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Main Campus · University College · Interdisciplinary Studies Ctr

WhatintheWorldofNews?
XIDS-2002

  • Fall 2020
  • Section LJ4
  • 2 Credits
  • 08/12/2020 to 12/05/2020
  • Modified 09/13/2020

Description

Selected topics and themes posing a question addressed using the tools and assumptions of a variety of disciplines.

Requisites

Prerequisites:

Corequisites:

Contact Information

Dr. Susana Velez-Castrillon

Office Hours

  • Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday 12 noon to 1:00 p.m
  • Miller Hall 2208 (Next to the vending machines)

The Management Department believes in work-life balance for both faculty and students. Faculty will typically respond to student emails within 24 hours. Students should not expect a response during non-business hours, which includes nights, weekends, holidays, and school breaks.

During office hours I am available in my office and also online using CourseDen’s Blackboard tool.

The preferred method of communication is through CourseDen’s e-mail tool.

  • Write a good, informative subject line: CourseDen has a standard pre-populated subject line. This line is the same for all students in the same class - basically the class name, so it is not a very informative subject line (especially for me, since 30+ students have the same subject line). Remember to change the subject line.

I will try to respond to your e-mail within 24 hours, but you should not expect a response during non-business hours.

 

Meeting Times

  • Humanities 130

Tuesday and Thursday 1:20 pm - 2:10 pm

Materials

Outcomes

  1. adapt written and oral communication to specific rhetorical purposes and audiences.

  2. recognize and begin to implement the skills necessary to become life-long, active learners through the exploration of an academic topic that focuses on a contemporary and/or enduring topic, question, or problem.

  3. identify, evaluate, and use information, appropriate to a specific purpose.

Evaluation

Criteria

Assignments

Points

Percentage

Daily News 5 minute presentation (10%)

10

10%

Final Presentation (20%)

20

20

Homework, Quizzes, and Reflections.

40

40%

First-year seminar /XIDS-requirements (20%)

Writing center – workshop - 5%

Library – workshop - 5%

Center for Academic Success – academic coaching

Career Services – XIDS lab, workshop and mock interview

20

20%

Other

Syllabus Quiz (5%)
Plagiarism Tutorial (5%)

10

10%

Total

100

100%

Breakdown

Assignments

Schedule

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
 

GETTING READY FOR THE COURSE

  

Suggested Dates

Topic

GETTING STARTED

Tasks

Aug 13

Course Introduction

1.       Use this link to review UWG's distance student guide

2.       Make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (or PowerPoint Viewer) installed

3.       Note due dates

4.       Complete the first assignment by uploading your picture to CourseDen. Instructions are here: How to add a picture to your CourseDen profile

5.       Navigate throughout the CourseDen course to make sure you understand how to use CourseDen

 

Syllabus

1.       Read and print syllabus

2.       Complete the syllabus quiz available in CourseDen. The rest of the course will become available when you score 85% of higher on this quiz. You have three attempts.

Aug 30

@ 11 pm

Plagiarism Tutorial

Complete the Plagiarism Tutorial in CourseDen > Assessments > Assignments

 

TUESDAY

THURSDAY

ASSIGNMENTS

1. Week of August 17

 

 

AUGUST 18
WHY NEWS LITERACY MATTERS?   

In the wake of the latest information revolution, it is up to the consumer to determine whether information is reliable and whether to publish it.

For business students and for companies it is important to determine which information is relevant to their goals.

AUGUST 20

 

 

2. Week of August 24

 

 

AUGUST 25

FILTER BUBBLES

 

When we get news from our social media feeds, it often only tells us part of the story. Our friends -- and the website's algorithms -- tend to feed us perspectives we already agree with.

AUAUGUST 27

 

Filter Bubble Quiz

3. Week of August 31

 

 

SEPTEMBER 1

CONFIRMATION AND OTHER BIASES

 

Why do people sometimes maintain their beliefs in the face of information that contradicts or challenges their understanding or assumptions?

