vrmc spring 2010 syllabus

Course Information

Course Numbers: MAWR 01698, Section 1, 22934
Course Hours: H 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Course Location: Education Hall 2905
Office Hours: M 1:30 – 3:00, H 3 – 4:30, and by appointment
Contact me by email: wolffw@rowan.edu
Contact me via Twitter: @billwolff
Printable Syllabus: vrmc-syllabus-s10.pdf (note: the web site contains the most updated syllabus)
Required Texts | Office Hours | Contacting Each Other | Students with Disabilities | Attendance and Late Work | Course Strands | Grading

Required Texts and Materials

Blake, W. (1994). The marriage of heaven and hell: A facsimile in full color. New York: Dover.

Evans, J., & Hall, S. Eds. (1999). Visual culture: The reader. London: SAGE.

Hall, S. (2007). This means that: A user’s guide to semiotics. London: Lawrence King.

Kirshner, M. MacKinnan, J.B., Shoebridge, P., & Simons, M. (2008). I live here. New York: Pantheon Books.

McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding comics: The invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial.

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

You will also need access to:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Microsoft Word or any of many online alternatives (I do not accept Word Perfect files)
  • Rowan email address
  • film or digital camera (cell phone camera is fine)
  • possibly a scanner (these are available in all Rowan computer labs)
  • USB flash drive with no less than 8GB of memory (to to use as backup and transfer digital photos and movie files from home to school and back again)
  • Other materials as needed

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. We will have at least one required conference during the second half of the semester.  My office hours are T 1:30 – 3:00, H 3:00 – 4:30 and by appointment.

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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. If you do not know your Rowan email address, you can find it on the Email page of the Rowan web site. 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 an immediate response. I strongly suggest you contact me via email, which I check all day long. You may also contact me via Twitter.

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. Any email that does not will immediately be deleted and not responded to.

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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. Rowan University policy states that students cannot pass this class if s/he misses 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.

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.

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Course Strands

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

Students will gain greater familiarity the theories and practices relating to the use of multiple modes in the construction of texts.

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.

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

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

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Final grades will be calculated in the following way (updated 4/3/10 after class discussion):

  • Semiotic Analysis: 15%
  • Photo Essay: 15%
  • Remix: 20% 35%
  • In-depth Multimodal Composition: 30% Reflective piece: 10%
  • Blogging: 15% 20%
  • Discussion Lead / Contribution to Class Discussion: 5%

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

Detailed criteria will be provided for each assignment. Missing assignments will receive a 0. All major assignments must be completed to pass the course. For every 3 late non-major assignments, your final grade will be lowered by one full letter grade. It is better to complete an assignment late then to not complete it at all.

Major Assignments will be assessed according to the following grading criteria:

A, A- Represents outstanding participation in all assignment-related activities; all assigned work completed, with very high quality in all work produced for the assignment. Work at this level demonstrates activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more Course Strand.

B+, B, B- Represents excellent participation in all assignment-related activities; all assigned work completed, with consistently high quality in assignment work. Work at this level demonstrates activity that goes beyond the required course work in one or more Course Strand.

C+, C, C- Represents good participation in all assignment-related activities; all assigned work completed, with generally good quality overall in assignment work.

D+, D, D- Represents uneven participation in all-assignment activities; some gaps in assigned work completed, with inconsistent quality in assignment work.

F Represents minimal participation in all-assignment activities; serious gaps in assigned work completed, or very low quality in assignment work.

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