Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus:  University of California, Davis

CMN 10V/Introduction to Communication, Winter, 2019


Meets:   Online (except for Examination 1)

Instructor:  John Theobald/OfficeKerr 368 (  Hours MW  10:45-11:45 am, M  4-5 pm, and by appt.

Graduate Teaching Assistants: 

  • Supreet Mann ( Office: Kerr 171.  Hours:  Thursday  9:30-11:30 am; also by appointment
  • Bingqing Wang ( Office: Kerr 167.  Hours: Wednesday 1:00 - 3:00 pm; also by appointment


Description:  CMN 10V functions as an introduction to both the field of communication, in general, and the Department of Communication at UC Davis.  The course covers basic principles of communication processes, models of communication, foundations of empirical research in communication, and contexts of communication research.

People:  The instructor of record and course organizer for this quarter's section is Continuing Lecturer John Theobald (  He also is responsible for writing course examinations.  The CMN 10V course creator is Professor and CMN Chair Laramie Taylor (  He has organized the lesson plan for the course and written the quizzes that accompany each lesson.  He also is responsible for the various assignments and the term project that you will submit during the course.  Each section will be assigned a Teaching Assistant, either Supreet Mann ( or Bingqing Wang (  The course content is a collaborative effort involving most research faculty members in the Department of Communication--you will see them via recorded videos this term and be taking classes from several of them throughout your CMN studies.

Course Policies

  1. Know Your Section Number. Sections 1-6 are for Davis students. Section 7 is for cross-campus students.  PLEASE NOTE:  If you believe you are enrolled in section 1, double check—Canvas sometimes cross-lists classes under section 1, and you may think that is your section even though it is not.


  1. Know Your Teaching Assistant. Neha has sections 1-3; Supreet has sections 4-7.


  1. Communicate Directly with Your T.A. Your TA is in charge of your work. Contact them, not the course organizer, for matters pertaining to your assignments.  If he needs to be included, your T.A. can forward your message.


  1. If You Communicate with The Course Organizer . . . do not do so through Canvas. Canvas is not structured to support accessible email records, and we need all communication to be retrievable. Use his UC Davis email address ( through a regular email platform, like Gmail or Apple Mail, not the Canvas platform.  Messages sent to him through Canvas will be deleted.


  1. Keep Communication Frequency and Quantity Under Control. During my first quarter teaching this course, I received more emails than in any comparable period since the invention of the World Wide Web. My T.A.s had a similar experience.  We will be more effective in responding to emails if we are not spending time with unnecessary ones.  Check the syllabus and course site before emailing us with a question, and feel free to use the forum in Canvas if you're unsure of something.  We can work better together if we're not trying to do too much.


  1. Put Yourselves in Our Shoes. This class will have 200-250 students. Most quarters, the instructor of record will have 400 students in addition to non-teaching duties.  Your T.A.s, besides 100-125 students like yourself, will have Ph.D. seminars and ongoing research or be in the midst of writing a Ph.D. dissertation.  We’re not going to get to know most of you, we’re not going to remember one email out of hundreds this quarter, and we’re not going to be able to provide special accommodations for individual students.  This course has been structured with the realization that you have many other obligations besides CMN 10V.  Keep in mind that we are as busy as you are and that time is a limited resource.


  1. The Internet Operates 24/7—Our Class Communication Operates Monday Through Friday, 8 to 5. The course organizer’s policy, which the T.A.s are encouraged to adopt, is that CMN 10V operates during regular business hours and will not get assimilated into the tyranny of the Internet. Emails submitted from Monday morning through Friday afternoon will be handled in a timely matter.  Emails submitted after 5 pm Friday will be handled the following week.  Ideally, you are encouraged to wait until Monday to submit email communication that occurs to you over the weekend.


