Communication Studies (CMNS) 423

The Television Age (Revision 5)

CMNS 423 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. CMNS 301 and CMNS 302 are recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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CMNS 423 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Communication Studies 423: The Television Age examines the familiar medium of television as a technology, an industry, an educator, a medium for propaganda, and an art form. Students will study the major trends in television broadcasting and performance as well as major trends in critical responses to television. Assignments, readings, commentaries, and television viewing, will be used to help students examine and analyze the impact and implications of television in the past, present, and future.


  • Unit 1: The History of Television and the Nature of the Medium
  • Unit 2: The State of the Art and the Industry
  • Unit 3: Sponsorship and Art
  • Unit 4: Genres and Formats I
  • Unit 5: Genres and Formats II
  • Unit 6: News, Tabloid, Reality TV, and the Creation of Community
  • Unit 7: The Power to Educate and Inform
  • Unit 8: Stereotypes and Role Models
  • Unit 9: The Offensive Side of Television
  • Unit 10: Global Television


To receive credit for CMNS 423, complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on Assignment 4, and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite mark is as follows:

Component Weighting
Assignment 1: Short Essay 25%
Assignment 2: Short Analysis Essay 20%
Assignment 3: Short Analysis Essay 20%
Assignment 4: Research Essay 35%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Mirrlees, T., & Kispal-Kovacs, J. (Eds.). (2013). The television reader: Critical perspectives in Canadian and US television studies. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Other Resources

All other materials required for this course can be accessed online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the CMNS 423 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Component Weighting
Part I: Take home essay exam 50%
Part II: Paper exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 5, xxx xx, 2015.

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