BTMM 150 - Intro to Cybermedia                   Fall 2001

Zizi Papacharissi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media

Office Tomlinson 221
Office hours MW 12-2pm
Office phone 215.204.5181
BTMM 150 web site
BTMM 150 listserv

Welcome to BTMM 150, Introduction to Cybermedia. This class is taught on-line, but you should feel free to contact me face-to-face during office hours or by appointment. For the time being, read through the syllabus to familiarize yourselves with the course objectives, requirements, and schedule. 






The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the uses of new media technologies. We will cover the practical applications and the theoretical implications of numerous Internet and computer-related technologies. This is an introductory course to cyber-technologies, so students will get an understanding for what it means to be part of an Information Society. We will examine several popular new technologies, discuss their economic, social, and cultural implications, and cover some of the latest developments in the new media area. At the end of the semester, students should have a better understanding of the uses and implications of cybermedia.


  • Learn key terms related to new media technologies.
  • Familiarize ourselves with the history of certain new media technologies, and especially the Internet.
  • Use the Internet as a tool for social communication.
  • Use the Internet as a tool for professional and academic research.
  • Learn how to obtain and evaluate information on-line.
  • Understand the economic, social, and cultural implications of new media.
  • Use the Internet to communicate individual ideas, research, and information.


This class is taught on-line. Even though  you should feel free to visit me during office hours, the bulk of class interaction will take place on-line, through this web site, the listserv, and e-mail. Therefore, all students should have an e-mail account that they check on a daily basis. All students should also subscribe to the class listserv. Lecture notes, readings, assignments, and all other class related information will be posted on this web site. Therefore, it is important that students possess basic computer and Internet skills.

You should all have readily available access to a computer (Mac, Windows based, or other operating system) and the Internet, whether from home or one of the campus computer labs. To get the most out of this class, you should have some basic word processing, web surfing, and e-mail skills. It is your responsibility to learn these basic skills.

Students are required to have an e-mail account and subscribe to the class listserv.  You should check your e-mail at least once a day. Lectures and assignments will be posted to the class web site. I may also contact you through the listserv/e-mail with additional information or changes. Because this is an on-line course, excuses like "my e-mail did not work" are not acceptable. It is assumed that if something is posted on the web site, the listserv or announced via e-mail, that you are aware of it. 

You may select an e-mail provider of your choice, but you would be best served if you choose a reliable provider that you are comfortable with. I recommend getting Temple account. Providers like AOL and MSN have a history or unreliable or incompatible service, and several of my students have experienced problems in previous semesters.

All e-mail correspondence directed to the listserv or  me must include BTMM 150 in the subject.

This is an on-line class, so face-to-face attendance rules do not apply. However, you are expected to check your e-mail, the listserv, and the class web site daily. This should take about a half hour at the most, and is the on-line equivalent of regular class attendance. 

I expect you to use the listserv and e-mail to bring up questions or concerns you may have about the class and the materials covered. Feel free to post questions about readings and assignments, or to comment on each other's work. Listserv participation is the on-line equivalent of class participation in a  face-to-face environment, and it therefore constitutes a significant part of your grade. Do not assume that you automatically receive credit whenever you post something to the listserv. Your comments do not have to be lengthy, but they have to be focused, thoughtful, and relevant. My goal is to generate lively discussion through the listserv. If I see that this system is not working, then I may replace some of this credit with other assignments.

Remember that the listserv should not be used for private e-mail. If you wish to respond to the sender of the message and not the entire class, then you should not use the reply button. Depending on your e-mail software, you can use the reply to sender only option, or re-address the e-mail to the individual.

You are expected to complete and turn in assignments by the specified date and time. Failure to do so will result in a grade of "0" for the particular assignment. There are no make-ups

In the case of an extreme emergency, you need to contact me as soon as possible with proof of the emergency, to arrange for an extension or rescheduling. 

 Communicating Online: A guide to the Internet, John A. Courtright and Elizabeth M. Perse, © 2001 Mayfield Publishing Company. ISBN: 0-7674-2179-5.

The World Wide Web: A Mass Communication Perspective, 2001 Update,  Barbara K. Kaye and Norman J. Medoff, ©2001 Mayfield Publishing Company. ISBN: 0-7674-2424-7.

Main Campus

AH 304 - Macintosh Lab

An array of graphics software is available here. There are also scanners in this location for you to scan pictures and include them in your web graphics. Hours: 8:30am - 8:00pm

AH 21 - Post Production

There is a Macintosh and Windows 95 Workstations that provide digital video editing capabilities. These Windows 95 machines are not connected to the Internet. Your main purpose for this lab should be to digitize sound and/or video clips for use in a home page or multimedia project. You can then take your digitized file(s) and save them to a Zip disk for use on other machines in the building. You may also use this lab for basic graphics work. Hours: 8:30am - 8:00pm

Ritter Hall - Rooms 309 - 310

This lab has Internet access with Macintosh and PC machines. Photoshop is available on the Macs. Hours: Mon - Thu 8:00am - 8:00pm, Fri 9:00am - 4:30pm, Sat 8:30am - 1:00pm

Home PPP dial-up connection

If you use a Macintosh or PC, you may use your home computer to dial-in to Internet services of Temple. The connection is much slower than if you are working on campus, but it will offer you the freedom of home lab time. If you need information on connecting from home, please contact the Help Desk (204-8000) for information on making your dial-up connection. Or, the Computer Resources Web Page at:

Dormitory Ethernet Access

If you live on campus, you should have direct ethernet access to the Internet at 10Mb/second speeds. This is approximately 20 times the speed of a conventional 56K modem, under ideal conditions. Currently, the university is supporting Macintosh models with system 7.5.x or higher, as well as Windows 95. Check with the Computer Services Help Desk for specific information about your location.

Ambler Campus Library, Room 29

PCs are available in this lab for general applications and Internet access. They do not have Photoshop here.

Fort Washington

Temple has a facility near the Ambler campus in Fort Washington. This lab has a variety of brand new Macintoshes and PCs. Photoshop 4.0 is available on the Macs, and Internet applications are available on all machines.


It is our desire that all students participate fully in the curriculum of our department. If you have a disability or special condition that compromises your ability to successfully participate in this class, please notify me as soon as possible and make sure you register with the appropriate University office. All efforts will be made to accommodate your needs.

All students are expected to read and observe Temple University´s Honor Code Policy concerning academic integrity.

When facts or other material are obtained from an outside source, that source should be cited properly in the text and the bibliography/references section of your work. Plagiarism is defined as taking the words or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's own without proper credit. Plagiarizing is considered cheating, and a student who plagiarizes will receive a zero for that assignment and/or a failing grade for the course.  If you are not certain that you are citing materials properly, feel free to double check your citations with me.

Class participation to listserv and first three e-mail assignments (syllabus response, computer questionnaire and personal profile): 20%

Library Assignment: 5%

Newsgroup Assignment: 5%

Internet User Survey: 10%

Traditional vs. New Media: 10%

Paper: 20%

Web Picks: 10%

Final Project: 20 %


A = 100-95 A- = 94-90

B+ = 89-87 B = 86-83 B- = 82-80

C+ = 79-77 C = 76-73 C- = 72-70

D+ = 69-67 D = 66-63 D- = 62-60 59 and below = F