  1. You Must Be Familiar With The UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct. It Can Be Found Here:


  1. You Must Verify Enrollment In This Class, As You’ve Been Advised Elsewhere. You Can Do So Here:



Objectives:  Students who successfully complete CMN 10V will be able to:

  • define and describe the complex nature of communication
  • identify and describe the various contexts of communication study
  • apply theoretical concepts of communication to real-life experience
  • differentiate among diverse fields of communication inquiry
  • define key terms used by communication researchers and practitioners

Course Design:  Communication 10 is a fully online course, comprised of a variety of learning and assessment activities. Each element is important, and the varied activities have been selected and designed to maximize student learning. Each week, you will complete several types of learning activities:

  1. Online instructional videos: These videos, presented through YouTube playlists, provide a foundation of knowledge about each week’s topic. They should be completed before the quizzes are due each week. Take notes on the video material as you would a classroom lecture—some of the material will appear on exams.
  2. Assigned readings: There will be reading for most topics. Links to each assigned reading appear on the appropriate lesson’s Canvas page. A majority of examination questions will be drawn from these readings.
  3. Online quizzes: For each topic, there is a quiz covering the lecture videos. These short quizzes are designed to assess your understanding of the material presented in the online learning modules. Your timely completion of (and scores on) these assessments will be recorded.  The lecture-based quizzes will count towards your grade. NO LATE QUIZZES WILL BE ACCEPTED. Links to each topic’s quizzes, both for lecture and for readings, can be found on the topics' Canvas page.  Quizzes are timed--five minutes for seven questions.  Quizzes are NOT intended to be open-book or open-note.  Because of security reasons, the 5-minute time limit will be applied to all quizzes and answers will not be published (note that many testing formats, such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, etc. function in a similar matter—quizzes are not learning tools they are testing tools and only used for testing purposes). At least one and probably two quizzes will be thrown out in order to compensate for any technical (e.g., connectivity) issues that present themselves.
  4. Online activities: Throughout the course at assigned intervals, you will participate in activities online. In these activities, you will analyze key concepts from the course, apply them to new contexts, or communicate about a specific piece of research on the week’s topic. These activities provide you with a chance to develop and demonstrate your ability to apply course concepts. The quality, accuracy, and insight of your work will be assessed and will count towards your grade. NO LATE ACTIVITIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.
  5. Term project: The term project is titled Communication Resource Curation. The focus is on collecting and organizing information pertinent to some aspect of our field.  It is described in detail later in this syllabus.
  6. Examination 1 and Examination 2: These two exams are the only parts of the course that will be administered in traditional fashion. They are non-comprehensive exams that cover only lecture and reading material from a particular part of the course.  The time of these exams is indicated below.  The location of Exam 1 is awaiting confirmation by the Registrar's office at the time of the drafting of this syllabus.  Exam 2 will be online.  Times are selected so that Exam 1 will conflict with very few campus academic activities and Exam 2 will conflict with none.  These exams may not be re-scheduled, except for academically-sanctioned conflicts.  A study guide for each exam appears at the end of this syllabus.  [If you are a non-UC Davis student registered for this online class, then separate proctoring arrangements will be made with the instructor and a facilitator at the UC Office of the President.]  You will need nothing but a pencil and a 50 question per side Scantron at the exam times.

Examination 1:  February 13 @ 6:00-8:00 pm in Sciences Lecture 123.

Examination 2:  Monday or Tuesday, March 18-19.  This exam is online and may be taken during any two hour period between 6 am Monday and 10 pm Tuesday.


Grade weightings for course assignments are as follows:

Video lecture quizzes


Exam 1


Exam 2


Term project




Course Requirements:  By the assigned dates, you need to:

  • View each week’s instructional videos.
  • Complete each week’s readings.
  • Complete each week’s quizzes.
  • Complete all assignments.
  • Complete the assigned term project (see below).
  • Take the two course examinations.
  • All course activities, both online and offline, are to be conducted in accordance with the University of California, Davis Code of Academic Conduct ( )  and Principles of Community ( ).




