info arch spring 2013 syllabus

course information

Course Numbers: MAWR 01564, Section 1, 22656
Course Hours: M 6:30 – 9:00pm
Course Location: Education Hall 2110
Office Hours: M, 11 – 2, and by appointment
Printable Syllabus:  (.pdf)
Required Texts | Office Hours | Contacting Each Other | Students with Disabilities | Attendance and Late Work | Course Strands | Grading

Required Texts and Materials

All texts are available at the Rowan Bookstore, your preferred online store, or via EZ/Borrow (Borsuk might not be available via EZ/Borrow). If available, digital versions are okay for all books except Borsuk.

Borsuk, A. and Bouse, B. (2012). Between page and screen. Los Angeles, CA: Siglio Press. ($16.47 new on amazon)

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (2003). Metaphors we live by. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ($5.89 used; $9.62 new on amazon) (on back-order at the bookstore so get online)

Lupton, E. (2010). Thinking with type 2nd revised and expanded editon: A critical guide for designers, writers, editors, & students. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press. ($13.70 used; $14.11 new on amazon)

Moretti, F. (2005). Graphs, maps, trees: Abstract models for literary history. Brooklyn, NY: Verso. ($12.07 new on amazon)

Robinson, A. (2007). The story of writing: Alphabets, hieroglyphs, and pictograms 2nd edition. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson. ($7.20 used; $11.06 new on amazon)

Tufte, E. (2006). Beautiful evidence. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. ($24.98 used; 27.99 new on amazon)

In an effort to reduce textbook costs, multiple readings that will be available for free online on the Readings page.

  • Computer with Internet access
  • A webcam
  • Microsoft Word or any of many online alternatives (papers must be turned in in .doc or .rtf; no other formats will be accepted)
  • Rowan email address
  • Other materials as needed

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Class Discussions

Contribution to in-class discussion is expected at the graduate level. That is, I expect all students in all class meetings to contribute thoughtful insights into the texts and the ideas discussed in class. No grade will be assigned for in-class participation; however, if your participation is lacking, it could result in a minor reduction in your final grade.

Office Hours

Office hours are designed for you, giving you a more private environment in which we may talk about your work, your performance in class, etc. If you are unable to see me during my office hours, do not hesitate to make an appointment to see me at a different time. My office hours are M 11 – 2 and by appointment.

Contacting Each Other

There will be times during the semester when I will need to contact the class and you will need to contact me. I will contact you via your Rowan email account, so please be sure that you are checking it regularly and/or forwarding it to the email service you use most regularly. I am in my office only during office hours and the brief times before and after class. As a result, calling me in my office will not get you a response.

I strongly suggest you contact me via Twitter (@billwolff) and/or email, both of which I tend to check all day long. Email, however, tends to be seen as an informal medium. This, however, should not always be the case. All emails that I send to you will have a meaningful subject line and a proper salutation (“Hi Class,” or “Hi Jane,” etc.). The first sentence will notify you of the purpose of the email, and then will get to the heart of the matter. It will end with a formal closing (“Thanks, BW”). I expect the same from any email you send. Twitter is less formal, so feel free to just tweet me questions. Please add the course hashtag (#inarchs13) to all course related tweets.

I’ll get back to your tweets and emails as soon as possible—usually within a day. If I don’t get back within a day, it may be that I did not see your tweet or email for one reason or another, such as an email going in my spam folder. Send me a polite reminder and/or ask me in class if I got it, and I’ll get back immediately.

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Students with Disabilities

Your academic success is important. If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact me. Students must provide documentation of their disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can be reached at 856.256.4234. The Center is located on the 3rd Floor of Savitz Hall. The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. We look forward to working with you to meet your learning goals.

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Attendance and Late Work

You are expected to attend class every day. You cannot pass this class if you miss more than 25% of the scheduled meeting times, including excused and unexcused absences. For our section, which meets once a week, the maximum number of permissible absences is 3. If you exceed the maximum absence limit—whether excused or unexcused—you will be referred to the Dean of Students for the possibility of a hardship withdrawal from the class. Note: it is your responsibility to know how many absences you have. If, at the end of the semester, I enter your grades and you are over the limit, the hardship withdrawal courtesy will not be extended to you.

Excused Absences
You will be permitted to make up missed work for excused absences only. These include:

  • religious observances
  • official University activities
  • illness
  • death of a family member or loved one
  • inclement weather

You must provide verifiable documentation. Consult with your instructor for what is considered acceptable.

In the case of religious observances or official University activities, you must inform your instructor in advance of your absence for it to be excused.

In the case of illness, death of a family member or loved one, or inclement weather, you must inform your instructor as soon as possible after the fact.

If the events described above lead to your exceeding the maximum absence limit, you will be referred to the Dean of Students for a hardship withdrawal from the class.

Excused and unexcused absences will be treated using the following scale:

  • 1 or fewer no penalty
  • 2 absences -2/3 final grade (a B would become a C+)
  • 3 absences -1 1/3 final grade (a B would become a C-)

If a students has 4 or more unexcused absences s/he will receive an F for the course. Lateness is equal to .5 absences. You are late if you arrive in class after the sign-up sheet has made it around the room.

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Course Strands

In this course all work will be dedicated to students developing their skills in the following Course Strands:

Information Architecture: Students will develop their understanding of how information is structured, ordered, and classified, in a variety of texts, media, and modes.

Information Visualization: Students will gain greater familiarity the theories and practices relating to visual constructions of meaning.

Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing: Students will develop their ability to read judiciously, think about, filter information about, and write about texts in a variety of genres and media.

Technology: Students will learn about and will use contemporary communication technologies in a variety of settings.

Collaboration: Students will develop their ability to work collaboratively in a variety of in- and out-of-class activities and settings.

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Grading

Final grades will be calculated in the following way:

  • Formal Essay in 3 Drafts: 20%
  • Pecha Kucha: 10%
  • Infographic: 20%
  • Code poem/Code story: 20%
  • Blogging: 20%
  • Tweeting: 10%

A note on in-class participation: Contribution to in-class discussion is expected at the graduate level. That is, I expect all students in all class meetings to contribute thoughtful insights into the texts and the ideas discussed in class. No grade will be assigned for in-class participation; however, if your participation is lacking, it could result in a minor reduction in your final grade.

Grades will be determined on the following point scale:

  • A+: 100pts
  • A: 96
  • A-: 92
  • B+: 89
  • B: 86
  • B-: 82
  • C+: 79
  • C: 76
  • C-: 72
  • D+: 69
  • D: 66
  • D-: 62
  • F: 59

A note about grades: grades in the A-range are those that show the student working at levels significantly higher than what is expected. Grades at the B-level are those that show the student working at levels at or just above what is expected. Grades at the C-level and below are those that show the student working at levels below what is expected.

Detailed criteria will be provided for each assignment. Missing assignments will receive a 0. All major assignments must be completed to pass the course. It is better to complete an assignment late then to not complete it at all.

Final grades correspond to the Graduate Handbook (A-C) for graduate students. All work is expected to be the student’s own. Any plagiarism will be handled in accordance with the guidelines in the Student Handbook.

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