Policy Statement

RHE 309K: Arguing the Digital Divide

Instructor: Jim Brown
Meeting Place: FAC 9
Time: T/Th 9:30-11am
Office Hours: T/Th 11-12:30 (Cactus Cafe)
Email: jimbrown@mail.utexas.edu
Website: http://instructors.cwrl.utexas.edu/jbrown/309k_fall05

The following are available at the University Co-op.

Required Texts:

  • Digital Divide: Facing a Crisis or Creating a Myth, Compaine
  • The Medium is the Massage, McLuhan
  • Virtual Inequality: Beyond the Digital Divide, Mossberger et. al.
  • SF Express, Ruszkiewicz et. al.

Optional Texts:

  • Revising Prose, Lanham

Additional Requirements
- Access to a computer and printer
- An e-mail account that you check daily

You will write two individual papers (each submitted twice), keep a reading blog, participate in forum discussions, and colloborate on a group project at the end of the semester. Class meetings will be devoted to various activities, including writing workshops, student presentations, and class discussions. In class activities, discussion, and attendance will account for a portion of your grade. Regular attendance and participation are essential to success in this class.

You should attend class daily, arrive on time, do assigned reading and writing, and participate in all in-class editing, revising, and discussion sessions. Students missing five classes can earn no higher than a B in the class. Six absences will result in failure of the course. A student is considered when arriving after the sign-up sheet has gone around the room - lateness equals .5 absences. Notify me beforehand of your participation in official athletic events or observance of religious holidays; these are the only excused absences. Save absences for when you are sick or have a personal emergency. If you find that an unavoidable problem prevents you from attending class, please discuss the problem with me.

Grades in this course will be determined by use of the Learning Record Online (LRO), a system which requires students to compile a portfolio of work at the midterm and at the end of the semester. These portfolios present a selection of your work, both formal and informal, plus ongoing observations about your learning, plus an analysis of your work development across five dimensions of learning:

1) Confidence and independence
2) Knowledge and understanding
3) Skills and strategies
4) Use of prior and emerging experience
5) Reflectiveness.

This development centers on the major strands of work in this course:

1) Balanced argument
2) Critical reading skills
3) Thoughtful revision
4) Collaboration

Late Assignments and Drafts
All assignments, including drafts, should be turned in on the due date at the beginning of the class period. You will turn in papers by uploading them to the course website. You are responsible for turning in assignments regardless of whether you attend class on the due date. Late coursework will be factored into your grade.

Format of Final Papers
Rough drafts and final drafts of all papers must be typewritten. The first page of your paper must include the following information: your name, my name, course number and unique number, date, and paper title. Double space the lines and use 1 inch margins all the way around the text (this is typically the default setting in programs like Microsoft Word.) Staple your pages together in the upper left hand corner. Unless you are told otherwise, your papers should be in MLA format.

Technology Policy
We will use technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use the keyboard and mouse, and how to use the web and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help. If you are familiar with the technology we are using please be patient and lend a helping hand to your classmates.

Course Website and Email
You should check your email daily. Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website will also have important information about assignments and policies, please visit this site regularly. The course site should be a helpful tool for you, so feel free to make suggestions about anything you feel should be included.

Computer Use and Availability
Computers are available to you in the Student Microcomputer Facility (SMF) on the second floor of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC).

Scholastic Honesty
Turning in work that is not your own, or any other form of scholastic dishonesty, will result in a major course penalty, possibly failure of the course. A report of the incident will also be made to the Office of the Dean of Students. The consultants at the Undergraduate Writing Center (FAC 211, 471-6222) are trained to help you with the proper use of sources.

We will be covering the use of sources in class. In general, I will ask you to provide me with photocopies or printouts of all sources you use. If you have any questions about how you are using sources on a particular assignment, see me before you turn it in.

Students With Disabilities
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TDD.