All of the resources for online portions of class are organized under the “Pages” section of the course Canvas. Navigate to the “Pages” page, click on the appropriate lesson, and complete the learning activities for that lesson


CMN  10V Part I

Week 1:  Course Introduction; Defining Communication

Week 2:  Interpersonal Communication; Language

Week 3:  Intercultural Communication; Mass Communication

Week 4:  Computer-Mediated Communication; Networks

Wednesday, February 13 @ 6:00-8:00 pm in Sciences Lecture 123:  Examination 1


CMN 10V Part II

Week 6:  Media Effects; Gender & Communication

Week 7:  Entertainment; Persuasion

Week 8:  News; Political Communication

Week 9:  Term Project

Week 10:  Digital Communication; Video Games

Monday or Tuesday, March 18-19/Online:  Examination 2





Getting Started

Getting started is easy. Click on the link below. This will take you to a YouTube video in which the course tools and course management system are explained to you. After viewing the video, just proceed to Lesson 1 on Canvas, “Intro to CMN 10”, and follow the directions provided. (Links to an external site.)










Term Project: Communication Resource Curation

Due Mar 10 (11:45 pm)

Communication technology has produced an unprecedented glut of information.  A search of most subjects produces an unorganized mass of information that may be worth little more than not having pursued the search in the first place.  Companies increasingly filter information for customers—Netflix tells you what movies it thinks you will enjoy, Amazon only shows you a handful of its products, and Google guesses what you are really looking for based on your location, your past searches, and other proprietary information about you.

Sorting and selection by algorithm—as practiced by corporations, government agencies, and others—is a form of content curation. Curation refers to collecting, organizing, and displaying related content. Although automated curation is invaluable, there is a role for thoughtful expert curation as well. For an overview of the importance and nature of content curation, here is a link to a blog post by Beth Kanter, an expert in the use of social marketing strategies for non-profit organizations: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Many online resources are available both to help develop communication skills and to disseminate information about communication research. Your assignment is to curate a collection of at least 8 high-quality resources relevant to one of the following topical areas drawn from this term’s lecture topics, both collecting and organizing links to these resources and insightfully outlining each resource’s particular contributions to communication research and to your topic.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Download the CMN10V Term Project Template. Link to template

Use the template as is to fill in your assignment information. 

  1. Select your Focused Topic from one of the provided General Topics

You must choose to work on a sub-set of one of the following general topic areas to narrow the scope your project. As you're collecting resources, try to find a sub-topic topic where your resources can cover all aspects of the topic.

- Computer-Mediated Communication and Health

- Gender Roles in Family Communication

- Video Games and their Effects


***Note: Your sub-topic must discuss (and naturally will discuss) both concepts listed in the general topic. If you were to select Computer-Mediated Communication and Family Interaction, this means that your project should discuss Computer-Mediated Communication AND its relation to Family Interaction. If you were to select Video Games and their Effects, you should discuss Video Games AND their Effects. If you were to select News and Agenda Setting, you must discuss it News with its relation to Agenda Setting. You cannot simply discuss Computer-Mediated Communication, Video Games, or News.

Whatever your subtopic may be, it must focus on communication and communication research.

If your general topic is Video Games and the sub-topic is about how widely used the games are, this would NOT be acceptable because "how widely used" does not clearly emphasize Effects. Both Video Games and their Effects need to be discussed. However, if your sub-topic discussed games and desensitization to violence, that would be considered an appropriate sub-topic because this topic discusses both Video Games and their Effects--not one or the other.



  1. Collect links to 8 resources that inform all aspects of the specific topic.

Your resources must consist of 8 resources focused on communication and communication research. The resources must be:

Accessible to a broad audience. They should not be difficult-to-use things like original research articles published in academic journals or sources that are paywalled. 

Credible and high-quality. They should be from sources whose information are broadly respected and trusted (e.g., from reputable news outlets, study reports produced by reputable outlets like the Pew Research Center, etc.).

