WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY
PROPOSAL FOR NEW COURSES
Department _Mass Communication_____ Date __3/21/04_____
MCOM205 Principles of Internet Communication Three (3)
Course No. Course Name Credits
This proposal is for a(n) ___X___ Undergraduate Course ______ Graduate Course
Applies to: __X__ Major _X___ Minor _X__ University Studies*
_____ Required _____ Required
_X__ Elective __X__ Elective
Grading method __X___ Grade only ______ P/NC only ______ Grade and P/NC
Frequency of offering Spring term in 2004; each semester thereafter
*For University Studies Program course approval, the form Proposal for University Studies
Courses must also be completed. submitted according to the instructions on that form. Those
materials Are Also Being Submitted
Provide the following information (attach materials to this proposal): Those Materials Are
A. Course Description
1. Catalog description.
2. Course outline of the major topics and subtopics (minimum of two-level outline).
3. Basic instructional plan and methods.
4. Course requirements (papers, lab work, projects, etc.) and means of evaluation.
5. Course materials (textbook(s), articles, etc.).
6. List of references.
1. Statement of the major focus and objectives of the course.
2. Specify how this new course contributes to the departmental curriculum.
3. Indicate any course(s) which may be dropped if this course is approved.
C. Impact of this Course on other Departments, Programs, Majors, or Minors
1. Does this course increase or decrease the total credits required by a major or minor of
any other department? If so, which department(s)?
2. List the departments, if any, which have been consulted about this proposal.
D. University Studies Course Proposals
The form Proposal for University Studies Course must also be completed and submitted
according to the instructions on that form.
Attach a Financial and Staffing Data Sheet. That Form is Attached
Attach an Approval Form. That Form is Attached
Department Contact Person for this Proposal:
__________________________________________ X5232 firstname.lastname@example.org___
Name: Prof. John N. Weis, Chair, MCOM Phone e-mail address
WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Routing form for new and revised courses and programs. Course or Program: MCOM2005 Principles of Internet
_________________________________ ________________ email@example.com_______
Department Chair Prof. John N. Weis Date e-mail address
Dean’s Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
Dean of College Date
A2C2 Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
For: _____ Major _____ Minor
Chair of A2C2 Date
Graduate Council Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
Chair of Graduate Council Date
Director of Graduate Studies Date
Faculty Senate Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
President of Faculty Senate Date
Academic Vice President Recommendation _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
Academic Vice President Date
Decision of President _____ Approved _____ Disapproved
Please forward to Registrar.
Registrar _________________ Please notify department chair via e-mail that curricular change has been recorded.
A. Description: This course provides an overview of the unique and specialized nature of
communicating to mass audiences via the Internet. This new medium,
perhaps the most significant communication development since
Gutenberg’s moveable type in the 1440s, starts with a message on a single
web page from among one billion available to the receivers of that
message. The medium also combines printed words, still photographs and
other images, sound, video, character and component motion and
interactivity. This course deals with fundamentals of html language, web
page/site development and how to communicate clearly and maintain
interest while balancing those complicated elements of the effective
A complete syllabus follows this portion of the proposal.
It is anticipated that this course would enjoy a high level of interest and
support from the student population. Since this is simultaneously being
proposed as a University Studies course, the department believes
enrollment could be significant. The only other comparable department
course is MCOM100, Media and Society, which has an average
enrollment each term of more than 350 students. As such, lecture
combined with video presentations and demonstrations would be the
primary method of instruction.
Students will be instructed in HTML and WYSIWIG web programming
and development and the specifics of mass communication dealing with
the Internet and intranets with concentration on the unique nature of that
communication as it relates to: personal/family websites; entertainment,
news and information, research, and persuasive communication
Readings from the texts would be make up a significant portion of student
responsibility. Students will be expected to satisfactorily complete weekly
quizzes during the semester with a midterm examination and a final exam.
They will also be expected to demonstrate further participation through
periodic projects such as identifying effective and ineffective web
communication between classes and sharing this information with the
class. They will be required to develop a personal web site and publish
that to a server using file transfer protocol. A panel seminar on website
audits will be presented mid-course. Quizzes would be objective in nature,
scantron if class size required it. The midterm and a final would be
objective, scantron if class size required it.. Students would also be
required to submit an electronic “hard copy’ of their website on CD or zip
disk, etc. This would be evaluated by the instructor for its efficacy by
The text for this course would include:
Lynch, Patrick and Horton, Sarah. Web Style Guide. 2nd Edition. 2001.
