general education requirement for UC/CSU (IGETC) in area 4G.
Requirements for this course include:

  • Completing the online orientation

  • Accessing the class and class information in Catalyst (the courseware program where the class resides)

  • Completing weekly textbook readings from "Converging Media" and viewing weekly online video segments

  • Taking weekly online quizzes drawn primarily from the readings

  • Answering weekly discussion questions, tying the topics to class readings and viewings

  • Completing three projects: the Internet Search Project, the Experience Project, and the Research Paper

  • Contributing to and participating in class discussions

  • All requirements have specific due dates. Be prepared to spend a minimum 12 hours a week studying and using the course materials.

    After completing the reading and written assignments, students will be able to:

  • Define the nature and importance of mass communications media (books, newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, recordings, television and the Internet) within the larger communication field.

  • Examine historical, cultural and consumer-oriented aspects of media in America and the world, to better understand the impact of the media in contemporary society.

  • Explore interrelationships and synergy between media industries.

  • Analyze various media theories and apply them to mass communications issues.

  • Examine legal and ethical issues within the media from various perspectives.

  • Interpret and apply ethical philosophies in mass communications contexts.

  • Explore career possibilities and interests in the mass communication field.

  • Explore the role of minorities, ethnic groups, women in the mass media and the effects of the mass media on those groups.
  • Textbook
    The required textbook is Pavlik and McIntosh's Converging Media (2nd Edition), ISBN: 9780195379105, published by Oxford University Press. It can be purchased from the De Anza bookstore on campus or online at
    Make sure you get the 2nd edition (blue cover -- in the foreground is a hand holding a smart phone)

    There are various options available:

  • Purchase a print copy, new or used, from the college bookstore.

  • Rent an electronic version or hard copy for the quarter from the bookstore (less expensive).

  • Purchase or rent the text from an another physical or online textbook source, however, take note of shipping times, as you must have the textbook by the second week of the quarter.

  • If you are interested in a career in Mass Communications, you may want to purchase the recommended book: Media Career Guide by James Seguin (7th Edition), ISBN: 9780312560829. It will also come in useful during for the class final project.

    Additional Information

    ALWAYS keep a copy of your submissions as backup in case the one sent to the professor is lost. This is especially important since Catalyst is new course software for many of us and (electronic) stuff happens.

    When sending an email to the Instructor, write STUDENT or JOUR 2 in all caps in the subject line, along with the subject. That way you won't be confused with Spam.

    Schedule your time appropriately; I may take up to 2 working days (M-F) to respond to queries. If I don't reply after 2 days, please nag me.

    Don't procrastinate. Start work early in the week. Sometimes the Internet may be down later in the week or you may have some other emergency. Plan ahead, especially for the three projects, which are lengthy and require exhaustive research.

    Look ahead at the assignments, and work ahead if you have the time.

    In the online discussions, we will talk about interesting, and sometimes volatile, issues. I expect students to be professional and courteous, to listen to one another, and to show tolerance and respect for varying viewpoints. Students who exhibit inappropriate behavior will be docked points and/or asked to leave the class.

    Assignments and discussions may be submitted early. NO late assignments, discussions or quizzes will be accepted unless previously negotiated with the instructor. If there are unavoidable circumstances such as illness, the issue will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Generally only one late assignment or discussion will be accepted for the quarter for 75 percent credit unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    Please see "How to Drop Classes" at for regulations, dates and procedures for dropping classes.
    Students are responsible for dropping themselves. However, on occasion, students may be dropped by the instructor for non-participation.

    Plagiarism is grounds for probation and/or suspension from the college. Any student who cheats on an exam, plagiarizes from somebody's work or lifts information from sources without citing those sources will receive a grade no higher than a C for the course. If you are uncertain about the college's policy on academic misconduct, please refer to the Academic Integrity section in the De Anza College Student Handbook
    An online site about plagiarism with suggestions how to avoid it is available at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

    All persons, regardless of gender, age, class, race, religion, physical disability, sexual orientation, etc., shall have equal opportunity without harassment in this course. Any problems with or questions about harassment can be discussed in confidentiality with me. I will accommodate special needs that are discussed with me within the first week.

    If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodations or services in this course, provide the instructor with a Test Accommodation Verification Form (also known as a TAV form) from Disability Support Services (DSS) or the Educational Diagnostic Center (EDC). Students are expected to give five day notice of the need for accommodations. Students with disabilities can obtain a TAV form from their DSS counselor (864-8753 DSS main number) or EDC advisor (864-8839 EDC main number).

    If completed first week of class = 10 points

    a. Internet Search Project = 20 points
    b. Experience Project = 30 points
    c. Research Paper = 40 points

    Weekly Discussion Topics
    10 weekly discussions x 15 points each = 150 points

    Weekly Quizzes
    10 weekly quizzes x 20 points each = 200 points

    a. Responding to classmates in the Weekly Discussion Topics [minimum once to each of the ten discussions - 10 x 2 points] = 20 Points
    b. Creating and monitoring your own Discussions in the Dialogue Chamber [minimum once] = 10 Points
    c. Being an engaged, active and punctual learner (e.g., doing more than the minimum participation, showing quality research in answers) = up to 20 Points


    Grade Scale:
    <97%-100% - A+
    93%-96% - A
    89%-92% - A-
    85%-88% - B+
    81%-84% - B
    77%-80% - B-
    73%-76% - C+
    68%-72% - C
    64%-67% - D+
    60%-63% - D
    56%-59% - D-
    55% or Below - F

    Students are expected to complete all the quizzes, weekly assignments/discussions, and projects to pass the class.

    Catalyst Information
    This course utilizes Catalyst, De Anza's Online Learning Community. Please view the Catalyst website at to login. Please note that you will be unable to login until the first day of class. Be sure you are using your correct username and password - do not use your social security number or international "99" number. If you need help logging in or finding your student ID, please view the short instructional video at: Additional instructions and assistance can be found on the Catalyst website.
    De Anza College Bookstore Contact Information
    Phone: 408-864-8455
    De Anza College Library Services are available for all students and faculty, both on and off campus. Please consult the library website for a complete description of the library services and hours:

    De Anza College Library:

    Services of particular interest to off campus students include:
    • Access to the Library Catalog which includes books, DVDs, and course reserves. Here is a link to the library catalog:
      Library Catalog:
    • Article Databases and Research Databases The library subscribes to several electronic databases which provide access to thousands of full-text journals, newspapers, and magazine articles. Research databases include: LEXIS NEXIS Academic, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and a Practice Test Database which contains Nursing Exams, TOEFL Preparation, College Entrance Exams, and many more.
    To use the article or research databases from an off campus computer, log in with your 14 digit library number or eight digit student id number. These instructions are repeated on the first page of the library website along with descriptions of all the online resources provided.

    Online Education
    Building: MLC 210

    Phone: 408.864.8969
    M-Th: 9:00a-5:00p
    F: 9:00a-4:00p


    Last Updated: 1/27/16