M    1:00 PM  -  1:50 PM 	A405
See daily course outline.

Dennis G. Jerz (jerz.setonhill.edu)
403 St. Joseph, Box 461
E-mail: My last name, at the setonhill.edu domain. (To keep your message out of my spam filter, Include "LA100" in the subject line, and make sure your real name appears in the message -- chances are I won't know who "suprkewlkid2005" is.)
Phone: 724-830-1909 (but you will usually get a faster response if you e-mail)

Office Hours: Fall, 2007 office hours are Tu 3:15-4:00; We 1:30-2:30; Th 10-11 and by appointment. St. Joseph 403.

Occasionally I step out of my office briefly to run errands during my scheduled office hours. When I do, I usually leave a note on my door. If my light is still on, then I'm probably not far away.

Office Visits: I usually leave my door open. If you should happen to drop by outside of my office hours, and my door is closed, please come back later or send me an e-mail.

From the Catalog:

Course through which students may earn credit on The Setonian (student newspaper) and its online counterpart. Meets for one hour per week, with an additional production lab for each issue (4 or 5 times per semester). Repeatable for credit.

Production Labs

You are responsible for scheduling your own "production labs" in keeping with the needs of producing either the print or online issues of the Setonian. Your production lab may involve selling advertisements, editing articles, laying out pages, or doing almost anything related to getting the paper produced.

Writers and photographers get their names attached to their work, and thus already get credit for their work; the production lab is designed so that more people share the very important -- but far less glamorous -- work that goes into producing a paper.

If you are assigned to write a "breaking news" story or photo for the Setonian Online, outside of our regular print production schedule, I would be willing to count such work for part of your production lab, but please talk to me about it beforehand.

Please be assertive about finding out when you are most needed. If you wait until the last minute to ask for work, or you are only available from 2:17 to 2:43 on alternate Tuesdays when it is raining, I don't expect the student editors to drop what they are doing and find a way to squeeze you in. (You can work for The Setonian from home if you arrange to pick up stories to proofread, or if you help publish the Setonian Online -- it uses the same blogging software I'll be teaching you to use in class).

Remember that your peers are just as busy as you are, and they will appreciate your responsibility and trustworthiness.

If you cannot carry out a task an editor has entrusted to you, please tell your editor when you're going to miss a deadline. Don't leave your peers hanging -- it's a matter of professionalism and simple good manners.

To schedule your production lab, contact the editor-in-chief, Valerie Masciarelli, or the online editor Evan Reynolds.

The course is designed to give those students who are interested in working on The Setonian additional skills and leadership training.

This term, we are also focusing on the history of news, beginning with the oral traditions of preliterate cultures, and continuing with the printing press, radio and TV broadcasting, and the internet.

Contribute substantially to each printed issue of the paper, and/or participate in group efforts to ensure that the online edition is updated regularly with fresh material (a good target would be once a week).

Students will share the work on two class projects designed to benefit the paper's long-term interests, and produce a portfolio that shows your engagement with the course material.

Because a small core of dedicated students can burn out if others in the organization do not share the load, the course asks you to demonstrate your willingness and ability to participate in the group effort to publish the voice of the student body, and in so doing to serve the entire Seton Hill community.

Students holding positions of responsibility on the Setonian (or the Setonian Online) may be eligible for work-study funding. If the work you get paid to do also helps meet your EL 200 requirements, that's fine with me.

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 (see Seton Hill University Catalog, p. 28-29, "Class Attendance" and "Excused Absences".) Repeated late arrivals and early departures will begin to count as absences. 

A student's final grade may be lowered by the proportion of unexcused absences. Thus, a student with a final grade of 75% with a record of 10% unexcused absences would get a final grade that is 90% of 75% (that is, 67.5%). (If you have only a few absences and your class participation is good, I will probably waive the penalty.)

I am happy to excuse students who have legitimate reasons, but students who miss a class period for any reason are still responsible for the material covered during the absence. An excused absence does not automatically grant an extension for any work collected or assigned that day.

Because there are so few class meetings, even a few absences can leave you far behind.

If you are absent from class without a legitimate excuse on a day when a major assignment is due -- perhaps because you stayed up all night working on a project and are too tired to attend class -- the assignment will be counted an extra day late. (You might as well go to bed without finishing the project, come to class so you don't fall farther behind, and then turn in the paper the next morning.)

5.1.1. Emergency Absences
Those who miss class due to an unplanned emergency should submit an "Absence Form," with proper documentation, as soon as possible.

For each class that you miss, print out and complete a copy of my "Absence Form" (available at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/teaching/Absence.doc). After you initiate this contact, we will start working out whether or what kind of assignments would be appropriate. (I ask that you resist the impulse to ask me to e-mail you a summary of what you missed. I welcome the chance to help you get caught up, but please consult the syllabus and a classmate's notes first, and then bring any specific questions to me.) For some classroom activities, such as listening to peer oral presentations, there may be no appropriate make-up assignment. (See 5.2 Participation.)

5.1.2. Scheduled Absences
Those who miss class due to a scheduled activity must plan to complete all make-up assignments before the missed class. In order to give us both time to plan, you must submit a complete, acceptable "Absence Form" (see above) a week before the missed class.

If there is insufficient time for us to agree upon an acceptable make-up assignment, or if an approved make-up assignment is late or unsatisfactory, then I may record the absence as unexcused.

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

Common sense and common courtesy dictate that absences, late arrivals and early departures, use of telephones or headphones, lack of preparation, inattentiveness or disruptive behavior will impact your participation grade. Those who participate above and beyond the call of duty will receive a bonus.

