DC 105 Digital Media Literacies

Winter 2017-2018
Class number: 25677
Section number: 521
Online Campus


This course is designed to help students develop an informed, critical, and practical understanding of new communication media including analysis of digital media. We will explore the goals and methods of various media industries, identify the effects media has on us, understand benefits and potential negative effects of media content, and learn techniques to become more media literate as individuals and a society.

This course helps students develop their media literacy and analytical skills. Such topics as the influence of advertising on content; the effects of media on our cognitive abilities; and the importance of real-world knowledge are addressed.

We will explore and understand the messages sent out from the media and how they implant themselves, often subtly and even subliminally, in the real world of people, locations, and events. The goal is to better comprehend media content, media industries, and how they affect us.


Digital Media Literacies, Custom Edition, W James Potter ISBN 978-1-5063-6052-2


Two discussions - each worth 1% of a final grade; Three papers - each worth 1.3% of a final grade; Final Paper - worth 6% of a final grade Ten quizzes - each quiz worth 8.8 of a final grade



Course objectives & goals

LEARNING DOMAIN DESCRIPTION DC 105 Digital Media Literacies is included in the Liberal Studies program as a course with credit in the Self, Society, and the Modern World (SSMW) domain. Courses in the SSMW domain focus on the mutual impact of society and culture on individuals and of individuals on society and culture. Particular attention is given to human relationships and behavior as they are influenced by social, economic and political institutions, spatial and geographical factors, and the events and social and cultural forces of modernity. This learning domain is concerned with such issues as the role of power and the bases of inequality in society and in international relations. It examines individual cognition, feelings and behavior as they affect the well being of members of society, relationships and collective life. The domain examines the processes of human development and learning and the importance of culture in everyday life. It emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge on such matters through the development of theory and the application of methods of inquiry that draw on the empirical investigation of the modern world. Courses in the domain explore such particular issues as poverty and economic opportunity, the environment, nationalism, racism, individual alienation, gender differences, and the bases of conflict and consensus in complex, urban societies and in global relations. COURSE ONJECTIVES: Our objective is to provide both a comprehension of and hands-on experience with communication media. By the end of the course, students will be able to: ? Define their media use habits and media consumption ? Analyze messages to examine points of view and develop media literacy skills ? Identify media construction techniques, and authorial intention in various media forms ? Gather, access and evaluate information to expand research skills ? Evaluate major media institutions and their impact on the larger society Learning Outcomes: ? Students using the constructs of power, diversity, and/or culture determine where, why and how inequities exist in modern society. ? Students analyze central institutions, underlying social structures, and their impact on the larger society. Methodological & Critical Thinking Learning Outcomes: Students analyze critically research and arguments about the modern world. PERSONAL/REFLECTIVE LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students reflect in writing upon their role in the modern world, including their relationship to their own and/or other communities. How Learning Outcomes Will Be Met Students write papers analyzing media institutions, various society groups, and themselves. Students describe imbalances between these three groups and suggest the ways to correct the situation. WRITING EXPECTATIONS Students in this course will demonstrate that they have mastered one or more of the learning outcomes through writing. It is expected that the equivalent of ten pages (which may be distributed across a series of assignments including papers, exams, journals, problem-sets and in-class writing assignments) will be required. At least five of those pages must be written outside class. How Writing Expectations Will Be Met Each writing assignment has specific goals. For example in one of the lessons, students learn how mass media programmers create marketing niches and how we, the general population, become marketing niches for the mass media. To write papers students need to research and analyze their role in this game of marketing niches and determine whether or not they may become victims of mass media advertising.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296