New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN No. 0-300-08898-1.
Price, Jonathan and Lisa. Hot Text: Web Writing That Works. 2002.
Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing. ISBN No. 0-7357-1151-8.
Alexander, J. and Tate, M. Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create
Information Quality on the Web. 2000.New Mahway, NJ.: Lawrence
Erlbain Associates. ISBN No. 0-8058-3122-3C.
These represent a combination of emphasis on web language, structure
and design; the different types of web communication based on audience
and purpose; and the unique aspects of non-linear, multimedia web
communication and what makes for effective use of that unique medium.
Students would use Adobe Software to develop their websites. This
software, provided to students in MCOM courses by IT, works on the key
server principle to ensure access in-class or outside of class times. This
course would not require access to that software or the internet during
class times, however. That software would be used by the instructor
during class sessions, however. Students would work on their sites outside
of class time.
B. Rationale: The development of the Internet as a means of mass communication may
be the most significant development in mass comm since the development
of moveable metal type by Gutenberg in the 1440s leading to availability
of printed material to mass audiences, an explosion in literacy and a
society changed forever. It is critically important that the Mass
Communication Department prepare our students for communicating
effectively using a medium with which they are increasingly familiar–and
dependent. Internet/web communication is not only an expected area of
expertise for advertising and public relations professionals, newspapers,
radio and television stations today consider web communication a
necessary complement to their traditional means of communication.
The MCOM Department is anxious to offer instruction related to this
developing medium. In terms of due diligence, the department would be
abrogating its responsibilities if it did not add this course as soon as
possible. It is necessary to effectively prepare our students for professional
responsibilities after graduation.
But, significantly, the MCOM Department feels that this course should be
available to all other students at Winona State University in general
because of the growing necessity that students entering the workforce
today have a sound understanding of how to use the Internet to
communicate effectively in a wide range of activities and interests. But as
consumers of mass messages, it is also very important that they understand
this form of communication. It is also important to their functioning
outside the work environment with expectations that this will become even
more important in the next few years.
Based on the level of expressed interest in a course which deals with the
very unique aspects of online communication, it is apparent that there is
student interest outside the Mass Communication Department.
This university can assume a leadership role in that education and societal
preparation. It is most appropriate, the department believes, that the Mass
Communication Department provide this instruction on the emerging mass
medium involving the Internet.
The department will be proposing that this course be made available as an
elective in all MCOM options—Advertising, Broadcast TV and Radio,
Journalism, Photojournalism and Public Relations. The department will be
proposing a reduction of one required course in each of those options, but
this is to enable students to take more electives in general and to provided
more flexibility to students and to the department. This would also,
however, provide a greater ability of students in all options to take this
Internet course as well. As discussed elsewhere in this application, this
will not require additional staff.
C. Impact: The department is aware that other faculty in other departments have
begun including website development in their courses. This does not
contradict that in any sense. Within MCOM, for example, Public
Relations, Public Relations Writing, Advertising, Advertising Campaigns,
Public Relations Campaign all have web communication components.
But the department feels that the students could get more from those
classes if they had had access to a fundamental web communication
course prior to taking the other, non-web-specific courses. Having a
fundamentals course available to university students, especially if
approved as a University Studies course, could bring students into other
courses with an enhanced web capability to apply to the other courses
currently requiring web involvement.
This course does not change the number of hours required within any
option in the MCOM Department, for either majors or minors. It does not
affect hours for any department with which we have cooperative course
offerings. We do not see any impact on other departments in this regard.
D. Univ. Studies: This course is being submitted as a University Studies course with use of
appropriate application materials separately.
E. Syllabus: The syllabus for MCOM205, Principles of Internet Communication,
Course Title: Principles of Internet Communication
Credit: Three (3) Semester Hours
Term: One Semester
Texts: Lynch, Patrick and Horton, Sarah. Web Style Guide. 2nd
Edition. 2001. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN No.
Price, Jonathan and Lisa. Hot Text: Web Writing That
Works. 2002. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing. ISBN No.
Alexander, J. and Tate, M. Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create
Information Quality on the Web. 2000.New Mahway, NJ.: Lawrence
Erlbain Associates. ISBN No. 0-8058-3122-3C.
