Being Online (Revision 4)
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Area of Study: Social Science
Precluded Course: (CMNS 421 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HSRV 422).
CMNS 421 has a Challenge for Credit option.
Welcome to Communication Studies 421: Being Online, a three-credit senior-level course that focuses on how people communicate on the Internet. The course is organized to lead in concentric circles outward from the self. It begins with an exploration of the intrapersonal—how people construct and represent themselves on the Internet—then moves to the interpersonal—how people relate to one another and form communities on the Internet. It ends by examining the transpersonal—how people use the Internet for spiritual purposes. The course relies on recent research to explore issues and concerns about this relatively new medium of technology. Questions about ethics on the Web, about the gendered use of technology, about Web addiction, and about the changing nature of work and play are among those considered in this exploration into the complex relations between human beings and communication technology.
CMNS 421 — Being Online consists of two sections and four units:
- Unit 1 — Implications for “Being Online”: The Internet Then, Now and in the Future
- Unit 2 — The Self Online: Am I My Own Avatar?
- Unit 3 — Romance Online: From Meeting to Breaking Up
- Unit 4 — Developmental Perspectives: Children, Parents, and the Elderly
- Unit 5 — Deviance and Pathology: From Addiction to Bullying
- Unit 6 — Therapy and Health: Psychotherapy Online and Self-Diagnosis
- Unit 7 — Online Communities: Fans, Gaming, Support Groups
- Unit 8 — Work, Business, and Marketing Online: Effects of Social Media
- Unit 9 — The Politics of Information: Leaks, Censorship, and Privacy in the Digital Age
- Unit 10 — Death of the Information Expert?
To receive credit for CMNS 421, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum mark of 50 percent for the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent).
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The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Levinson, P. (2013). New New Media. New York, NY: Penguin.
The course materials also include a study guide, course information, and course readings.
The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.
Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
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Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Current as of: January-20-2017 1:55
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 4, December 18, 2015.
View previous syllabus
Updated August 31 2016 by Student & Academic Services