Course Outline

BAIJ 1605, Spring 2007
New Information Technologies
Course Outline

Instructor: Frederick Emrich, assistant professor

All information in this course outline is subject to revision at the instructor’s discretion as necessary to meet the goals of the course. Any revisions will be announced, with reasonable notice, in class and on the course weblog.

Introduction: New Information Technologies is a course designed to introduce beginning journalism students to networked digital information technologies and to some of the ways people are adopting and adapting to them. The course is in part a practical introduction to using new information technologies (NITs) and in part a critical introduction to thinking about NITs, with a particular focus on journalism and related fields.

Prerequisites: This course will make extensive use of computing technologies, but it does not require that students already have advanced computing knowledge. If you are reasonably comfortable doing email, browsing the web and doing word processing, and if you are willing to try new things online, then you should have the technical skill necessary to succeed in the class. There are no prerequisite courses for this course.

Required reading and tasks: Our course weblog will provide you with information related to the course, links to online readings, details about assignments, and other material relevant to our work. You are required to monitor the weblog and to read all its entries each week. In addition, the weblog will direct you to required and recommended readings, tasks and tools. Although I will remind students of this material in class, it is your responsibility to be aware of all the material posted on the weblog and to respond as required. Expect the workload for this course to be similar to the workload for other university courses and that you will have to do an average of about two hours of work outside class for each hour of class time.

The assignment and reading schedule found later in this outline provides you with due dates for assignments throughout the course and with readings for the first several weeks of class. Additional readings will be linked from the course weblog and announced in class, as will any changes to this course outline.

Grading: Grades will be calculated according to the Undergraduate Grading System on page 35 in KIMEP’s Catalog 2005—2007. Graded elements are as follows:

Mini Projects (3) 30% (22 Jan, 23 Feb, 30 Mar.)
Weblog Journal 30% (ongoing; review dates 5/9 Feb,
12/16 Mar, 30 Apr/4 May)
Group Project 20% (20 Apr)
Group Presentation 10% (23 Apr/4 May)
Participation 10% (ongoing)
Attendance See section on attendance below

Detailed information about the requirements of each graded element will be discussed in class and posted on our course weblog (

Attendance and Participation: Your attendance and participation are vital elements of the course and this is reflected in the grading system. You are expected to be in class each day for the full class period unless you present me with a significant, valid excuse (for example a documented medical emergency). Coming to class late or leaving early (without a valid excuse) counts as an absence. I will allow up to three un-excused absences per student per term.without a grading penalty. Four un-excused absences will result in a one grade-level deduction from the final participation grade (a B becomes a B-minus). Every two absences thereafter result in an additional deduction of one grade-level. Excessive absences can seriously jeopardize your grade. If you have issues that interfere with your attendance, please discuss them with me right away.

Work missed due to un-excused absence cannot be made up. If you miss a class, excused or not, you are responsible for finding out what you missed and obtaining any important information by checking with another student. I suggest that you arrange in advance with someone else in class to share information in case this occurs. I cannot reproduce lectures, discussions, or other materials for students who have missed a class.

Participation means more than just being physically present in the classroom. It means contributing to the learning environment by engaging constructively and collegially with other members of the class (instructor and students alike). The participation grade is intended to encourage and reward student contributions to learning that are not reflected in other graded elements of the course. Constructive in-class participation includes (but is not necessarily limited to) posing relevant questions and making useful contributions to discussions and other classroom activities. Participation outside of class, such as consulting with me during office hours, is also part of this grade.

Constructive participation also means not disrupting class. Please refrain from any behavior that distracts from class activities (such as private conversations during discussion). Please turn off all cell phones, pagers, and similar devices before entering class. We will be meeting in a computer lab for this course. The computers are to be used only for classroom purposes during class time. Please do not use them for work for other courses nor for entertainment or other extra-curricular activities.

Assignment Guidelines: Format for assignments in this course will vary and will be specified in advance. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated. Assignments submitted late (meaning anytime after the beginning of class on the due date) without a valid excuse are penalized one full letter grade for each day they are late. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted except by prior arrangement with me. In-class assignments (such as quizzes and presentations) that are missed without a valid excuse cannot be made up and will receive a grade of zero.

For your own security, keep a backup copy of any material you submit for this course. In the unfortunate event that something you submitted goes astray, you will be responsible for providing another copy upon request.

Above all, any and all work you submit for this class must be your own. Violations of academic integrity will be dealt with according to KIMEP policies. Plagiarized work will receive a failing grade and the student submitting such material will be referred to the disciplinary committee.


Jan. 15—19 Introduction: New Information Technologies, Journalism and Society

Jan. 22—26 (Mini Project #1, due Monday 22 January) Reading, Wikipedia enty, “Blog” due Monday 22 January

Jan. 29—Feb. 2 Reading, Online Journalism Review articles, “Weblogs: A New Source of News,” and “Blogging as a Form of Journalism”

Feb. 5—Feb. 9 (Weblog review #1) Reading, We Media report, chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Feb. 12—Feb. 16 Reading, We Media report, chapters 5, 6, and 7.

Feb. 19—Feb. 23 (Mini Project #2, due Friday 23 February)

Feb. 26—Mar. 2

Mar. 5—Mar. 9

Mar. 12—Mar. 16: Mid-Term Break, No Classes (Weblog review #2)

Mar. 19—Mar. 23

Mar. 26—Mar. 30 (Mini Project #3, due Friday 30 March)

Apr. 2—Apr. 6

Apr. 9—Apr. 13

Apr. 16—Apr. 20 (Final Project Submissions)

Apr. 23—Apr. 27: Presentations

Apr. 30—May 4: Presentations (Weblog review #3)