Syllabus

Interested to know about COM125: Introduction to the Internet?

This is a Spring 2007 communication course currently managed by the University at Buffalo (SUNY) at the Singapore Institute of Management.

Instructor Kevin Lim
E-mail injulim [at] buffalo [dottie] edu
Telephone 6248-9654
Classroom LT 4.13 (Confirm with electronic signboard daily)

Class Hours
Group A Mon & Wed: 9:00am – 10:30am
Group B Tues: 1:00pm – 2:30pm & Thur: 12:30pm – 2:00pm

Office 5-36
Office Hours Tues: 2:30 – 5:30pm & Wed: 10:30 – 11:30am

Course Description
Communication 125 provides a comprehensive, and socially-interactive, overview of computer mediated communication on the Internet. In this course, you will learn about the origins, growth, and evolution of the Internet, and gain first-hand experience with constituent online services such as blogs, wikis, social networks, and online gaming. Course format is primarily discussion, with emphasis on class participation. Using your blogs, you are also highly encouraged to take our discussions outside of the classroom and into the online public space. Creativity is key!! In addition, look forward to interesting guest speakers from the information & communication industry. Finally, lessons may be podcasted at the instructor’s discretion.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Understand the history and motivations for the Internet to come into existence.
2. Compare various online services (e.g. email, IM, blogs), how they impact society, and vice versa.
3. Effectively use a diverse set of online tools for your academic, career and/or personal life.

Course Requirements
There are two important requirements for this course:

1. Class Participation
This course is structured in a lecture/discussion format requiring students to keep up with the assigned readings and to actively participate in class discussions. Lectures may be augmented with audio/video media presentations, as well as guest speakers, where deemed appropriate.

2. Internet Access
This class requires extensive use of the Internet. Each lesson will involve activities and assigned reading available online. Content from these web sites will be covered in class and will be included in the examinations. These web sites are listed in the links section of the course web site. You will need personal access to a computer connected to the Internet for this course, which should either be available in your home or through the University’s public computing environment. Personal computer problems are not valid reasons for missed assignments and discussion. Consideration will only be given when SIM’s campus network has non-planned outages. Here’s a tip: Conduct your readings and assignments early so you can find alternative means of getting online should you face internet connectivity issues.

Required Reference
Gralla, P., & Troller, M. (2006). How the Internet Works, 8th Edition. Que Publishing.

Class Readings
In addition to the reference above, related readings will be distributed in class or made available online for this course. The assigned readings must be completed by the dates scheduled in this syllabus. It is critically important that you keep up with the readings so that you can intelligently contribute to class discussions.

Course Assessment
The following class activities determines your grade for the course:

1. Group Presentation & Outline

All students will be assigned to a panel to prepare an in-class presentation on one of the topics listed in the course calendar outline sections. The panels are expected and required to go beyond the assigned reading(s) and to present a coordinated, thorough and extended treatment of the subject under investigation. All panels will typically be presented on the first class of the week and will take up one hour of class time. A documented outline of the panel topic will be compiled and distributed to the class before the presentation. It is important to note that all panelists will receive the same grade for the panel; consequently in the spirit of fairness, all panelists must carry their full share of the effort and work being expended.

2. Weekly Blogs
Each week, students are required to post an entry to their individual blogs, which typically focuses on the next week’s readings. Commenting on each other’s posts is highly encouraged. Blog entries should be around 700 words in length, and follow standard conventions of written US English, including APA-style citations. Audio and Video blog entries are acceptable, but give enough time to talk to your instructor about your idea first. Blog entries are due Fridays at 5pm, and late entries will not be graded. Each blog entry can earn you up three points. At the end of the semester, your overall blog grade will be computed using your ten highest-scoring posts. No blog entry is required over the holiday week of Chinese New Year (Week 6). Note that notable blog entries will be brought up for class discussion.

3. Mid-term & Final Exams
There will be a mid-term exam (worth 20%) and a final exam (worth 30%). The mid-term exam will be given midway through the semester (Week 8), while the final exam will held during final exam week. Both exams will be closed-book, and consist of multiple choice, true/false as well as terminology matching questions.


* Why Blog?

The blogging requirement for this course is designed to give you the opportunity to learn actively by having you practice both your writing and thinking skills. Your blog entries should never be summaries of the readings of class discussions, but instead show that you are capable of thinking critically and independently. At the same time, blogging allows for a community of scholarship to be formed, and for all of us to build upon and react to each other’s insights. As you become more comfortable with blogging concepts, I encourage you to interact with one other and the rest of the blogosphere (i.e. via comments and trackbacks). Blogging for this class is fairly open-ended, and you should follow your interests and explore new intellectual territory. Have fun while earning credits!

Disclaimer: The syllabus may be adjusted according to situation. For questions, contact the instructor.

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