Focus: The course uses fundamentals of communication as the foundation for
focusing on how to communicate effectively in a medium which is
visually oriented and increasingly demands mental and sensory
stimulation to maintain viewer/reader interest. It examines the evolution
of the mass media and the society in which they function. It provides
specifics of Internet and web communication and the technology related to
it. It deals specifically with the elements of effective communication for
each of the types of communication on the Internet today.
Methods: As a survey course, involves lecture primarily. But discussion will be used
to foster dialogue leading to further understanding. Examples of both
effective and ineffective web pages will be shown to the students. Students
will also be expected to identify examples on their own and to share these
with the class. This course offers fundamental training in web page/site
development. But the course does not require that students be at a
computer and connected to the Internet during class. Web development is
done outside of class. But, again, the emphasis is on communication
effectiveness and the differences in communicating via the Internet based
on audience and message content. Focus will be on the concepts and
principles of effective Internet and web communication with emphasis on
specific types of communication, e.g. business, information, advocacy,
personal communication to mass audiences, entertainment, etc.
Products: Students will be expected to satisfactorily complete quizzes during the
semester with a midterm examination and a final exam. Scantron may be
required; instructor will let students know. They will also be expected to
demonstrate further participation through periodic projects such as
identifying effective and ineffective web communication between classes
and sharing this information with the class. They will be required to
develop a personal web site and publish that to a server using file transfer
The principles of communication. Intra-personal, interpersonal, group and mass. The
communication process: sender, message, encoding, medium, receiver, decoding, shared
meeting/action/opinion. Why it’s difficult to communicate effectively in any circumstances; the
unique challenges of online communication. Fundamentals of mass communication. Models of
mass communication. The linear nature of historic mass communication compared to the non-
linear nature of Internet communication, the first such communication challenge. Comparison of
various mass media and the differences in audiences by medium.
The development and evolution of mass communication in response to societal change and an
influence on that change. The print media: books, magazines and newspapers. The electronic
media: radio and television. Other media: recorded music and other material, motion pictures and
video. While each preceding medium saw the “new arrival” as a fad which would pass and, then
the “enemy,” media today recognize the tremendous influence of potential of the Internet and are
moving quickly to become a part of the developing new media...whatever that may be and
wherever it may lead. Quiz.
Mass Communication and the mass media as businesses. Inventors started each of them; the
business people brought the technological development, growth and development of each of
them. The relationship to society and the reflection of society. Globalization. The media melting
pot of today. The Internet, an interesting phenomenon today, becoming the center of the mass
communication universe of tomorrow. History of the Internet and the World Wide Web. Another
interesting invention with a very limited purpose. The Internet as business and, once again,
inevitable growth as media history repeats itself. Globalization of business and the media. The
instant global nature of the Internet and the communication and societal challenges related to it.
Internet spoken here. The nitty gritty of online communication. An overview of HTML. A history
of web communication, navigation and “language.” Software enables average folks to develop a
web presence. Web design considerations. How to juggle words, photographs, colors, fonts,
video, sounds and music, gifs, banners, JAVA applets and other active elements, interactivity and
still have it result in clear, effective communication. The seductive nature of links. A receiver of
your message may have stumbled on to it via a link from another site; a receiver of your message
may be lured away by any one of the other one billion sites available to her/him. Web “senders.”
Web “encoding” of messages. Web “media.” Web “receivers” Web “decoding.” Web “shared
meaning” and action as a result of your communication. A “home” for your site; the options. To
advertise or not to advertise; that is a question. Understanding HTML to facilitate understanding
of what happens with WYSIWYG software programs today. Quiz.
Web communication evaluative criteria: what makes for a “good” web site. Comparing the good,
the bad and the just plain ugly. Appearances vs. effective communication. The long and short of
written communication on the Internet. Applying traditional communication criteria to web
communication. The need for a new way of thinking and evaluating. Incorporating basic “good”
web elements into your sites. The need for planning up-front. Knowing the audience.
Understanding the intended purpose and outcomes. Thinking strategically instead of strictly
creatively. Do-it-yourself or hiring the “pros?” Fundamentals of web development using a sample
web creation software program, e.g. Adobe Software for web design. Quiz.
Keys to effective communication quality in web pages involving advocacy and issues
communication. Seminar approach to what works and doesn’t on the web with direct student
involvement. Panel. Quiz.
Keys to effective communication quality in web pages involving business web communication.
Seminar approach to what works and doesn’t on the web with direct student involvement. Panel.
A review of material to this point.