SEPTEMBER 3

Implicit Bias Test

Implicit Bias Reflection

4. Week of September 7

 

 

SEPTEMBER 8
The Power of Information

Since humans first walked the earth, the power of information has derived from its ability to alert, divert and connect people.

The power of print: Why Napoleon said: "Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets."

The power of images and video: They can move audiences and bring about change.

The power of social media: How platforms like Twitter and Facebook spread and make news.

SEPTEMBER 10

 

5. Week of September 14

 

 

SEPTEMBER 15

WHAT MAKES NEWS DIFFERENT?

Verification – Independence – Accountability

 

·         News is information of public interest that is shared and subject to a journalistic process of verification, and for which an independent individual or organization is directly accountable. Those three attributes are represented in the acronym VIA, and are required to classify information as journalism.

·         Who is a journalist? Is “citizen journalism” really journalism? In a world where news consumers are also news producers, VIA becomes a litmus test.

·         Know your neighborhood. One of the keys to determining if information is reliable is being able to identify what it is: journalism, advertising, publicity, propaganda, entertainment or raw information.

SEPTEMBER 17

 

Bring something that is informational or interesting but it is not the news.

6. Week of September 21

 

 

SEPTEMBER 22

Defining fairness, balance and bias

 

·         Responsible journalism aspires to being fair to all sides of a story and to the facts themselves. It requires fair presentation, language and treatment.

·         Balance — making sure all sides in a conflict are given the same amount of time or space — can be a tool for achieving fairness when the truth or outcome is unknown. In some instances, though, balance can create a false equivalency that can make a story unfair to the evidence.

·         Bias is not an event -- it's a pattern of unfairness found in the coverage of a single news organization over time.

·         Three ways to spot bias: 1) Look for a pattern over time in a single news outlet's coverage. 2) Compare coverage of the same stories by other outlets. 3) Take note of the self-interest of those alleging bias.

·         Sometimes the perception of bias is rooted not in journalistic bias but in audience bias.  News consumers who seek affirmation, not information, distrust or dismiss information that disagrees with their opinions or beliefs because that causes cognitive dissonance.

SEPTEMBER 24

 

Media bias vs. audience bias
Students review issues of fairness and bias; discuss their responses to an Internet-based test of their own possible biases.

Media trust and confirmation bias: A look at the Pew studies showing how Republicans and Democrats began placing trust in different media outlets in recent years.

 

7. Week of September 28

 

 

SEPTEMBER 29

Fact Checking for Students

 

What are the unique opportunities and pitfalls of searching for truth on the web?

OCTOBER 1

Bring to class a list of at least 3 websites that can be used to verify the accuracy of a news story

8. Week of October 5

 

 

OCTOBER 6

Fact Checking for Students

 

What are the unique opportunities and pitfalls of searching for truth on the web?


OCTOBER 8

Bring to class a list of at least 3 websites that can be used to verify the accuracy of a news story

9. Week of October 12

 

 

OCTOBER 13

The Business Media

OCTOBER 15

Find 3 sources of business news and bring to class the following info in a Google Doc

-              The name and link

-              Does it offer free access to all content? (y/n)

-              How much is a subscription?

-              Do they offer student discounts?

10. Week of October 19

 

 

OCTOBER 20

PESTEL ANALYSIS

Political

Economic

Social

OCTOBER 22

Bring one news article that reflects an external factor (Policy, Law, Social, Trend, Demographics, Economy, Technology, etc.)

11. Week of October 26

 

 

OCTOBER 27

PESTEL ANALYSIS

Technological

Legal

Environmental

OCTOBER 29

Bring one news article that reflects an external factor (Policy, Law, Social, Trend, Demographics, Economy, Technology, etc.)

12. Week of November 2

 

 

NOVEMBER 3
THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

Part 1: The strengths and weaknesses of traditional news platforms

·         Newspapers and magazines still offer the most comprehensive coverage, but market forces, technological advances and demographic changes have dramatically reduced their resources and reach.

·         Radio has survived by maintaining an intimacy and immediacy and developing its own style of storytelling.

·         TV news is still the most powerful tool for following breaking news stories with compelling visuals, but it exists in an entertainment medium.

NOVEMBER 5

 

13. Week of November 9

 

 

NOVEMBER 10
STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

NOVEMBER 12

Presentations about Business Media

14. Week of November 16

 

 

NOVEMBER 17
STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

NOVEMBER 19

Presentations about Business Media

15. Week of November 23

 

 

Make up lectures.

 

 

Course Policies and Resources

ATTENDANCE POLICY:

For verification of the class roll, as required by the Registrar's office, only students who complete the syllabus quiz on or before the quiz deadline will be marked as attending.

 

DEADLINES, MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMS, AND LENGTH LIMITS

Make-up exams, assignments, case studies, in-class exercises will be given only in the event of extraordinary circumstances and university-accepted documented situations:
Please let me know if, under rare and extreme circumstances, you will be late in submitting an assignment. A minor delay (less than a week) will result in a penalty of 10% of the grade. A major delay (over a week) will result in 0 points for the assignment.
A similar policy is in place for projects that exceed length limits. Minor excesses (10% or less) will normally result in penalties of 5% of the grade, and significant excesses (more than 10%) in a penalty of 10% of the grade.
1. You need to contact the instructor and provide all relevant documentation, 72 hours before the exam for pre-scheduled events (such as university-endorsed functions), and up to 72 hours after the exam for fortuitous events (such as illness).
2. Absences that meet the requirements specified above will be permitted to make up in-class exercises by providing written essay answers (3 pages minimum, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font) related to topics assigned by the instructor. A maximum of one make-up assignment will be allowed for absences.
3. This policy is not a blanket policy where everyone gets a make-up assignment.
4. Scheduling of all make-up assignments and exams is at the discretion of the instructor.

 

COMMUNICATION EXPECTATION FOR MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT

The Management Department believes in work-life balance for both faculty and students. Faculty will typically respond to student e-mails within 24 hours. Students should not expect a response during non-business hours, which includes nights, weekends, holidays, and school breaks.

The preferred method of communication is through CourseDen's e-mail tool.

  • Write a good, informative subject line: CourseDen has a standard pre-populated subject line. This line is the same for all students in the same class - basically the class name, so it is not a very informative subject line (especially for me, since 30+ students have the same subject line). Remember to change the subject line.

I will try to respond to your e-mail within 24 hours, but you should not expect a response during non-business hours.


USE OF CourseDen (CD): CourseDen is an absolutely necessary resource for this class.  All information, instructions, and updates will be posted on CourseDen. Also, CourseDen is the preferred method of communication with your instructor and classmates.  You must get in the habit of checking CourseDen frequently.

Why do I prefer CourseDen? I prefer CourseDen because:

  • It logs you out after a while if you are inactive, which I think might be better for protecting the confidentiality of grades and class-related files.
  • It doesn't have a Spam folder, so e-mail is not identified as 'junk' by mistake.
  • It leaves a record of all communication that can be verified by ITS.

 

FEEDBACK ON ASSIGNMENTS: You can expect to get feedback on written assignments within one week of their due date.

College/School Policies

Wolf Pact

Having read the Honor Code for the University of West Georgia, I understand and accept my responsibility to uphold the values described therein and to conduct myself in a manner that will reflect the values of UWG and the Richards College of Business so as to respect the rights of all UWG community members. As a UWG student, I will represent myself truthfully and complete all academic assignments honestly and within the parameters set by my instructor.

I understand and accept that if I am found guilty of violations (through processes due me as a UWG student and outlined in the UWG Student Handbook), penalties will be imposed.

I also recognize that my responsibility includes a willingness to confront members of the UWG community if I feel there has been a violation of the Honor Code.  

Ultimately, I will conduct myself in a manner that promotes UWG as the best place to work, learn, and succeed for my generation, and those to come!

About the Richards College of Business

Vision
To become a globally recognized college of business preparing forward-thinking, responsible leaders.

Mission
We are in the business of transforming lives through education, engagement, and experiences.

Strategic Goals and Values

Student Success
Admit quality students and provide them with an education that is rich in experiences and engagement opportunities to prepare them to be effective and ethical professionals.

