TuTh  12:40 AM  -  3:45 PM 	A309
See daily course outline.

EL405 will operate like a studio class. Much of the time, you will be working on projects, on your own or in groups.

Class is officially scheduled to run until 3:45, but I will often dismiss most of the class at 3, in order to spend focused time with individual students as needed. (I have also advertised 3-4 as office hours for students in all my classes, so the last 45 minutes of class will always be somewhat permeable. If you are making good progress in your work, and you don't need my help at the moment, you may ask to leave at 3.)

Dennis G. Jerz (jerz.setonhill.edu)

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Weblog | 724.830.1909

Office: 403 St. Joseph, Box 461

Office Hours, Fall 2010

  • Mo 10-11 (St. Joe's 403)
  • Tu 3-4 (in Admin 309)
  • We 4-5 (St. Joe's 403)
  • Th 3-4 (Admin 309)
  • and by appointment

From the Catalog:

Direction and support for the development of independent new media projects. Projects might include an online work of journalism such as a photo-documentary with voice-over narrative, a virtual reality illustration or simulation, or a traditional academic research paper examining an issue relevant to new media journalism and published in final form as hypertext.
While I didn't say so in the official course description, I'd like to think of the traditional research paper as a last-ditch backup, in case things don't work out between you and any of the software packages we'll be using. You've all done research papers before, so let's instead try to focus on the media production tools. I'm very eager to see what you'll be able to do with them.
This course is open to students in all majors, but is especially intended to meet New Media Journalism learning objectives 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  1. Examine a wide range of genres, styles and cultural literatures.
  2. Examine the traditional canon and innovative nontraditional writers and writing.
  3. Demonstrate analytical skills of reading literature.
  4. Demonstrate a high level of research and writing skills.
  5. Write and speak in a wide range of formats appropriate to major emphasis... 
  6. Speak and write about issues in the discipline and how they interact with the culture at large.
  7. Articulate the ongoing relation between personal habits of reading and writing and the evolving study of English.
  8. Produce a professional portfolio that demonstrates an awareness of and engagement with vital issues in an appropriate professional field relating to new media journalism.

The class format is a studio. 

While we will devote as much class time as possible to open workshops, you will still have some homework outside of class itme.

This course requires regular attendance, participation via in-class and online discussions, and timely completion of each stage of multi-step assignments. 

Success in the course will require patience, good communication with the instructor, a willingness to help your peers, and trust in your own ability to work in a challenging but rewarding area.

I will often send out bulk e-mails to the address on file for you in the J-Web system. If you check a different address more regularly, please use SHU's e-mail forwarding service so that you don't miss important updates.

Unless the homework assignment specifically mentions a printout, you should assume that I don't want a hard copy.

Students are expected to attend every class (according to the Seton Hill University Catalog).

What to Do When You Must Miss a Class

  • Consult this website to find out what is scheduled.
  • Consult a classmate and arrange to get notes, handouts, etc. (After you have first checked with a classmate, I will be happy to answer any specific questions, by e-mail or in person, about what you missed.)
  • Download and email me a completed "Absence Form" (available at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/teaching/Absence.doc) as soon as is reasonably possible.
    • For instance, if your coach announces a change in the team schedule, I think it's reasonable for you to let me know of any conflicts by the next day.
    • If you have a personal emergency, once the immediate crisis is over, I think it's reasonable for you to tell me by the next day.
    The point of the form is to document your good-faith effort to keep up with the course material despite your absence.
  • Meet the deadlines. Submit your work before you leave on a trip, or submit it while you're on the road. (There is a space to explain any extenuating circumstances on the "Absence Form," but my assumption is that a scheduled absence from class does not warrant any sort of extension.)
  • Note: It may not be possible to make up some assignments or class activities.
5.1.1 Absence Penalties (for any reason -- excused or unexcused)
  • one or two non-consecutive absences: zero for in-class activities missed (unless your Absence Form proposes and you complete acceptable make-up assignments within one week)
  • two consecutive absences, or four total absences: zero for in-class activities, and final grade lowered by two-thirds of a letter grade (unless your Absence Form proposes and you complete acceptable make-up assignments within one week)
  • three consecutive absences, or a total of five absences during the semester: final grade reported as F
    • To clear that F and complete the class normally, you must submit a written request to remain in the class.
    • Include any evidence that will help me decide in your favor.
5.2.1 Additional Absence Policies
  • Late arrivals, early departures, and lack of participation may accrue as absences.
  • Please don't skip class after pulling an all-nighter to complete an assignment for this class. I will not only record your absence, but also count the assignment as one day late anyway.
    • You'd be better off going to sleep, coming to class on time, and turning in the assignment a day late.
    • You'll still get a one-day late penalty, but you won't be a sleep-deprived zombie and you won't have an absence on your record. (I'm not doing this "just to be mean," but rather to give you some extra motivation to make the better choice.)
  • If there is insufficient time for us to agree upon an acceptable alternative assignment, or if an approved alternative assignment is unsatisfactory, then I may report the missed work as a zero.