Conducting a personal Internet mass communication audit for students to complete some
preliminary planning for the development of their websites. Distribution of and discussion of a
checklist for quality. Domain, location, content and navigation checklists. A functionality
checklist in preparation for going online and an evaluation checklist for effectiveness once the site
is operational. A checklist for balancing text, graphics, active elements and layout and design to
have the intended communication effect. General Review.
A seminar involving students and their views of effective and ineffective web communication.
Midterm examination during this week. Review of examination answers and explanation of them
after the graded exams are returned.
Keys to effective communication quality with web pages involving web pages designed to
provide and share information on a mass basis. Seminar approach to what works in this regard
and what doesn’t with direct student involvement in comparing and contrasting web sites. Quiz.
Keys to effective and quality communication with web pages involving news. Newspaper,
television and radio on the computer. Repetition or complementary content? Push media and pull
media online today. Is it live or is it “Memorex?” Direct student involvement in the context of this
Keys to effective communication that is also effective with personal web pages of individuals and
families. Your web page will be able to be viewed by nearly a half billion people. Search engines
and spiders. The tremendous potential of an individual to communicate to mass audiences.
Drudge bigger than the New York Times today. Seminar format with direct student involvement.
Keys to effective and quality mass communication using web pages designed to provide
entertainment. Seminar approach to class discussion with direct student involvement in
discussion from submissions of sites that work effective, those that need improvement. Quiz.
Keeping web sites fresh. Pre-testing and post-testing of web communication
effectiveness. Evaluating effectiveness and comparing to original planning objectives,
adapting accordingly. Web site operations and maintenance. Quiz.
The impact of the Internet on other mass communication professionals. The affect of the
Internet on those involved in journalism, photo journalism, radio-broadcast, television-
broadcast, advertising and public relations. The opportunities for persons in those fields
in the future. Special discussion of advertising as the new engine Internet growth. Public
relations professionals and the Internet; limitless possibilities for image enhancement...or
damage. The web and crisis communication and management. The glory days of mass
communication seem to be ahead, but the existing media will be changed forever. Quiz.
The crystal ball. Technology, content and capitalism. Past media development has been
evolutionary; the Internet is volatile, in the boardroom and online. Keeping up with
what’s ahead. An overview of what the gurus are predicting in a totally unpredictable
environment. Will your television be replaced by your computer or will your computer be
replaced by the infotainment center in the family room and the wireless data-
entertainment unit in your car?
Publishing of final student websites. Quiz.
WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY
FINANCIAL AND STAFFING DATA SHEET
Course or Program Mass Communication Department--MCOM205 Principles of
Include a Financial and Staffing Data Sheet with any proposal for a new course, new
program, or revised program.
Please answer the following questions completely. Provide supporting data.
1. Would this course or program be taught with existing staff or with new or
additional staff? If this course would be taught by adjunct faculty, include a
This course would be an additional course for the department, but it is intended to be
absorbed into the current structure without significant additional cost and no additional
staffing requirements. It is intended to be an elective in all five of the Mass
Communication Department options—Advertising, Broadcast TV and Radio, Journalism,
Photo Journalism and Public Relations. This course is simultaneously being submitted as
a new university course as well as a US course. The department feels that it is critically
important to offer an introductory course in the fundamentals of web/Internet design and
communication. This need goes beyond the needs to mass communication professionals
and extends to those students who will be accessing that important new medium as
consumers as well. As a result, the department has placed the highest priority on making
this course available at this university and within the MCOM department but want to
make it available to all university students since their effective use of the Internet will be
crucial for most of them regardless of college/department/major.
As a result, it is the intent of the department to meet the financial/staffing needs of
this course within existing university/department resources. Like any other course in the
department, this would be fulfilled with existing staff and/or funded adjunct equivalent
positions in the MCOM budget. For example, MCOM has a certain number of full-time
faculty. But our budget also includes a university commitment to fund staffing equal to
the number of courses taught by the now-retired Prof. Pack and for Prof. Elcombe,
reassigned to Residential College. We would use adjunct or existing faculty depending on
needs and availabilities in any given semester. This course requires unique expertise in
web design, Internet mass communication theory and application, and knowledge of the
evolution of the “new media.” But it would be done without asking for additional staffing
beyond the department’s existing staffing levels.
