Both graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in this class are subject to plus/minus grading.
Your grade will reflect these percentages:
Style Quizzes – 10%
There will be a quiz over the syllabus and five style/grammar quizzes during the semester, administered through the university’s Blackboard site. For the first four you will have 15 minutes to answer 10 questions. The last quiz will be 30 minutes long for 15 points. All the quizzes use the AP and Missourian stylebooks (open book.) If you have a problem accessing a style quiz or a computer issue, you must contact an instructor immediately or the quiz score will stand as given by Blackboard.
Newsroom Shifts – 10%
Newsroom shifts are graded based on the quality of your finished story files, self-evaluations in finished story files and feedback from newsroom editors. You are responsible for creating your folders and writing a summary of your newsroom shift in the classes folder. Be sure to include a link and/or copies of final articles/scripts/slideshows/mp3’s or movies in your folder as well. Folder structure:
Regardless of which three newsrooms a student chooses to work in, every student will attend two Missourian budget meetings during the course of the semester and will write a 250 word account of the meeting. What were the key points discussed? Where was the focus? (A news story from the previous day or how to approach the current day’s news) How might a multimedia student’s work fit in to the newsroom experience? These reports should be filed to the classes server along with your other newsroom reports.
Convergence Team Story Assignments – 65%
Story grades are based on several factors, including but not limited to the following criteria:
Students face grade penalties on individual team stories for inaccuracies, missed deadlines and/or having to be given a story idea by a faculty member those penalties will be levied as follows:
You will complete two solo Camp Convergence piece worth five percent of your grade and five team stories worth 65 percent of your grade this semester. The Camp Convergence Stories are worth 5 percent of your grade. Team Story 6 is where you’ll show mastery of the subject matter — it’s worth 15 percent of your grade.
Peer Evaluations – 10%
Much of the work in convergence journalism courses is team-based. One complaint about teams is that some people will take advantage of stronger teammates and allow themselves to “coast” without putting forth their own best effort. To create more effective teams you will grade and be graded by your classmates on each of your team stories. The evaluation form is posted on Blackboard (in Assignments) that you’ll be expected to fill out and submit after each team story. Deadline for the evaluation is 8am Friday. Failure to complete the form will result in a 0 (zero) for you and full credit for your teammates.
Class participation and Attendance – 10%
Class participation and attendance are vital and can rarely be made up. Classes are designed to supplement your hands-on learning, introduce new ideas and bring up big picture topics that may or may not be relevant to your reporting during any one week. If you need help with operating cameras, software or advice on stories, faculty and staff are happy to provide additional instruction in the Futures Lab.
We will take attendance at every class. You may miss five classes for any reason without penalty. We will not judge absences as excused or unexcused. Please check with a classmate to find out what happened in class when you were gone. If you still have questions about the material, check in with an instructor.
After five absences, each additional absence will result in a lower letter grade for attendance. If you have a chronic issue or illness that causes you to miss class for more than a week, please see an instructor.
There will not be a mid-term or final in this class.
Undergrads are assigned grades on the plus/minus scale. Grad students are assigned plus/minus grades through C-. No D grade may be awarded a graduate student, and a grade of F means the work has not satisfied the minimum requirements of the course.
Deadlines are listed in the syllabus, though they may be altered occasionally after consultation between convergence faculty and editors at the Missourian, KBIA and KOMU.
If we discover after publication/broadcast that you were responsible for a significant fact error in a story, your grade for that story will be dropped by one letter. Plagiarizing any portion of a story will result in a failing grade for the course.
Please feel free to meet with us at any time to discuss grades or any other issue. Part of professionalism is seeking advice when needed to handle special concerns or problems or to propose new ideas or innovations.
Stories turned in after the 6pm deadline will be docked at least one letter grade. Failure to complete an assignment or your part of an assignment may lead to a failing grade in the course.
Extra credit opportunities:
Blogging: If you create a blog and add at least one post per week to the blog during the semester, you can increase your final grade by 5 points. (For example, a B plus, becomes an A minus.) Where you see assignments due each week, there is a reminder to blog. We will discuss options for your blog in class. You will also be told how many posts are required during your team to earn the extra credit. It will vary from semester to semester depending on lecture schedules and the length of the term.
Math Test: Journalists joke about not being good at math… but math is important! There is a math quiz available in Blackboard that will open following our “math lecture.” If you successfully complete the search with a grade of 75% or higher, you’ll get 5 points added to your end of semester Style Quiz grade.
Graduate Student Assignment
Graduate students will complete an additional assignment that combines the creation of a portfolio site and offers high-level analysis of developments in the world of online journalism. Click here for the full details of the graduate assignment, due dates and instructions for submission.
Completion of this assignment is required for graduate students to pass this course.
Writing Intensive Requirements
All MU undergraduate students are required to complete an upper-division writing intensive course in their major. Journalism 4804 satisfies that requirement for Convergence Journalism majors. All WI courses use writing as a tool for thinking and learning; all require revision as a way of improving critical thinking. Here’s how we’ll carry out those goals.
Work for all students will be graded on the following plus/minus A-F scale. Your grade will be counted as the majority of the attendance portion of your grade in this class. You may not receive a passing grade for this class without completing this assignment.
F 69 or lower