Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's in a Name? Colleg

One of your classmates sent me a compelling article regarding publications ranking colleges. Here is the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/11/what-makes-a-college-good/2814/#.TsAKu8qfprM.email. The article raises some good questions about what makes a college good, which brings me to...

1. How did you go about picking a college? What particular features and characteristics were you looking for? Did you consult any sources like the Newsweek rankings?
2. Did "name" and status (by that I mean elite schools like the Ivies or well known schools) affect your choice of college? Why or why not?
3. For those of you who have worked or who are working in a particular field where degrees are significant, have you noticed a bias towards the "name" of a college? Do you think the name of a college holds much sway in the job hiring process?
4. How do you think colleges should be ranked?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Housekeeping and Holidays

Just some reminders for y'all:

Day 1 of next week (Nov. 28th-Dec. 2): Peer evaluations for the COMMunity Fair project are due. If you don't turn it in, you will not receive credit for the peer evaluation portion of your group grade.
Day 2 of next week (Nov. 28th-Dec. 2): Service learning paper is due (check Blackboard for Word document regarding this assignment)
Next two weeks: Rhetorical criticism presentations
Nov. 29th: Gender Fair extra credit (check Blackboard for more info)
Dec. 3rd: Debate-a-polooza extra credit (check Blackboard for more info)
Dec. 5th: Next Generation survey extra credit due (check Blackboard for more info)

BTW, I am giving everyone blog participation credit last week since I was away at the conference.

Also, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets some fun time in!

Wrapping up COMMunity Fair

COMMunity Fair was quite the success, and we, the instructors and director, were nervous going in implementing a new project for 900 students (that would be the amount of students in COMM 1010). I heard good things about both class' booths from visitors and other instructors. Great job to everyone! Now though is the chance for you to share your input. As a new project, COMMunity Fair certainly needs fine-tuning because you simply can't account for everything that will arise the first time you implement such a large scale project. We have several changes in mind for next semester, but as an evolving project, input particularly from 1010 students, is much appreciated. So here are some questions:

  1. Should the COMMunity Fair be centered around a social issue and organization or something else?
  2. How could COMMunity Fair be better organized? (I am going to remind you that I did handout a list of each group's requirements at the beginning of the semester)
  3. Does staying in the same group as your intercultural presentation groups help or do you think the groups should change?
  4. What sort of impact did the project have on you?
  5. What is something in particular that you liked about the project? What is something that you disliked?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Visual Literacy

We hear a lot about media literacy, and as technology proliferates the images and information we see and experience, we hear more and more about "visual literacy." Visual literacy is the critical interpretation of visual media. Visual literacy is especially important during a time where photo doctoring is common practice (remember the photoshopped images of various celebrities from class). Even without photoshopping, photographers make strategic moves to manipulate the pictures they take whether it's through posing, cropping, and etc. Here is a link to get you thinking about visual literacy and I have borrowed my questions directly from these sources:

1. What does it mean to be critical of an image?
2. Does this knowledge (that the "Migrant Mother" picture was staged in various ways) change our experience of the photo? Its circulation in our culture? The responses we and others have to it and the cultural memory it shapes of Dust Bowl America? 

Another link on visual literacy and photo parody via photoshop: 

1. What are some of the dangers and powers of photo parody in a "viral" world -- that is, in a world where an image can become popular, downloaded, and reproduced on thousands of web sites within minutes? 
2. What are some of the dangers and powers of photo parody in making political statements? 

These questions are something to keep in mind while you work on your rhetorical analyses.

Reminder: Final Exam

I announced this at the beginning of the semester, but your final 1010 exam is on a SATURDAY, Dec. 10th at 8:30am. If you haven't already, you need to make arrangements in your schedule for this NOW.

This Week and Next

Remember we will not meet this week. This week is the COMMunity Fair, and the rest of the week is yours to work on your COMMunity Fair paper (also called "service learning reflection paper assignment" on your syllabus) and rhetorical analyses. I have posted a word document regarding the paper for the COMMunity Fair to Blackboard under "Course Content."

COMMunity Fair
Tues, Nov. 15th from 8am-4pm in the 1 o' clock lounge. Unless you are staffing you do not need to be here, but I do encourage you to swing by and check out the product of all your work! Some other reminders/notes for specific groups:

  • Booth Design groups have your materials in my office (GAB 322) by Monday. If this doesn't happen, your group will not receive credit for the assignment. If for any reason my office is closed, then bring the materials by GAB 301 or the Department of Communication Studies main office. Also, if you have designed an interactive activity, you need to create the directions for it, so I can pass it on to the staffing  group. Email that to me by Monday.
  • Staffing make sure you know your material - as I have mentioned in class, Blackboard has a folder with the research from the Social Issue Group and Organization Group. Review this information. People will stop by (including other instructors from the Communication Studies department) and want to know what your table is all about. You need to be able to answer their questions. This will be a part of your grade.
  • Advertising make sure you are getting the word out. I saw the flyers around the GAB Friday - way to go! I then bragged to the other 1010 instructors that my students were advertising. :)
Next week (Nov. 21-Nov. 25):
We will be meeting the first day of the week to discuss the COMMunity Fair and the paper for the fair. Monday/Wednesday class, my course director approved a cyber class for us, so we do not actually have to show up for class Wednesday. I will give y'all the details on this Monday (11/21).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rhetorical Analysis Resource

One of your fellow classmates emailed me this link, which does a good job of briefly addressing rhetorical criticism. Be sure to check out the links with examples of analyses - those will really help you with your presentation. Here is the link: 

Also, I have posted a model outline to Blackboard under Course Content. Use this as a template for your own outline and fill in the information for your presentation as needed. Keep in mind this isn't exactly how you have to do your presentation, and in some cases, your presentation may not fit as easily into the outline template. However, it does provide a solid basic structure for how to approach your presentation.

1. What does it mean to ask how something as communicated as opposed to what is communicated?
2. Do you have any other questions or concerns regarding the assignment? I will address these in class as I see fit, however this is also a chance for you to help out your fellow classmates.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Student-Mentor Relationships

Studies indicate that college students who have mentors tend to perform better in college. Mentor-student relationships help students better utilize campus resources, feel less isolated, learn effective study habits, to name just a few of the positive outcomes of these relationships. Programs like UNT's Emerald Eagle Scholars (a program for first-generation college students) employs this idea in order to help first-generation college students get the most out of their college experience. This is particularly significant considering that statistically speaking first-generation college students have a lower completion rate than students who come from families with college graduates. I know as an undergraduate that my relationships with my instructors helped me learn the college ropes and provided encouragement for me to pursue graduate studies. As an instructor myself, I want to ask y'all:

1. Do you have any mentors? If so, did you meet your mentor through a particular program or was it more random than that? Is your mentor an instructor, staff member, upper-classman?
2. Do you find it easy or difficult to develop relationships with your instructors? Why or why not? Is it even worth it to you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

COMMunity Fair is Coming Up!!!

I know the COMMunity Fair project has been somewhat confusing for everyone (including your instructor). Anytime you introduce a new, large project to a course more often than not confusion ensues. We, the 1010 instructors and course designers, are learning as we go and making changes for next year. On the flip side of that though, I do want to share something from another 1010 class. This section's social issue is racism and one of their groups put this video together: