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CMST 2LW3 Communication Policy and Law (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2019

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Sara Bannerman

Email: banners@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 302

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23722

Office Hours: Wednesdays, noon-1PM; Fridays 10:30-11:30



Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the role and policy objectives of key national and international communication policy institutions
  • Outline and discuss a range of communication policy issues
  • Discuss current events related to a range of communication policy issues
  • Apply a range of general theories about law, policy and government to specific questions of communication policy and law


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

The course textbook is:

Bannerman, Sara. Canadian Communication Policy and Law.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press Inc, forthcomiong 2020.

The textbook, currently in pre-publication form, is available through the VitalSource platform at  https://canadianscholars.ca/books/other/canadian-communication-policy-and-law-prerelease for a one-term rental, at a cost of $14.75. 


Method of Assessment:

Attendance                                                                          

10%

 

News Reporting or Weekly Online Quiz                                       

10%

due weekly

Short Assignments                                                                         

30%

(15% each)

due October 4 and October 25 by midnight

Essay            

25%

due November 27 by midnight; no late penalty if handed in by December 4

Final exam                                                                                       

25%

during exam period

Attendance

A student who notifies the instructor in advance that he or she will be required to miss a class or a part of a class for an acceptable reason, or, in the case of an unforeseeable emergency, who notifies the instructor after the fact of the reasons for missing class, may make alternate arrangements to hand in assignments.  Under such circumstances, the attendance mark will be based on the remaining classes.

News Reporting or Weekly Online Quiz

Students may choose one of two options:

Option A: Weekly Online Quizzes: This is the default option. Weekly quizzes for all dates for weeks 2-12 of the course are due by the start of each Wednesday class.  Responses must be of sufficient depth and length, and must demonstrate engagement with the readings for marks to be awarded. Responses that do not meet the minimum requirements for depth, length and engagement with readings will receive a zero.  Each quiz is worth 1 percent of the final  mark.  It is possible to achieve bonus marks by answering more than 10 quizzes. Late quizzes will not be accepted. 

Option B: News Reporting: Students must request this option, which will be open to a limited number of students selected, if necessary, through a draw.  Students taking option B will be assigned a role in monitoring communication policy developments in the news.  Students are expected to monitor for stories and information related to communication policy on an ongoing basis, and should be prepared to report recent news events on Avenue to Learn and in class.  Specific guidance on where to look for items and what to watch for will be discussed in class.  Some reports will be made orally to the class on a schedule set in class.  Reports and presentations will be due weekly at the start of class, and will be marked on appropriateness of the topic, accuracy of reporting, and your efforts to present material in an engaging fashion.

Short Assignments

Legal Research Assignment: This short assignment will require students to use the legal research skills and techniques outlined in class. Details will be outlined in class.

Analysis Assignment: This short assignment will require students to undertake a theoretical or policy analysis of a topic covered in this course.  Details will be outlined in class.

Final Exam

The final exam will be based on all material covered in the lectures, required readings, and class discussions.  It will take place during the exam period.

Essay

An essay on a topic related to the communication law and policy.  Specific topics will be discussed and assigned in class.  Essays will be marked for spelling, punctuation and grammar; clarity and organization (wording, and good paragraph and essay form); and depth of argument. 

Submission Process

All work must be submitted via Avenue to Learn (http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/), as per the instructions given in classAssignments handed in to a different location will not be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made.  Do not drop off assignments in the CMST office.  Emailed assignments will not be accepted.  Always maintain electronic or other back-up copies of whatever you submit.  


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be penalized at the rate of 5% per day (including weekends and holidays) unless alternate arrangements have been made in advance. 


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

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. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

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. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail 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 a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

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.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
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".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

Week

Wednesday class date

Friday class date

Reading (Chapter Title)

Due Dates

1

Sept 4

Sept 6

Introduction

 

2

Sept 11

Sept 13

Chapter 1: Whom Does Law and Policy Serve?

 

 

3

Sept 18

Sept 20

Chapter 2: Introduction to the Canadian Legal System

 

Chapter 12: Legal and Policy Research and Citation

 

4

Sept 25

Sept 27

Chapter 3: Freedom of Expression and Censorship

 

5

Oct 2

Oct 4

Chapter 4: Defamation

Short Assignment 1 due Oct. 4

6

Oct 9

Oct 11

Chapter 5: Privacy

 

Reading week Oct 14-18

 

7

Oct 23

Oct 25

Chapter 7: Intellectual Property

Short Assignment 2 due Oct. 25

8

Oct 30

Nov 1

Chapter 8: Telecommunications Regulation

 

9

Nov 6

Nov 8

Chapter 9: Broadcasting Regulation

 

10

Nov 13

Nov 15

Chapter 10: Internet Regulation

 

11

Nov 20

Nov 22

Chapter 6: Government Surveillance

 

Chapter 11: Access to Information

 

12

Nov 27

Nov 29

Conclusion (Review class)

Essay due November 27th by midnight, but there is no late penalty if it is handed in by December 4th.

 

Dec 4

 

No class


Other Course Information:

Online Component

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn (http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/). 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 e-mail 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 course instructor.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

In this course we will be using a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.
Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Teaching Assistant

The teaching assistant (TA) for this course is Fizza Kulvi.  On all matters students should contact Dr. Bannerman at banners@mcmaster.ca and not the TA directly.