Course content and grading

JRN 411 Course content, projects and grading


What does convergence look like?


Getting digital (chapters 1-3)

INNOVATIONS: RSS reader, web site development, blogging, crowdsourcing

Publish, distribute, connect – getting social and mobile (chapter 4)

INNOVATIONS: Microblogging, live blogging

Multimedia – photos, audio and video (chapters 5-7, RGMP)

INNOVATIONS: Digital photography, Audacity, iMovie and FinalCut and other mobile apps of your choosing

Data, conversation and audience (chapters 8 & 9)

INNOVATIONS: Databases, mashups, comment management and tracking your audience


You’ll complete at least 10 projects during the semester that will build on the skills you’re learning. They’ll also populate your WordPress site.

In addition you’ll be writing on a variety of topics.

Among the possible projects:

·      Crowdsourcing:  Group project

·      Photo slideshow: Combining photos and captions

·      Audio: Simple audio project capturing sound or voice recording (or both)

·      Simple slideshow: Still photos and captions

·      Video: Shooting video and stills and creating a short video

·      Multimedia package: Must include video, photos, alternative story-telling, narrative

·      Mobile story-telling:  A complete package produced on your phone

·      Website. The digital venue for your course content. The website will be reviewed periodically and graded at the end of the semester.


We’ll work on lab projects every week. These sessions may not be made up unless you have an excused absence. Labs will include graded and credit only assignments.

Discussion leaders:

Students will be assigned discussion leader topics, including book and resource units, website analysis and current convergence-related events and issues. Audience engagement will be the primary grade criteria.


Quizzes will cover class content, reading, resources and student presentations.

Participation (20 points each half):

Be engaged. Be on time. Be in class.

Deadlines for assignments will be posted on the course Moodle.


I use a transparent point grading system. You can check your current grade on Moodle anytime.

Final grades are based on this OU grading scale:

90% and above = 3.6 to 4.0

80-89% = 3.0 to 3.5

70-79% = 2.0 to 2.9

< 70% = 1.0 or lower

What your grade means:

90 – 100% Publishable work. It is a project or story package that is clear, interesting, and well written or scripted. It has solid organization, effective quotes, smooth transitions and no spelling, grammar, or accuracy errors. It is thoroughly researched and sourced.

80 – 89% Publishable with some editing. It may have some minor spelling or grammatical errors. The lead is effective. The body is cohesive and well organized. It might need more research and sourcing.

70 – 79% Requires extensive editing to publish. Several sections may need to be rewritten. The lead may be buried or fail to focus on the most important aspects of the story. The body of the story might be disorganized and contains many minor errors. Facts may beunsourced. The writer/producer might be making assumptions or using opinion.

60 – 69% Needs a complete rewrite or revision to be published. The facts are presented ineffectively. The story contains an unacceptable number of spelling, grammar, or accuracy errors.

Below 60% Contains major factual error(s). Names are misspelled. The facts are so distorted that they could not be rewritten and published.

Meeting deadlines:

You are expected to meet deadlines as posted on Moodle. Late projects will be penalized per the


Spelling and grammatical errors:

If you want to be a journalist, you must know how to spell correctly. Become best friends with spell check, but remember, you cannot rely on it to catch everything. Grammar and good writing are extremely important in this course.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar and AP Style errors on assignments will result in a .25 point deduction for EACH error. Factual errors will result in a 0 assignment grade.