Course Syllabus


  1. Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between the gospel and mass media
  2. Identify foundational media literacy terms and concepts
  3. Demonstrate understanding of economic perspective of the media industry
  4. Demonstrate understanding of media audiences
  5. Analyze media content
  6. Identify common media effects


Communication 140 is a required core course for communication majors. Mass Media and Society focuses on the concept of media literacy. The course is designed to help students become more knowledgeable about all facets of the media and more strategic users of media messages. Students learn how the mass media operates and how to use the media in better ways to achieve their own personal goals.

Learning Model Architecture


No prerequisites required

Required Materials

The course materials are available in the Course Materials List.

Textbook is Auto Access: Potter, W. J. (2021). Media Literacy (10th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. (US). ISBN #: 978-1071814499

Supplemental textbook website: SAGE Publications

You will also need Microsoft Word for this course which you can download free through the University Store.

Grading Policies

The weekly deadline for almost all assignments is Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (mountain time). This course follows the Communication Department policy of not accepting late work. If you have extenuating circumstances, please reach out to your instructor.

Grades will be based on the following weekly assignments and activities:

  • Discussion Forums: Each week we will have either an online discussion forum, or live group discussion over zoom, based on the readings and assignments of the week. For online discussions, review the chapter and then participate in the  discussion. Each discussion is worth 25 points. You will be graded on the quality of your content and critical thinking. A minimum of four postings is required for each forum. You'll need to make one original post and then respond to at least three other posts. There will be four Synchronous discussions where you will meet with a small group of your classmates.  These will be in Weeks 02, 04, 08 and 11.
  • Chapter Reading Quizzes: You will take a quiz on the assigned reading each week. Each quiz is an open-book online quiz; each quiz is worth twenty points and consists of twenty multiple-choice or true-false questions. You may only open each quiz once, so be prepared before you open the quiz. You may be tempted to take the quiz without reading first; while there is no time limit on the quizzes, this usually takes a lot of time online. If you have technical problems taking a quiz, email your instructor immediately so we can make arrangements for you to complete the quiz. Late quizzes are not accepted.
  • Projects: There are 11 hands-on projects over the semester worth thirty-five points each. Projects require some outside research and reading and usually take from one to three hours to complete.
  • Activities: There are 10 activities over the semester worth 15 points each. Activities are designed to help you take a deeper look into concepts or ideas presented in the chapter. Activities often include videos or articles for you to watch and read. You'll be asked to respond to specific questions about what you learned in a paragraph or two for each question. Activities usually take from thirty to ninety minutes on average to complete.
  • Review Exam: There will be a final open-book exam near the end of the semester worth 100 points. The exam has true-or-false and multiple-choice questions. The exam is open-book and does not require a proctor; however, it is to be completed on your own. Exams must be completed by their due date. There are no exceptions.
  • Peer Teaching Presentations: Using screen capture software, you will prepare 2 presentations in weeks 12 and 13. Detailed instructions on how to create and share the presentation will be available in Canvas. One week will be a one-minute debate, another a final media literacy project where you will pick from a list of mass media topics and create a presentation to share with the class.

Extra Credit: If you feel like you need a few extra points, you can choose from this list of extra credit projects. Each project is worth up to ten points; you may earn a maximum of 30 extra credit points.

  1. Watch one or more of the live or archived or episodes of Latter-day Profiles with a variety of media professionals and others. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  2. Contact a professional in your chosen career field. Interview him or her and write a summary on what you learned about your career field. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.

  3. Review the talks from the most recent general conference. Summarize what we are being taught concerning media with specific references. Submit a minimum one-page summary that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.

  4. Attend a mass-media related speech, seminar or symposium in person. Submit a minimum one-page critical analysis of the activity that is double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font.

  5. Pitch an idea that you have for extra credit. Get it approved and complete the project.

Grading Scale

Letter Grade Grading Scale
A 93% and above
A- 90—92.9%
B+ 87—89.9%
B 83—86.9%
B- 80—82.9%
C+ 77—79.9%
C 73—76.9%
C- 70—72.9%
D+ 67—69.9%
D 63—6.9%
D- 50—62.9%
F 49.9% and below

Due Dates

The due dates for this course are a bit different than other classes. Lessons run Wednesday to Tuesday. Tuesday is the "end" of the lesson when most of your assignments are due. This lets you work over the weekends on your lessons.

Microsoft Word—Helpful settings

Because we use many Word worksheets in this course these setting might be helpful to check in your version of Word.

Word will open documents in Protected View for files that do the following:

  • Originated from the internet.
  • Located in potentially unsafe locations.
  • Received as attachments to an email message.

However, by going to File>Options>Trust Center>Trust Center Settings>Protected View, you can change that behavior for each of the above individual cases.

If the documents have the Read-only attribute set, you can go to File>Options>General and uncheck the box for "Open email attachments and other uneditable files in reading view."

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course does require synchronous meetings. These are held in Weeks 02, 04, 08 and 11. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place. Print or download this syllabus for your records.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due