Varied across authors and formats. You must use diverse types of resources (e.g., videos, Wiki entries, blog posts, online databases), and they must have diverse sources (i.e., not all produced by the same entity or published or listed on the same site). For example, you could use online databases, youtube videos, online databases, etc. from all different writers, speakers, or organizations. You wouldn’t, for example, want 5 videos from CNN.

So a project on the influence of News, for example, might contain a link to a YouTube video, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation, of How News Became Trivialized, a series that combined expert opinion and communication research findings to explain how substantive current events reporting has become displaced by stories about relatively inconsequential developments.

 (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

A project on health communication might contain a link to the NIH’s publication titled Patient-centered communication in cancer care: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. 

  1. For each resource, write a short statement outlining the connection between the resource with both your chosen topic area AND communication research.

Each source link must be accompanied by a statement of no more than 150 words. We will stop reading after 150 words, so DON'T GO OVER.

When discussing the importance of each of your resources, the statement will be graded holistically on your ability to:

(1) briefly summarize the content and main argument of the source

The summary should also include a description to identify the type of source (e.g., video, blog, etc.) and who published it (e.g.,  in your source title as "News article: CNN discusses...." or in your discussion as "This resource, which is a news article from CNN...").

(2) clearly outline its relevant contribution to your topic area

When outlining the relevance of your source to the topic area, consider the unique contribution/angle of that source compared to other sources.

(3) discuss the source in terms of its relevance to topic-related course concepts.

How does your source directly connect to theories, models, or concepts discussed in course materials? 

To ensure a high grade on this project, when discussing each source, emphasis should be placed on encompassing all three of the grading criteria in your concise source description.

For example, for a course topic on online news and political polarization through different media outlets (selected from a different general sub-topic), a sample statement might include the following:

Link: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Statement: In an article from the University of Oregon, the author explores six way media influences elections: certain topics journalists cover, shifting away from straight news, the rise of partisan media sources, and the echo chamber effect from social media. The author makes the claim that major media outlets attract political audiences, which they do since they switch from just news, to news with a twist, either leaning left or right, which increases polarization among citizens.

The article contributes to my topic area by explaining that because several media outlets have partisan focus, an echo chamber and curated feeds online, they all lead to polarization since there is enormous amounts of filtration and concentration of viewpoints in media. In relation to course concepts, it relates heavily to agenda setting since the news outlets are deciding what is important to show and therefore skews angles of perception.

  1. After completing all the required fields in the template, upload your completed term project as a .docx file to the Term Project Submission under the Assignments tab.


Late policy: Do not submit your term project late. Any project submitted after the deadline but before 48 hours has passed will be penalized by 50% of the score it would otherwise have received. Any project submitted more than 48 hours after the deadline will receive a zero.


Your grade will be determined by a number of factors:

  1. Are your resources relevant to your chosen topic?
  2. Do your resources deal with communication research? Or are they simply entertaining examples of communication phenomena?
  3. Are your resources helpful, insightful, and reliable? Or are they merely clever or entertaining?
  4. Are your resources drawn from a range of sources?
  5. Do the statements you’ve written to accompany each resource correctly and insightfully identify the relevance of the resource to the topic area?
  6. Does your list have a clear, coherent focus? Or are the resources just a jumbled collection that makes little sense as a whole?
  7. Are your sources accessible to a broad audience? Or did you link to difficult-to-use things like original research articles published in academic journals? 

Of course, technical, formal, or grammatical errors in the project will also impact your grade. Before you submit your project, consider the following:

  1. Is your project free from spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors?
  2. Are all of your links to the actual content, not to a login screen, a paywall, or an error message?
  3. Is your project accessible? are the links clearly associated with their commentary?


Guidelines For Term Project Used By TAs In Grading

3 points = Did the project use the provided template?

5 points = Is the project a focused topic? Does the list have a clear, coherent focus? Or are the resources just a jumbled collection that makes little sense as a whole?

5 points = Is the project an assigned topic where the selected topic falls within the range of required topic areas.

3 points = Are the resources drawn from a variety of sources, using a variety of formats, and drawing on a variety of research?