Academic Success
Recruit, retain and develop faculty and staff by providing sufficient resources to support dynamic and up-to-date bachelor and master-level curricula, to conduct research and other professional activities, and to support engagement with all stakeholders.

Operational Success
Recruit, retain and develop administrative management and staff personnel to manage, develop and support infrastructure and those activities that build internal and external partnerships while working in an ever-changing environment.

Ethical Values
The Richards College of Business community (administrators, faculty, staff, students, and business partners) share a commitment to the principles of honesty and integrity in interactions and undertakings, accountability for personal behavior, and respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others. In addition, we strive to continuously improve our abilities to recognize unethical behavior and to make ethical and moral decisions.

Institutional Policies

Academic Support

Accessibility Services: Students with a documented disability may work with UWG Accessibility Services to receive essential services specific to their disability. All entitlements to accommodations are based on documentation and USG Board of Regents standards. If a student needs course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if he/she needs to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, the student should notify his/her instructor in writing and provide a copy of his/her Student Accommodations Report (SAR), which is available only from Accessibility Services. Faculty cannot offer accommodations without timely receipt of the SAR; further, no retroactive accommodations will be given. For more information, please contact Accessibility Services.

Center for Academic Success: The Center for Academic Success provides services, programs, and opportunities to help all undergraduate students succeed academically. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6280 or [email protected]

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center assists students with all areas of the writing process. For more information, contact them: 678-839-6513 or [email protected]

Online Courses

UWG takes students’ privacy concerns seriously: technology-enhanced and partially and fully online courses use sites and entities beyond UWG and students have the right to know the privacy policies of these entities. For more information on privacy and accessibility for the most commonly used sites, as well as technology requirements visit the UWG Online site.

Students enrolled in online courses can find answers to many of their questions in the Online/Off-Campus Student Guide.

If a student is experiencing distress and needs help, please see the resources available at the UWG Cares site. Online counseling is also available for online students.

Honor Code

At the University of West Georgia, we believe that academic and personal integrity are based upon honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Students at West Georgia assume responsibility for upholding the honor code. West Georgia students pledge to refrain from engaging in acts that do not maintain academic and personal integrity. These include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, aid of academic dishonesty, lying, bribery or threats, and stealing. 

The University of West Georgia maintains and monitors a confidential Academic Dishonesty Tracking System. This database collects and reports patterns of repeated student violations across all the Colleges, the Ingram Library, and the School of Nursing. Each incidence of academic dishonesty is subject to review and consideration by the instructor, and is subject to a range of academic penalties including, but not limited to, failing the assignment and/or failing the course. Student conduct sanctions range from verbal warning to suspension or expulsion depending on the magnitude of the offense and/or number of offenses. The incident becomes part of the student’s conduct record at UWG.

Additionally, the student is responsible for safeguarding his/her computer account. The student’s account and network connection are for his/her individual use. A computer account is to be used only by the person to whom it has been issued. The student is responsible for all actions originating through his/her account or network connection. Students must not impersonate others or misrepresent or conceal their identities in electronic messages and actions. For more information on the University of West Georgia Honor Code, please see the Student Handbook.

UWG Email Policy

University of West Georgia students are provided a MyUWG e-mail account. The University considers this account to be an official means of communication between the University and the student. The purpose of the official use of the student e-mail account is to provide an effective means of communicating important university related information to UWG students in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to check his or her email.

Credit Hour Policy

The University of West Georgia grants one semester hour of credit for work equivalent to a minimum of one hour (50 minutes) of in-class or other direct faculty instruction AND two hours of student work outside of class per week for approximately fifteen weeks. For each course, the course syllabus will document the amount of in-class (or other direct faculty instruction) and out-of-class work required to earn the credit hour(s) assigned to the course. Out-of-class work will include all forms of credit-bearing activity, including but not limited to assignments, readings, observations, and musical practice. Where available, the university grants academic credit for students who verify via competency-based testing, that they have accomplished the learning outcomes associated with a course that would normally meet the requirements outlined above (e.g. AP credit, CLEP, and departmental exams).