Students who dislike public speaking may wish to invest more effort in their online writing, and vice-versa.

If a student's final grade falls near a borderline, I consider classroom participation in order to decide whether to bump a grade up, leave it where it is, or bump it down.

This course expects you to use the internet regularly. I'm not expecting you to have 24/7 internet access, but just as students in generations past learned to carry an extra inkhorn and spare lamp wicks, there are certain common-sense strategies that will help you do the necessary work.

  • Print out a copy of the course syllabus, and print out online readings in advance, so that you can work on the readings if the internet happens to be down.
  • Get in the habit of e-mailing drafts to yourself, so that you can retrieve them from your archives if you lose your thumb drive.
  • Unless the homework assignment specifically mentions a printout, you should assume that I don't want a hard copy. (Most homework will be submitted via turnitin.com, though some assignments will ask you to use other services. We will spend some class time familiarizing ourselves with the various tools.)

Getting Credit for Late Work

By default, late assignments automatically lose one letter grade if they are not submitted on time, and another letter grade for each additional day late (counting weekends as one day). This means that no assignment will earn any credit if it is more than four days late (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

If you are asking that I waive a late penalty, e-mail me a copy of your completed Absence Form, with a subject line that follows this pattern: "Smith EL200 Ex 1-2 Absence Form".

Deadlines for the submission of turnitin.com assignments are typically 15 minutes before class starts. (This is to discourage you from being late for class because you were working on your homework, and it also permits me to scan the assignments briefly before class begins.) If your assignment is late by a few minutes, but you are still on time to class, your paper won't count as late.

Please note that late submissions always go to the bottom of my to-do list. If you are concerned about not getting a paper back soon enough to help you complete the next step in a multi-stage assignment, please make an appointment and I will go over it with you orally.

Special Cases

Some assignments are designed to get you ready for a particular day's class, or to give you the skills you'll need to tackle a larger assignment. For that reason, some assignments can't be made up. (I am willing to make an exception in extenuating circumstances, with proper documentation and follow-through from you.)

RRRR Items: These time-sensitive assignments (see the RRRR section of the EL200 help page) earn no credit if they are late. (You should still complete any items you missed in order to get full credit for your class portfolio.)

Class Participation: The ideal way to get credit for a missed in-class activity is to contribute substantially to the online discussion. Post thoughtful comments on the course website, your peers' websites, and/or your own. To make sure that I see and record credit for this alternative work, include the URLs of your make-up blogging assignments in an e-mail to me. If you post comments on someone else's blog, include the URLs of those entries, too.)

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. At any time, however, you may demonstrate your willingness to work hard for your grade by doing more than the required amount of work on your weblog. (Call my attention to this extra work when you submit your weblog portfolio.)

Please acquire your own individual copies of the assigned texts, and bring a copy to class on the day the discussion is scheduled.

In addition to these books, some assigned readings are available online. You may print these out, or you may bring an electronic version on a laptop or PDA.

If you wish, you may purchase copies of textbooks through an Amazon.com affiliates page that I have set up. (You don't have to buy them through this link -- you can use the campus bookstore or any other supplier.)

You may use any recent edition of the AP Stylebook.

Disability Statement
If you have a disability that requires instructor consideration please contact the Director of Disability Services at 724-838-4295. It is recommended that this be accomplished by the second week of class.

If you need accommodations for successful participation in class activities prior to your appointment at the Disability Services Office, you should offer information in writing that includes suggestions for assistance in participating in and completing class assignments. It is not necessary to disclose the nature of your disability.

Academic Honesty and Ethical Conduct

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.

Many of your college assignments will involve quoting from or responding to other people's words and ideas. However, using those words or ideas without properly citing them, or resubmitting your own work for a different class, constitutes plagiarism.

Paraphrasing the thoughts or written work of another without reference -- even with permission from the source -- is also plagiarism.

Helpful information is available at What It Is and How to Recognize and Avoid It.

Any plagiarism or other form of academic dishonesty will result in a zero for that assignment. Any plagiarism or other form of academic dishonesty on a draft will result in a zero for the final grade on that assignment. All academic dishonesty will be reported to the dean's office.

The whole course is based on 400 points.

If a particular exercise is worth 40 points, and you get 30 on it, you got 75%, or a B.

  • Exercises (200 pts) -- Homework assignments, due about once a month.
  • Portfolios (100 pts) -- A lab report (a 400-word news article, written in the third person, following all the principles of good journalism), richly-linked blog entry (collecting your thoughts on the readings and other class activities), and "action item" (an active, concrete contribution to one of the class projects; action items might include a memo, a list of addresses you collected, the URLs of pages you "webbified" on the Setonian Online, a brief summary of a telephone interview you conducted, a marked-up rough draft, etc.) Due on the Monday after each printed issue of the paper appears. Accordingly, the four portfolio due dates are scheduled for
    • Sept 24
    • Oct 8
    • Nov 5
    • Dec 3
  • Term Project (100 pts) -- Ongoing projects include a high school journalism contest and content for the new media journalism website. Includes an informal oral report (20pts), and a project portfolio (which includes a reflective essay (10pts) that quotes passages from the progress reports you submitted as part of your portfolios, a final evaluative reflection (10pts), a one-page handout (10pts) that includes tips and advice for students in future classes of EL200, and my assessment of your contributions to the project (50pts).)
  • Final Exam -- An informal oral report and the final term project submissions are due during the final exam time slot.

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