 80 points (10 points per 8 resources) = Each resource includes a summary, contribution to selected topic, and connection to course concepts/content/theory.

4 points = The project is free from spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors and is of appropriate length. All links are to the actual content, not to a login screen, a paywall, or an error message. The project is accessible. Links are clearly associated with their commentary. 




Lecture Quizzes (due by 11:45 pm on assigned date):

See list and links on Canvas Assignment page.


Discussion Assignments (due by 11:45 pm on assigned date)

See list and links on Canvas Assignment page.







Study Guide for CMN 10V Examination 1 Articles

Note:  This study guide covers the readings for Part 1 of the course.  There are questions below from assigned materials in Lessons 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 (there are no readings for Lessons 1, 2, and 7 . . . and there is no Lesson 5).  The readings will comprise about 2/3 of the questions on the examination.  The other 1/3 will be questions derived from lectures that you've already studied and quizzes that you've already taken—most of the lecture questions on this exam will be less specific than the questions you answered on the earlier quizzes.  If you can answer the questions below and review your lecture notes, you will be prepared to take CMN 10V Examination 1 on November 6th. 


The questions below are based strictly on the claims of the readings and their authors.  They may or may not represent the beliefs of the course creator, the instructor of record, or the individual faculty members responsible for each lesson.  In addition, some of these articles were published a number of years ago--any claim that references "today" or "now" or some other time referent should be regarded as representing the views of the author(s) at the time of the writing.


Lastly, the bullets below appear in the same sequences as the points they reference in an article--e.g., the first bullet point under a lesson will appear in the article before any of the others.


Lesson 3) Interpersonal Communication/"Conceptualizing Relational Communication" article

This is a long introductory text chapter, but it’s easy to navigate if you follow the study guide—and remember, the bullets/questions below follow the same sequence as the concepts appear in the reading.

  • What does the chapter note about the study of interpersonal communication and its roots in other academic disciplines?
  • Re: need fulfillment in close relationships, what are the three most central interpersonal needs?
  • Defining relationships/What are:

   -role relationships?

   -interpersonal relationships?

   -close relationships?

  • Defining types of communication/What is:

   -interpersonal communication?

   -relational communication?

  • Be acquainted with the six principles related to interpersonal communication that pertain to:

   -verbal and nonverbal messages (details of nonverbal are covered in Lesson 5)

   -communication as inevitable

   -the goal oriented nature of interpersonal communication

   -variation in interpersonal communication effectiveness (most effective involving shared meaning)

   -content and relational information

   -symmetrical and asymmetrical communication

Note:  Examination 1 will not ask about the principles specifically associated with relational communication.


Lesson 4) Language/Selnow 1985 article

This article was selected by the lecture presenter to both give you an idea of how social science research may be conducted and illustrate how circumstances may change over time (i.e., the inclusion of a study that is more than 30 years old).

  • Know the abstract of the paper. Specifically:

  -how is profanity considered in the study?

  -what is the basic conclusion of the study?

  • What is the purpose of the paper (on the first page of the article)?
  • Note in the literature review from the 2nd to 4th pages of the paper that there have been various studies associated with the use of language by the different sexes. There won't be specific questions about them.
  • Review specific questions of the study, the method, and the results.
  • In particular re: the above bullet, you should have a basic idea of:

  -what constituted the sample

  -method of information gathering and scale

  -how obscenity was evaluated

  • What is the "bottom line" of the study in the discussion section?
  • Finally, note that the article was written more than three decades ago and would be presumed to represent populations from a different era, and that differences may not be the same today.


Lesson 6) Intercultural Communication/Hofstede "Dimensionalizing Cutures" article

This reading is authored by Geert Hofstede, the Dutch scholar whose ideas you were introduced to in the lecture on intercultural communication.  The scope of the material may seem intimidating, but if you follow the study guide you will save time and have a clearer idea what the instructor considers to be important.

