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CMST 3CY3 Children,Youth,andMedia

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Christine Quail


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 326

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24072

Office Hours: Tuesday 12:00-2:00

Course Objectives:

• Understand children and youth in historical, social, cultural contexts

• Understand a variety of media for children

• Critically analyze race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, nationality, and other forms of diversity as they pertain to children and the media

• Engage in contemporary debates regarding power, media, and diverse children

• Understand and critically reflect on media policies towards children

• Knowledgably engage media literacy concepts and programs

• Approach digital childhood(s) with a reflective lens

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

• Required readings: Assigned readings (academic articles, news articles, etc.) will be listed on Avenue. They are either to be located through library databases (or posted on Avenue), or directly online (URL provided).

• Additional readings: May be assigned in lecture in order to address current events or cutting-edge research. They will be available either online or through the library databases, as announced.

• Screenings—full-length and clips--will constitute course texts (which means: watch clips actively and take notes.).

• Avenue To Learn (A2L): Will be used in this course. Please make sure you are able to access this tool.

• Additional Technologies: We will use a variety of technologies that can be downloaded. You may bring laptops or tablets to use in our active learning classroom.

• Self-directed research: Will be necessary for some assignments.


Method of Assessment:

Course Assignments:





Active Learning Activities & Participation


Every class

Children’s Media Project


March 21 (with portions submitted earlier in the semester)


30%  (3 quizzes; 10% each)

Jan 27; Feb 14; Mar 7

Final Exam


Scheduled by Registrar


Active Learning Activities and Participation: We are working in the Active Learning Classrooms this semester, and participation will be integral to the course. Attendance and participation are required; attendance will be taken, and participation assessment made regularly. Please come to class with the readings complete, and ready to discuss/apply readings and engage actively in class activities. Please be punctual, and stay for the entire session, as announcements will be made at the beginning and/or end of class. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate, and to be prepared for the next class meeting, with all assignments/readings ready. Lecture notes will not be posted online. This is an active learning classroom, so technologies may be used for many activities. However, we will expect that you will not be using your devices for outside purposes during class—doing so will negatively impact your participation mark. If you have particular needs or circumstances that affect participation, please make an appointment to meet with Dr. Quail before January 18 to discuss specifics.

Children’s Media Project: Students will work in groups to develop a media literacy project. There will be small portions of literature review/secondary research assessment, rationale, and development, due throughout the term; as well as a presentation and final reflection on feedback. Formal guidelines will be distributed at the beginning of the semester.

Quizzes: Three quizzes will be mixed format and will test concepts and material from the class readings, lectures, screenings, assignments, and activities. The quizzes will occur during a regular class period. Do not miss the quiz. I am not kidding. You do not want to have to write a make up quiz. It will be terribly difficult.

Final Exam: The final exam will be cumulative and of mixed format, including writing. It tests concepts and materials from class readings, lectures, screenings, assignments, and activities

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Assignments: Assignments are due on the day due, at the beginning of class. All late assignments incur a late penalty of 10% per day late (starting at the time due—at the beginning of class); weekend days are treated separately. Post late assignments in the drop box on Avenue. If you know you will not be in class on an assignment due date, it is your responsibility to submit work early—to the drop box on Avenue, and email the instructor and TA to let us know that it is there. In case of emergency, late penalty waiver will be considered with proper documentation, following proper university policies on missed work.


Missed Quiz or Exam: If you miss a Quiz, a different make-up quiz will be given with proper documentation. NOTE: Submitting an MSAF is not proper documentation -- this is the first step of documentation—you need to follow all proper procedures and university policies regarding missed work. Make-up quizzes will be granted at the discretion of the professor; re-weighted assignments will not be granted. Missed final exams will follow University policy.



Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

(Please see Avenue for articles list and links)


Week 1: (January 6)

• Intro to course

• Intro to active learning

• Baby Media

• Media Literacy Programs


Week 2: (January 10, 13)

• Childhood & Youth in Historical Context

• Consumerism and Kids as Markets

• Advertising & Kids

• Advergaming


Week 3: (January 17, 20)

• Play and Imagination

• Toy-based media

• Video games

* Apps

• Sports


Week 4: (January 24, 27)

• Music

• Television and Film

• Representation

• Ratings Systems


Week 5: (January 31, February 3)

• Devices

• Internet

• Social Media

• Music


Week 6: (February 7, 10)

• Bullying

• Cyberbulling

• Online Harassment

• Safety Policies and Legislation


Week 7: (February 14, 17)

• Celebrity

• Kids as Fans

• Magazines


Reading Week – No class Feb 21, 24


Week 8: (February 28, March 3)

• Educational Media

• Media Literacy

• Digital Literacy


Week 9: (March 7, 10)

• Kids Make Media – Youth Media Production


Week 10: (March 14, 17)

• Children’s Media Presentation Panel 1 & Debrief


Week 11: (March 21, 24)

• Children’s Media Presentation Panel 2 & Debrief


Week 12: (March 28, 31)

• Children’s Media Presentation Panel 3 & Debrief


Week 13: (April 4)

• Course Wrap-Up


Final Exam: Scheduled by Registrar



Other Course Information:

Announcements: The instructor reserves the right to make adjustments in the schedule. Regardless of attendance, students are responsible for all announcements made in class, including adjustments to readings and assignments. Students are responsible for regularly checking Avenue to Learn for any information that may be distributed online.

Class Environment: It is important to maintain an inclusive classroom at all times. This course will involve a high level of interaction, and some disagreement about issues is expected. It is important that each individual is free to contribute, so I ask that we respect each voice in the class. Any online interaction, group work, or any other class activity, must also follow these guidelines. Every student’s academic freedom and human rights needs to be respected in order for class to function as an inclusive and engaging learning environment.

Avenue to Learn: In this class, we will be using Avenue. Students should be aware that when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster email accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure, please discuss this with the instructor.

Technology: In this class, we will be using a variety of interactive learning technologies. If you have any questions or concerns about the use of these technologies, please let the instructor know. If you require accommodations for technology, please make an appointment with the instructor so that your needs can be met.

Assignment Submission: All written assignments must be typed, titled, dated, include student’s name. They must include proper in-text citations and a bibliography. Please use APA citation style for in-text citation and bibliography. If you are unfamiliar with APA style, please consult a stylebook, or visit the OWL citation tutorial: