The basic objective of this course is to provide students with an introduction the sociology of computer mediated communication, and to examine the emerging forms of socially constructed reality centered on the internet and wide world web. Lectures, reading assignments, discussions, interactive investigations, and critical thinking activities will be used to familiarize students with the theories, methods and concepts of the emerging sociological analysis of virtual reality.
Specifically, students will be expected to:
Students are expected to complete all readings prior to the scheduled class discussions. Student participation in class discussions of the reading materials is expected. Students will be called upon for their input on issues, readings and current events relevant to the topics at hand.
There is a class Listserv (SO291@umslvma.umsl.edu)- a group e-mail system- which I have created for your use. This will give you the opportunity to discuss issues, ask questions, be notified of course changes, and develop individual and group interests. All students registered for the course will be assigned computer accounts. Your user ID will be Sxxxxxx (where xxxxxx is your student number, students with a 7 digit number will not use the first 1 of the student number. Your password will be the first four letters of your last name--you will be prompted to change your password the first time you access your account. You must access your account for the first time through the "CMS" system in order to establish a permanent password. Your full internet address will be Sxxxxxx@umslvma.umsl.edu (NOTE: Students who are having their accounts activated for the first time will be assigned to a different mail server. Addresses for these students will be firstname.lastname@example.org). You may use this system to communicate with people both on and off campus
If you already have a computer account, nothing will be changed. Not only can you access the internet e-mail system through this account, but other services too: gopher, WWW, ftp, etc. You can obtain software from room 404 CCB that will allow to connect to the system from home, if you have a computer and modem. If you have a commercial account (AOL, Prodigy, etc), I can have your e-mail from the Listserv sent there.
Participation on the Listserv is mandatory, and relatively simple: It's just reading and sending E-Mail. You will receive credit towards your final grade for just accessing your account and using it. I do monitor activity on the Listserv and consider your participation as part of your class participation grade. If you fail to access the listserv and send at least one message to the class (the message must be somehow related to our discussions) you will not receive any credit for participation. A total of 5 messages (questions or comments related to class topics) will be required for full credit. Further instructions for using this system will be given on the first day of class. Additional instructions can be found in the handout, "Using Computers for Fun and Profit", which was distributed along with this syllabus on the first day of class. This document also includes the location and operating times of the campus computing labs.
This class will utilize the world wide web as both an educational and classroom resource. Lecture notes for all class room presentations will be available for your viewing and printing through Netscape or some other web browser. The syllabus, assignments, additional course readings and other materials can also be accessed through Mr. Keel's HomePage.
This is an intensive course. Students are expected to attend class regularly, arrive on time and stay until the class is dismissed. Late arrivals and early departures demonstrate a lack of concern for the instructor and your classmates. This is your class, you are paying for it. It is your responsibility to arrange your schedule to allow you to attend the class. Excessive disruptions, from whatever source or for whatever reason, will not be tolerated. Texts should be brought to each class session.
Details and specific guidelines as to the nature of the above requirements will be discussed during the first class meeting.
Any student who has a disability which would make it difficult to complete course assignments or tests as outlined in this syllabus: please make an appointment with me immediately so that I can either arrange for appropriate assistance or design an alternative procedure to grade your work.