  • What is the author's definition of culture?
  • For the following 5 dimensions of national cultures, you should be able to recognize examples of basic differences within each dimension as described in Tables #1-5 in the article. You don't need to memorize or know everything in these tables but should be acquainted enough with them to recognize differences--much as you were asked to do following the lecture quiz on intercultural communication. These dimensions are:

  -Power distance

  -Uncertainty avoidance

  -Collectivist and Individualist societies

  -Feminine and Masculine societies

  -Short- and Long-Term oriented societies

  • Just below where the dimensions are listed (1) – (5), carefully read the short paragraph that begins “Each country,” and understand what the author means.
  • Review the 5 tables. You need not memorize the information but you should be able to recognize examples.
  • Skim the section on Dimensions of Organizational Cultures. This section will not be used for questions on Examination 1, but it provides a helpful introduction to organizational topics to be considered later in the course.


Lesson 8) Computer-Mediated Communication//Harvard Business Review article "Getting Virtual Teams Right"

This article illustrates how academic research often is communicated in a prominent professional publication that is designed for a general audience and for practical effect.

  • How frequently do knowledge workers work in teams?
  • What is the appeal of virtual teams?
  • What are the four “must haves” for effective virtual teams?
  • What size yields the most effective virtual teams?
  • What is the best predictor of effectiveness in leading dispersed teams?
  • “Virtual distance” refers to what three types of distance?
  • What is the effect of high virtual distance scores?
  • What are the most critical stages for virtual teams to come together in person?
  • What are the key technology components described in the article?


Lesson 9) Networks/Christakis & Fowler chapter

This reading is the introductory chapter of a trade book written by academic researchers and designed to explain their work to a broad cross-section of readers.

  • Read through the set-up to the article on pp. 3-8. It's a useful preview.
  • How does the text define groups and social networks?
  • How does the telephone tree work?
  • Understand the 4 types of networks depicted on p. 12?
  • What is a network community?
  • A social network consists of which two kinds of elements?
  • Note the different terms for a network's shape.
  • What are the two fundamental aspects of social networks?
  • What is a transitive relationship?
  • Note the story of the Milgram experiment (that also was described in the video lecture) . . . and, turning to the authors' research, what is the Three Degrees of Influence Rule?

Study Guide for CMN 10V Examination 2 Articles

Note:  This study guide covers the readings in Lessons 10-18.  Note:  There is Lesson 14 and no reading for Lesson 18.  The topics prompted by this study guide will comprise about two-thirds of Exam 2


Lesson 10) Media Effects (2014—Thompson/Facebook & 2016—Curry/Washington Post)


  • What happened earlier this decade re: Facebook and Google, concerning the sending of traffic to websites?
  • What are “evergreen” stories?
  • What does the article conclude about news vs. entertainment in the BuzzFeed top 20 most viral stories?
  • The last page of the article makes the point that what’s happening now is not new. Specifically, what is the author’s claim?
  • What does the author site as a “key difference between the old forms of news and entertainment and Facebook?


[Curry/Washington Post]

  • What are the 3 main claims of the article (the 3 suggestions for using social media)?
  • Re: Claim #1:

—How did people ages 18-29 differ from those 30-49 in their thoughts about political campaign news?

—How are older Americans different?

  • Re: Claim #2:

—What does the article suggest about the relationship of news via social media and voter turnout?

—What does the article suggest about social pressure via social media and voting?

  • Re: Claim #3:

—What is the point here about voters’ knowledge of sources of political information?


Lesson 11) Gender & Communication/Hyde article

  • Read the abstract carefully a couple of times--it contains the essence of the article.
  • What is the gender similarities hypothesis?
  • What is statistical meta-analysis? How is it applied for the purposes of this article?
  • What is the concluding point about inspection of effect sizes when examining the evidence of the article?
  • Skim the tables to get a sense of what is being observed in the article.
  • Re: "The Exceptions" to the overall findings in the article . . .

--what is the first area of large gender difference?

--what is the second area of large gender difference?

--what does the study show about gender differences in aggression?

