Spring 2001



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Semester at Sea


During the voyage, I conducted surveys and interviews with students, adult passengers, and college staff and faculty concerning media literacy and international issues. This research focused on the participants' awareness of international issues in the countries on the itinerary of the voyage. It also focuses on the participants' understanding of media literacy, i.e., the process by which news is gathered and presented to the public, as well as the inevitable media isolation that would eventually envelope all the passengers on the voyage. (I completed a research paper on this subject in September and presented it to the Global Fusion 2001 conference in St. Louis, October 14, 2001. Here is an abbreviated version of my findings/conclusions.)

Other research activities that I engaged in included a presentation to the the shipboard community as part of the universal core of the voyage, Geography 1000: Global Perspectives. My presentation on February 22 (during the passage from South Africa to Kenya), Mass Media as a Socialization Agent in Africa, was part of a discussion of development issues and focused on the importance of mass media and public communication as a tool to national and cultural development.


Here is the official description of each course and a photograph of the class groups (at the end of the voyage) and a brief description of some of the field experiences we shared.

* For each of these courses, students were required to complete a number of field requirements, which included interaction with communication situations in each port visited. Students collected newspapers and magazines; reported on broadcast news and entertainment programming; collected and responded to interpersonal and group communication activities representative of the cultures visited; and met with reporters and government representatives from many of the countries.

Communication 0520: Public Speaking This is an introduction to the composition and delivery of informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speeches, with attention to speech design, organization, and delivery. This course is designed to develop rhetorical understanding and increased skill in public speaking. Students will learn to research, organize, compose, and deliver public speeches. Theories of communication transactions, speech anxiety, audience analysis, and speaker competence are included. In addition, we will investigate the implication of public speech in decision-making fora, like small groups and organizations. Methods of evaluation consist of a midterm examination, a final examination, a simple informative speech, an expository speech, a persuasive speech, a ceremonial speech, and impromptu speeches. Suggested pre-requisites: None, but English composition will be useful.*

Communication 1732: Special Topics - Mass Communication: International Communication This course is an examination of the systems of communication around the world. It is designed to examine the human experience by exploring the sociocultural, economic, political and scientific/technical impact of communications on other countries. Additionally, lectures and course work will include theories of media technologies (print, broadcast, and the Internet) construct news production. Methods of evaluation consist of a journal, a final presentation, and oral report on issues, a midterm exam, a final exam, and class participation. *

English Writing 0550: Introduction to Journalism This course introduces, to students, the reporting and writing skills that are the basis for all non-fiction writing. Discussions will cover such topics as the nature of news; the difference between news and feature writing; the Associated Press stylebook; reference sources; lead writing and the inverted pyramid organizational model; quotations and attribution; and interviewing skills. The essentials and types of writing for the media are examined, as well as appropriate moral and legal issues. Emphasis is on writing assignments and class discussion of the results. Methods of evaluation consist of writing assignments, a midterm examination, a final examination, AP style quizzes, news analysis presentation, and class participation. Suggested pre-requisite: An introductory composition course.*

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