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COMM 3003 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

COMM 3003 - Television and Culture

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is an overview of social, political, and aesthetic dimensions of television in contemporary culture.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • understand television as a unique meaning-producing medium;
  • develop televisual literacy -- i.e., to develop the ability to dissect television's narrative and non-narrative structures and to recognize the foundational formal elements of television's images and sounds;
  • understand the changing roles of television in American and global cultures;
  • think about the ways in which television shapes viewers' attitudes toward their communities, their countries, other people, and themselves; and
  • develop the ability to think and write critically about the historical, political, and cultural implications of the images and sounds produced by television.
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:
  • Module 1: Thinking About Television
  • Module 2: Electronic Screens in Our Environment
  • Module 3: Television and Citizenship
  • Module 4: The Television Industry and Media Conglomeration
  • Module 5: Television and Advertising
  • Module 6: Censorship and Controversy
  • Module 7: Television Genres
  • Module 8: Television and Ideology
Specific Course Requirements:


Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Relevant newspaper or journal articles and reviews, which will be linked within Course Content. Access to current basic cable television programming. 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Each student will complete six quizzes and a final exam. Both will be taken online within specified time limits on the dates provided in 9TDeadlines and Due Dates9T and in the course Calendar. 

Grading Procedures:

Each student will receive grades on the following course activities: eight discussion assignments, six quizzes, the final exam, and overall class contribution and participation.

Discussion assignments offer students the opportunity not only to share informed reactions to and analyses of the course readings and viewings with others in the class, but also to respond to the ideas posted by classmates.

The quizzes ask students to demonstrate a grasp of fundamental terms and concepts related to television's roles in contemporary society. The Final Exam allows students to demonstrate an understanding of the major ideas and perspectives studied in the course.

Grading Scale:

900 - 1000 Points A
800 - 899 Points B
700 - 799 Points C
600 - 699 Points D
under 600 Points F

Assignments and Projects:

Each student will take six quizzes and a final exam. The quizzes will consist of objective questions covering the major concepts and terms from the reading and viewing in specified modules. The final exam will consist of objective questions based on the content of all course modules (Modules 1-8). All exams will be taken online within stated time limits. 

Graded Items

Description and Points
 Discussion Board assignments, @ 60 points each 480
6 Quizzes, @ 50 points each 300
1 Final Exam, @ 170 points each 170
Overall Class Contribution and Participation, 50 points 50

Total Points 1000 

Class Participation:

Discussion Board postings make up 48% of the final grade and are integral to the successful completion of COMM 3003. The purpose of Discussion Board assignments is to stimulate thoughtful, lively debates about the multiple roles of television in our culture.

Each Discussion Board assignment asks students to post an initial 500-word discussion of a question based on that week's course content and two 150-word commentaries on other students' discussions.

The class contribution and participation grade rewards discussions and commentaries that, over the course of the semester, move the class into particularly interesting and relevant areas of conversation and spark inquiry. Detailed instructions for writing effective Discussion assignments are contained in "Discussion Guidelines and Requirements," which can be found in the Getting Started module, and also by clicking on this link: 9TDiscussion Guidelines and Requirements.9

Late Policy:

Assignments are due at the dates and times specified in 9TDeadlines and Due Dates9T and on the course Calendar. In addition, announcements about due dates will be posted on the course homepage.

Makeup exams will be given only in cases where relevant and appropriate documentation is provided of medical, legal, or other extenuating circumstances.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021