  • What are the various arguments about the costs of inflated claims of gender differences?


Lesson 12) Entertainment/Hoffner article

  • The first paragraph is the abstract of the study--read it closely.
  • After the first paragraph, the paper is a literature review of prior studies. As you read it, pay attention to the observations about TV and socialization, identification, character attributes, sex, and parasocial interaction.
  • What was the basic approach of the study?
  • What are the traits examined in the study?
  • Note the examination of predictors.
  • Examine the hypotheses and research questions.
  • Read the discussion, note the findings on sex differences.


Lesson 13) Persuasion/Robert Cialdini article

  • What does Cialdini claim about the process of human decision making?
  • What is his point about the universal nature of the shortcuts he describes?
  • What is Reciprocity?
  • What is Scarcity? Note the Concorde example.
    • What is the persuasive principle of Authority? Note the various examples including uniforms, diplomas, etc.
  • What is Consistency as a persuasive principle? Be able to recognize examples.
  • What is Liking? What types of people do we like?
  • What is Consensus? Be familiar with examples in the article.


There is no Lesson 14.


Lesson 15) News/Agenda-Setting chapter

The questions in this reading are mostly from just two sections--Psychological Foundations and Conclusion.  Nevertheless, a quick read or at least skim of the entire chapter will give a clearer idea of what the author's main points are.

  • What is agenda-setting?
  • What is priming?
  • What is framing? The material following the definition deals with attribution theory, and it will make framing easier to understand.
  • What is the public agenda? [This is found on p. 181 in the Types of Agenda-Setting section.]
  • What is the main finding/claim, summarized in the first sentence of the Conclusion?
  • What does the author believe about the role of mass media in the choice of elected officials and the choice of public policies?
  • Agenda-setting effects are strongest for whom?
  • Who is unsusceptible to agenda-setting effects?
  • What does the author claim about active and passive audience?


Lesson 16) Political Communication/Prior article

  • Review the 10 items discussed in the article. You don’t need to memorize them but should be able to recognize them.
  • Note the point in #3 about the legality of political phone calls.
  • In #5, note the point about polling data being used strategically by campaigns.
  • In #8, note the point about party-to-party and intraparty switching of support by campaign managers.


Lesson 17) Digital Communication/Zuckerberg "Connectivity" article

Realize that this article was written in 2013, so not all information is current.

  • How much of the world is connected to the net, and how fast is it growing?
  • What is the point about the distinction between smart phone ownership and data access?
  • What is the article's zero sum point?
  • What are the four arguments cited on the point about connectivity?
  • Why does the author think the efficiency of delivering data is about to increase greatly?
  • What are the factors in the author's definition of basic internet services?
  • What are the 3 important elements of what the author calls "the rough plan" for internet access?


Lesson 17) Digital Communication/Smil article

  • How do first-order innovations differ from second-order innovations?
  • Smil offers two examples of first-order innovations or what he calls “technical saltations” (saltation is from the Latin word for “leap” and refers to a sudden change from one generation to the next, that is large, or very large, in comparison with the usual). What are the two saltations he describes?
  • How does he describe the fundamental importance of electricity?
  • Electrical innovations were created when? By whom?
  • What was Edison’s greatest contribution?
  • How did German inventor Rathenau describe Edison’s accomplishment?
  • What kind of innovations are Apple’s products?
  • What does Smil note about German cars relative to Toyotas and Hondas? . . . and how does this point relate to Apple?
  • Note the four developments that Smil compares to the iPad.
  • According to the author, what would the world be like without the iPhone or iPad?


Lesson 18) Video Games/Dunckley article

  • Read the story about the child and his response to the games. There will be no questions from this section, but you need to read it to understand what follows in the second half of the article?
  • What is the effect of video games [the first few paragraphs of the Perceived Threat section]?
  • Review the section on “higher thinking” and “more primitive” parts of the brain.
  • Review the diagram about stress triggers in the article.
  • What does the article claim about effects on sleep?



Course Summary:

Date Details