Students are expected to contribute actively to a positive learning environment, both in person and online.

Distracting or isolating behavior (such as late arrivals and early departures, listening to headphones or using electronic devices for purposes unrelated to the class), lack of preparation, and general incivility (such as doing homework for another class, falling asleep, eating more than a discreet snack) will affect your ability to contribute to our shared learning environment.

Students who aren't thrilled with speaking in public may wish to invest more effort in their online activities, and vice-versa.

If your final grade falls near a borderline, I will take your participation into account when I decide whether to round up or down.
Getting Credit for Late Work

Most evaluations in this course will happen during class time. If you aren't ready to present your work at the appointed time, I will let you try again the next time class meets, but the additional work due at that time will still be due.

By default, late assignments automatically lose one letter grade if they are not ready on time, and earns a maximum of half credit if the assignment is two or more days late.

Make-up/Extra Credit Assignments

I do not have a policy of inventing make-up or extra-credit assignments to enable you to pull your grade up in the last few weeks of the term; however, at any time during the course, you may demonstrate your willingness to work hard for your grade by doing more than the required amount of work on your in-class or online assignments. (You can call my attention to this extra work as part of a portfolio submission.)

Much of our instruction will be in the form of user-created tutorials and videos, many of which you will find on your own (with guidance from me), and some of which I have purchased for classroom use.

Also Required:

A portable USB drive (capable of holding at least 1G). Any model is fine.


Although we will be in a PC lab, I recommend that you bring your SHU MacBook (if you have one) and install the software on your own machines. (You can use the lab PCs for most of the class work. For the more advanced WebApp projects, a Mac is required, but I can probably get you a loaner at that crucial stage.)

Disability Statement
If you have a disability that may require consideration by the instructor, you should contact Terri Bassi, the Director of Disability Services at 724-838-4295 or bassi@setonhill.edu as soon as possible to develop a plan of accommodation. You should provide the instructor with a copy of your accommodation plan and schedule a meeting so that you can be supported in an informed manner. It is not necessary to disclose to your instructor the nature of your disability.

Archive Policy
In order to fulfill the requirements of the liberal arts curriculum, major assignments completed in this course must be saved by the student, so that they can successfully argue in the capstone liberal arts course, Senior Integrative Seminar, that they have met the University Learning Objectives.

Academic Integrity Policy

Seton Hill University expects that all its students will practice academic honesty and ethical conduct. The University regards plagiarism, cheating on examinations, falsification of papers, non-sanctioned collaboration, and misuse of library material, computer material, or any other material, published or unpublished, as violations of academic honesty. Violators of the code may expect disciplinary sanctions, which are discussed in the Seton Hill University Catalog, page 30, Code of Academic Conduct.

Any unreferenced use of the written or spoken material of another, or of previously submitted work of the student's own, constitutes plagiarism.
Paraphrasing the thoughts or written work of another without reference is also plagiarism. Helpful information is available at the following web site: Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. (http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml).
Any plagiarism on a draft will result in a zero as the final grade on that assignment. Any plagiarism or cheating on an informal essay, paragraph, or grammar exercise will also result in a zero.

See also "Plagiarism (and Academic Integrity)."

The course is based on 1000 points.

I am posting your grades to GriffinGate.

Course Work

  • 100: Unit 1 (Scratch)
  • 100: Unit 2 (Inform 7)
  • 100: Unit 3 (Web App)
  • 100: Midterm Portfolio
  • 150: Revised Midterm Portfolio
  • 50: Term Project Alpha
  • 100: Term Project Beta
  • 300: Final Portfolio

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