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Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory

Communication Studies / Kommunikation (1-fags kandidat)
master course
Teaching language

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Detailed description of content

Media technologies are at the heart of contemporary digital societies around the globe, inseparable from how people communicate and navigate their daily lives, as well as at the center of their leisure and consumption practices. We use digital media to work and study remotedly, interact with authorities, take photos, check email, track fitness regimes, navigate public transit, get directions, scan restaurant recommendations and many other everyday activities, all while on the go. Multiplatformed digital devices provide entertainment on-demand, so that everybody consumes their own self-tailored media diet. And yet, since a lot of engagement occurs through massively connected social media platforms (Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok), individual networked practices and behaviours become collectively meaningful in different contexts. This elective course on (Digital) Media Theory accordingly embraces a human-centred perspective on technology to teach students how to investigate the complex relationships between digital media, communication, and society.

This course will introduce the main theoretical currents in the study of media such as medium theory, technological determinism, social construction and shaping of technology, domestication theory, theories of mediation and mediatization, theories of media convergence, media ecology, globalisation and remediation. We will interrogate the technological and social assumptions embedded in the current literature, considering their strengths and weaknesses. We will address the relation of media to their users and examine various theories of media effects and audiences, including topics such as fandom, user-generated content or resistant consumption. We will also work with media codes and meaning, delving into specific digital media genres and practices. The classroom sessions will encourage discussion to develop a critical perspective on media, and also deal with institutions, regulation, ideology and power.

Alongside these discussions, students will get practice with a number of key academic skills in the class sessions, working on products that are then compiled in a portfolio at the end. With an eye to transferrable skills that can be deployed in later thesis and project work, the portfolio elements include: a literature review of a chosen theme from the course, an assemblage description, a media controversy mapping, and the design of a fictional media object.

Expected work effort (ects-declaration)

The course is worth 10 ECTS so you need to adjust your workload accordingly: • 48 hrs. lectures and exercises • 120 hrs. preparation 2.5 hrs. for each lecture hour • 80 hrs. exam work load • 22 hrs. other activities You are expected to attend class and prepare by reading 2-3 compulsory texts every week plus doing the required workshop preparation activities. You are also expected to regularly check the course´s Moodle site and keep yourselves up to date with information. The teaching sessions are divided in two blocks: lecture plus workshop. The workshop consists of different activities where the topics of the lectures and readings come into play. It could be discussions, presentations or even playful activities where you are at the center. These activities will serve as direct preparation of the portfolio elements to be submitted for evaluation at the end of the course.

Course material and reading list

The literature list will be published in the course´s Moodle site a couple of weeks before course start. There is no need to buy a physical course book as we will be using online books and research articles that can be accessed online through RUC´s library.

Evaluation- and feedback forms

The students will receive regular feedback in all class exercises and discussions, as well as after the exam.

Administration of exams
IKH Studyadministration (ikh-studyadministration@ruc.dk)
Responsible for the activity
Susana Tosca (stosca@ruc.dk)
Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area in the field of communication, information and media, including having knowledge and understanding of the common practices in relation to th subject area

Knowledge and understanding of current theories relevant to the subject area, including knowledge of essential communications concepts and terms

  • Knowledge and understanding of current methods used to study the subject area

  • Skills in being able to apply relevant theory to a specific communications-related research questio

  • Skills in being able to use appropriate methods to study communications-related research questions

  • Skills in being able to translate analyses and knowledge and understanding to a practical communications-related context

  • Competences in independently being able to take responsibility for one’s own professional development and specialisation within the subject area

Overall content

The course includes presentations and critical discussions as well as the testing the of knowledge about and understanding of a defined subject area within the field of communications, including presentations and discussions of concepts, theories and investigative methods

Prerequisites for participation
Currently no data from curriculum.
Prerequisites for participation in the exam
Currently no data from curriculum.
Teaching and working methods

The course consists of a mix of lectures and discussions, and it can include group work, homework and peer feedback. It is structured around a number of themes that will be presented at the start of the course

Type of activity

Elective course

Form of examination
Individual portfolio consisting of written products and other types of products.

The portfolio consists of maximum 10 (the exact number is determined by the lecturer based on an academic assessment of the student's subject) products, that wholly or partially are developed during the course. The products are e.g. answers to exercises, an outline for a presentation, written feedback, written reflections and written assignments, wiki-inputs, sound productions and visual productions.. The preparation of the products may be subject to time limits.

The total character limit of portfolio incl. the written products is 4,800-36,000 characters, including spaces.
The character limits include the cover, table of contents, bibliography, figures and other illustrations, but exclude any appendices.

The portfolio's specific products and the (if relevant) recommended size (character limits) for the individual products are made public on study.ruc.dk before the course begins.

The entire portfolio must be handed in at the same time (uploaded to eksamen.ruc.dk). Handing in the portfolio or parts of the portfolio to the supervisor for feedback, cannot replace the upload to eksamen.ruc.dk. Furthermore, the assignment must document that the student possesses a confident mastery of written English, including grammar and linguistic correctness.
The submission deadline will be announced on study.ruc.dk before the course begins.

The assessment is individual and based on the entire portfolio.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.
Form of Re-examination
Same as ordinary exam
Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U41613
Last changed 29/03/2021

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Monday 13-09-2021 08:15 - 13-09-2021 12:00 in week 37
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 20-09-2021 08:15 - 20-09-2021 12:00 in week 38
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 27-09-2021 08:15 - 27-09-2021 12:00 in week 39
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 04-10-2021 08:15 - 04-10-2021 12:00 in week 40
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 11-10-2021 08:15 - 11-10-2021 12:00 in week 41
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 25-10-2021 08:15 - 25-10-2021 12:00 in week 43
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 01-11-2021 08:15 - 01-11-2021 12:00 in week 44
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Wednesday 03-11-2021 08:15 - 03-11-2021 12:00 in week 44
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 08-11-2021 08:15 - 08-11-2021 12:00 in week 45
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Wednesday 10-11-2021 08:15 - 10-11-2021 12:00 in week 45
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Monday 15-11-2021 08:15 - 15-11-2021 12:00 in week 46
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Wednesday 17-11-2021 08:15 - 17-11-2021 12:00 in week 46
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory (KOMM)

Friday 26-11-2021 10:00 - 26-11-2021 10:00 in week 47
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory - Exam (KOMM)

Friday 14-01-2022 10:00 - 14-01-2022 10:00 in week 02
Trends in Digital Media and Communication theory - Reexam (KOMM)