HB 280 (Campus Carry)

UWG follows University System of Georgia (USG) guidance: http://www.usg.edu/hb280/additional_information#

You may also visit our website for help with USG Guidance: https://www.westga.edu/police/campus-carry.php

Mental Health Support

If you or another student find that you are experiencing a mental health issue, free confidential services are available on campus in the Counseling Center. Students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence may receive confidential medical and advocacy services with the Patient Advocates in Health Services. To report a concern anonymously, please go to UWGcares.

ELL Resources

If you are a student having difficulty with English language skills, and / or U.S. culture is not your home culture, specialized resources are available to help you succeed. Please visit the E.L.L. resource page for more information.

COVID-19

Proctored Exams/Online Instruction: Students should be aware and plan ahead for the possibility of having to complete all courses and/or exams online or in a proctored environment. This means talking with your instructors about what minimum technical requirements (software and hardware) will be required should your class move online or a student's personal needs dictate. This also includes making plans for internet access at whatever location participation may occur.

Virtual or in-person proctored exams, if your instructor should require them, may result in an additional cost to the student. Please discuss these details with your instructor or see the information provided here.

Face Coverings: Effective July 15, 2020, University System of Georgia institutions, including the University of West Georgia, will require all faculty, staff, students, and visitors to wear an appropriate face covering while inside campus facilities/buildings where six feet social distancing may not always be possible. Face covering use will be in addition to and is not a substitute for social distancing.

Face coverings are not required in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met. Anyone not using a face covering when required will be asked to wear one or must leave the area.

Reasonable accommodations may be made for those who are unable to wear a face covering for documented health reasons.

Student FAQs: For more information about UWG COVID-19 guidance for students visit the Student FAQ webpage

 

Additional Items

XIDS 2002 is a course designed to help students get excited about learning at West Georgia. In addition, it is our hope that this course helps you succeed academically as well as personally and socially during this semester and beyond. The fundamental focus of the class is to provide an understanding of the basic structure of critical thinking and of academic disciplines in order to increase learning in the university classroom. Students are required to attend class and to interact with their instructors and classmates. While students must take responsibility for their own learning, the course attempts to support and enhance that responsibility by making the class a learning community within the University.

 

In this section, What in the World of News?, we will be discussing one of my favorite things: the News. I watch the News daily, read the newspapers, magazines, and listen to them in my car. There are all types of News, and I try to learn about all of them: business, politics, arts, music, sports, and celebrity gossip. As business majors, I want to instill in appreciation for the News. The News are sources of business opportunities like new trends, or changes in policy. The News can reveal threats to a business: a product by a competitor, new regulation affecting your business, changes in the natural environment. The media, in and of itself, is a large business. A single post by an influencer is tied to many business decisions. At the end of this semester, students will have a better understanding of news literacy, and the importance of the News for business analysis and decision-making.

DEADLINES, MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS AND EXAMS, AND LENGTH LIMITS

Make-up exams, assignments, case studies, in-class exercises will be given only in the event of extraordinary circumstances and university-accepted documented situations:

Please let me know if under rare and extreme circumstances you will be late in submitting an assignment. A minor delay (less than a week) will result in a penalty of 10% of the grade. A major delay (over a week) will result in 0 points for the assignment.

A similar policy is in place for projects that exceed length limits. Minor excesses (10% or less) will normally result in penalties of 5% of the grade, and significant excesses (more than 10%) in a penalty of 10% of the grade.

  1. You need to contact the instructor and provide all relevant documentation, 72 hours before the exam for pre-scheduled events (such as university-endorsed functions), and up to 72 hours after the exam for fortuitous events (such as illness).
  2. Absences that meet the requirements specified above, will be permitted to make up in-class exercises by providing written essay answers (3 pages minimum, double spaced, 12 point New Times Roman font) related to topics assigned by the instructor. A maximum of one make-up assignment will be allowed for absences.
  3. Scheduling of all make-up assignments and exams is at the discretion of the instructor.