Photoshop Assignment

Final Project Information

TEL 555
(Updated: May 5, 2001)

Cyberspace and Communication

Summer 2001

Monday - Thursday  1:00 - 3:00 PM
EGJ 223 (Journalism Building)


Dr. Sean Baker
University of Kentucky
School of Journalism and

Phone: (606) 257-8204
107 Grehan Building Fax: (606) 323-3168
Lexington, KY 40506-0042 E-mail:

Office Hours: EGJ 213 (Grehan Building)
After class, And by appointment

E-mail is the most efficient means of contact.

Course Overview:

The course is designed to examine the theoretical and practical aspects of new media. It is also intended as "an examination of the political, social, cultural, and behavioral effects of on-line communication systems, including systems for various forms of personal communication, information retrieval, transaction processing, monitoring, and other purposes" (UK Bulletin).

In the past decade information technology has undergone substantial changes.  The Internet, digital television, virtual reality are only a few examples.  The convergence of different types of media forms (e.g. computers, satellites, networks, etc...) have and are currently changing society into what many people refer to as the, "Digital Age."  These developments are NOT solely dependent on technological factors as much of the popular "hype" asserts.  Accordingly we will examine new media from cultural, historical, legal, and psychological perspectives.

"Cyberspace and Communication" encompasses a wide array of issues and topics.  Accordingly, we will cover numerous areas with a focus on the Internet, and the World Wide Web.  However, it is difficult to distinguish between convergent media systems and forms often labeled "new media" - in contrast to the "legacy" media routinely studied in telecommunications programs.  Thus, on occasion we will discuss other new media technologies including, streamed digital broadcasting, networking, film innovations, and other emerging media forms.  We will examine three key areas:

History of Technology
Here, we look at the history of computers, networks, and the emergence of new forms of information technologies like the Internet and digital television.

Technology and Society
This area focuses on both the positive and negative effects of new media on social institutions; changes in law, policy, and regulation of new media; and the role of the media industry, regulators, and economic aspects of new media and society.

Technology and the Individual
In this area we will examine the social, cultural, economic, and political impacts that digital technologies have on individuals. Specific topics include: personal identity in the virtual world, sense of community in cyber-space, and changes in education, the workplace, and general issues that surround the digitization of information.

In addition to key concepts and ideas about new media, you will need basic computer skills. I assume little at the onset, but we will escalate over the quarter in complexity of things you do with networked computers.  Normally, there's a considerable range of experience among entering students; from none to 4-star experts. I invite  those with skills to help those who don't.

Format: The basis of our class approach is a mix of structured lectures, group discussion and individual research. This is punctuated by live and computer/network/videotape demonstrations. Given the cumulative nature of the course content and many of the readings, it is important for you to keep pace. Some class sessions will be held in a computer lab, a facility especially equipped to provide an introduction to digital media and the Internet.

Work: There will be a final in this course.  You are expected to participate both in class and through electronic discussions. There will be "pop" quizzes and other in-class assignments throughout the semester which will be given with no notice from me. There will be no make-ups for these activities. You have the option of completing a technology (software) assignment or a book review (more later).  There are also 3 short response papers.  A final project that is 5-7 pages (html or creative equivalence) is required and must be presented to the class for feedback from me and other students. Specific instructions on assignments, exams, and the final project will be distributed in class.  

Grading: Your grade in TEL555 has the following breakdown:


Response Papers (3 @ 5 points) 15
Photoshop Assignment or Book Review 10
"Show and Tell" Assignment 10
Participation/Discussion/Quizzes 20
Project (5-7 page equiv. text/html) 20
Project Presentation 5
Final Exam 20
Total 100

You are responsible for these as well as conventional materials (texts, handouts, tapes). Attendance is mandatory (unless excused by illness or other urgent need). Missing assignments (unexcused) will count as zero and late assignments will receive a 10% grade reduction per calendar day they are late.

UK grading system is based on a 4.0 to 0.0 scale. Here is my policy regarding letter and numerical equivalency:


Above 90%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
E Below 60%

Plagiarism (knowingly representing someone else's' work as your own) is not acceptable behavior in universities, nor is "cloning" of web materials represented as one's original work (this activity may also violate copyright). To be very clear on this point: if you didn't author some content used in your papers, you must put the material copied in quotations [and indent it if the material quoted exceeds several lines of text]. Then provide a complete footnote or citation to what you have used and from whom. I will spot check papers for plagiarism. Any form of cheating will not be tolerated and papers/assignments/test with clearly plagiarized material will result in course failure and university officials on academic conduct will be notified.

Texts and Other Readings:

There are three types of reading materials that are required for this course.

1. The textbook is:  Holeton, Richard (1998). "Composing Cyberspace: Identity, Community and Knowledge in the Electronic Age." McGraw-Hill.
2. A course pack that is available at: Johnny Print (547 Limestone; 254-6139)
Many hyperlinked, web sources from the Internet, are utilized. Consequently, you need to refer often, on-line to the electronic form of this course syllabus. The on-line version of the course is the only current, authoritative version. As a rule, I will not distribute handouts and revisions of the course outline in printed form. It may be found at URL:

Be sure press refresh/reload on your browser when viewing the syllabus or linked handouts over the quarter to be sure you are looking at the most current versions.

Also you will need to read current information about new media technologies. The New York Times Technology section is a good place to start. Even easier is to subscribe to the Benton Communications-Related Headlines, to do so you must: send email to:; In the body of the message, type only: subscribe benton-compolicy YourFirstName YourLastName.

Basic computer skills and access you will need to acquire:

Aside from the course content and specialized internet/web skills, you will need: (a) a UK user account for Web publishing and email or email and Internet space through a commercial provider (Seanet, MSN, AOL, etc); (b) an ability to log-on to the campus network or commercial ISP; (c) an ability to use Euroda, the UK's email program or an alternate (for POP-3 connections); (d) an ability to use current versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer. I will provide help with these needs during the first week. Much of the class' communication is through these means. Much of your submitted work will be in either email or web form (fear not; I'll show you how).

USE OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE COURSE. You must be willing to learn their effective use if your don't already use them.