2. What impact would approval of this course/program have on current course
offerings? Please discuss number of sections of current offerings, dropping of
Again, the department would offer this course within the current historical patterns of
numbers of course offerings. The department’s relatively recent move to increase GPA
requirement for participation in MCOM courses has reduced the pressure on numbers of
sections number of sections required each term. Secondly, the department’s efforts (being
proposed separately) to reduce the number of required courses in each option, increase
the number of electives in each option by one, and offer this MCOM205 course as an
elective in each option, will provide flexibility required to offer this new course without
expanding the staffing/expense requirements.
3. What effect would approval of this course/program have on the department
supplies? Include data to support expenditures for staffing, equipment, supplies,
instructional resources, etc.
There are no additional capital expenses associated with offering this course.
As proposed, this course would be structured very much like MCOM 100, Media and
Society, a megasection intro course held each term in Somsen Auditorium. Enrollment in
that course, a University Studies course, is usually about 400 students. This proposed
MCOM 205 course is also anticipated to be a megasection course and, as mentioned
previously, is submitted for consideration as a ew course AND new University Studies
course. If that is approved, additional cost for a teaching assistant would be associated
with this new course. A teaching assistant, at a cost of about $800 per term, provides
assistance for the MCOM100 course. Again, however, that course generates revenue
associated with 400 students each term.
The primary additional cost would be copying associated with quiz and test materials.
This would involve one two-sided copy X number of students X 14 weeks.
The MCOM chair has already arranged with the IT department to have the Adobe
suite of software, including web design software, available to MCOM students beginning
next fall term. The cost of student software is absorbed by the IT department under this
WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY
CHECKLIST FOR CURRICULAR CHANGE PROPOSALS
Course or Program---MCOM 2005 Principles of Internet Communication
This checklist enables A2C2 representatives to endorse that their departments have
accurately followed the Process for Accomplishing Curricular Change. For each course
or program proposal submitted to A2C2, this checklist should be completed and signed
by the submitting department's A2C2 representative. Peer review of proposals is also
strongly advised, e.g., departments should discuss and vote on the proposals as submitted
to A2C2, rather than on just the ideas proposed or drafts of proposals.
If a proposal fails to follow or complete any aspect of the process, the Course and
Program Proposal Subcommittee will postpone consideration of the proposal and return it
to the department's A2C2 representative for completion and resubmission. Resubmitted
proposals have the same status as newly submitted proposals.
Note: This form need not be completed for notifications nor should it be included in
1. The appropriate forms and the “Approval Form" have been completed in full for this
proposal. All necessary or relevant descriptions, rationales, and notifications have
2a. The “Financial and Staffing Data Sheet" has been completed and is enclosed in this
proposal, if applicable.
_____X___ Completed ________ NA
2b. For departments that have claimed that “existing staff" would be teaching the course
proposed, an explanation has been enclosed in this proposal as to how existing staff
will do this, e.g., what enrollment limits can be accommodated by existing staff. If no
such explanation is enclosed, the department's representative is prepared to address
A2C2's questions on this matter.
___X_____ Completed (On financial/staffing sheet) ________ NA
3. Arrangements have been made so that a department representative knowledgeable of
this proposal will be attending both the Course and Program Proposal Subcommittee
meeting and the full A2C2 meeting at which this proposal is considered.
Name and office phone number of proposal's representative: Prof. John N. Weis, MCOM
4. Reasonable attempts have been made to notify and reach agreements with all
university units affected by this proposal. Units still opposing a proposal must submit
their objections in writing before or during the Course and Program Proposal
Subcommittee meeting at which this proposal is considered.
________ Completed ____X____ NA
5. The course name and number is listed for each prerequisite involved in this proposal.
________ Completed ____X____NA
6. In this proposal for a new or revised program (major, minor, concentration, etc.), the
list of prerequisites provided includes all the prerequisites of any proposed
prerequisites. All such prerequisites of prerequisites are included in the total credit
hour calculations. ________ Completed ____X____ NA
7. In this proposal for a new or revised program, the following information for each
required or elective course is provided:
a) The course name and number.
b) A brief course description.
c) A brief statement explaining why the program should include the course.
________ Completed _____X___ NA
8. This course or program revision proposal:
a) Clearly identifies each proposed change.
b) Displays the current requirements next to the proposed new requirements, for clear,
________ Completed ____X____ NA
9. This course proposal provides publication dates for all works listed as course
textbooks or references using a standard form of citation. Accessibility of the cited
publications for use in this proposed course has been confirmed.
____X____ Completed ________ NA
Department's A2C2 Representative Prof. Becky McConnell Date