MDIA 2306 - Media Theory

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

This course examines the different traditions within media theory. It maps the major theoretical traditions of the field including political economy and communication theories, textual theories and audience theories. It considers the impacts of digital networked communication and how they might be thought about. It also investigates the social and cultural processes implicated in the production and consumption of media forms. Issues range from the political economy of the media, the significance of ownership, the negotiations of power and the relative positions of citizens, corporations and the State. Students will consider a number of key concepts, and examine the writings of several key thinkers working in and around this field. They will also be encouraged to compare and contrast different approaches, so that they are able to recognise the different theoretical concerns and emphases in play. Discussion will range across a selection of themes and issues, from the more traditional (e.g. debates about ideology and signification) to the more contemporary (e.g. debates about privacy and surveillance).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MDIA 2306
    Course Media Theory
    Coordinating Unit Media
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses or equivalent, including 3 units in Media
    Incompatible MDIA 3303
    Restrictions Available to BMedia students only
    Course Description This course examines the different traditions within media theory. It maps the major theoretical traditions of the field including political economy and communication theories, textual theories and audience theories. It considers the impacts of digital networked communication and how they might be thought about. It also investigates the social and cultural processes implicated in the production and consumption of media forms. Issues range from the political economy of the media, the significance of ownership, the negotiations of power and the relative positions of citizens, corporations and the State. Students will consider a number of key concepts, and examine the writings of several key thinkers working in and around this field. They will also be encouraged to compare and contrast different approaches, so that they are able to recognise the different theoretical concerns and emphases in play. Discussion will range across a selection of themes and issues, from the more traditional (e.g. debates about ideology and signification) to the more contemporary (e.g. debates about privacy and surveillance).
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Peter Pugsley

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Students who complete this subject will be able to:
    1. recognise and explain the differences between the major theoretical traditions and research methodologies used in media communications
    2. gain a critical understanding of the key concepts of media communications theory
    3. be aware of the manner in which media texts, institutional relationships and communications practices shape perceptions of reality in contemporary society
    4. demonstrate competence in reading relevant academic literature and in reflecting critically on that body of literature
    5. demonstrate conformity to appropriate forms of written presentation in academic work
    6. demonstrate a general awareness of the role of theory in understanding and explaining social life
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2,3,4,5,6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2,3,4,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A Course Reader must be purchased.
    Online Learning
    Extensive use will be made of MyUni in this course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1 x 1 hour Lecture each week in which initial content will be canvassed
    3 hours reading each week in which the content from the lecture is elaborated
    1x2 hour seminar each week in which interactive learning in small and large groups applies the theories under discussion to a series of media texts.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    3 contact hours, at least 3 hours preparation
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will be a mix of content delivery through lectures and readings and interactive class work in two hour seminars every week. Seminars will engage students in analysis of various media texts using theories being studied.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Attendance and participation 10%
    Online tests 20%
    Written analysis 30%
    Essay 40%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Required readings must be done and an online test on the reading completed before the lecture the following week. The reading will relate to the lecture delivered the previous week. 
    Assessment Detail
    Attendance at seminars is compulsory and preparation for seminars is required. (Formative)
    Online tests on the reading materials will be done prior to the next week. (Formative and Summative)
    Two major pieces of assessment will be carried out in the form of an analysis of a media text and an essay at the end of semester. (Formative and Summative)
    Submission
    Assessment will be through online submission on MyUni.
    Tests on the readings will be available through MyUni site and must be completed by the following week.
    The two written pieces of assessment will be submitted online through MyUni and each must also be submitted through TurnitIn.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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