Final Exam

What’s on the Final Exam?

For years, students have asked me, “what’s on the final exam?” I usually offer a vague answer along the lines of “questions on everything we covered since the midterm,” but in the interest of trying something new, here’s a breakdown of exactly what will be on the midterm, including the subject of each question.

The final exam will consist of four parts, covering material from the entire course. The four parts are: true-false, multiple-choice, identifications, and short answers. Material from before the midterm will only appear on the first two (objective) sections, and the exam will favor material from after the midterm exam. Moreover, the questions on material from before the midterm exam will be more general in scope that questions on material from after the midterm exam.


There will be ten (10) questions on the following topics from the course, each worth two points.

  1. magazines
  2. broadcast radio
  3. magazines
  4. Internet
  5. broadcast radio
  6. telephone
  7. Internet
  8. television
  9. writing
  10. writing

Here’s an example of such a question:

1. Machine-made paper, developed in the 1830s, made books more expensive because they were of a higher quality.

  • True
  • False

Multiple Choice

There will be ten (10) questions on the following topics from the course, each worth three points.

  1. recorded sound
  2. radio technology
  3. motion pictures
  4. telephone
  5. radio technology
  6. broadcast radio
  7. radio technology
  8. telephone
  9. Internet
  10. Internet

Here’s an example of such a question:

2. Which of the following was the first commercially viable use for radio waves?

  1. high-power ovens
  2. wireless telegraphy
  3. wireless telephony
  4. mass broadcasting


Like the midterm exam, these questions require you to define or identify each term or phrase and describe its relevance to the history and culture of mediated communication. There will be five (5) questions, each worth five points. Your response should be about two-to-three sentences in length.

  1. recorded sound
  2. television
  3. motion pictures
  4. broadcast radio
  5. Internet

Here’s an example of an identification.

3. ARPANet

Short Answer

There will be four questions, of which you will answer three (3) with a two-paragraph response, about six to eight sentences. Each question is worth ten points each.

  1. television
  2. telephone
  3. motion pictures
  4. Internet

Here is an example of a short answer question:

4. Discuss how the development of movable type printing led to the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution.

Remember to use the outlines that I posted on the course website for studying. If understand those outlines, you should be fine. If you don’t understand something, look it up in the readings or even search the web. As a last resort, email me or the class list to verify something.

Good luck.

New Media, Spring 2014, Final Review

To make up for the cancelled class, due to the various winter storms, please take about a half hour to watch the following review I prepared last week.

The video covers the format for the final exam and the material the exam will cover. The exam will consist of five identification questions and three essay questions. Remember that our final exam will be on Wednesday, May 7, at 9:00 AM.

In the video I also summarize the thirteen chapters you presented in the second half of the class. Those readings include the following chapters:

  1. Howard Rheingold, “Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need to Know and How to Decide If It’s True”
  2. Rhiengold, “Social Digital Know-How: The Arts and Science of Collective Intelligence”
  3. Douglas Rushkoff, “Be Yourself”
  4. Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Googlization of Us”
  5. Vaidhyanathan, “Ways and Means: Faith and Aptitude and Technology”
  6. Lee Raine and Barry Wellman, “Networked Relationships”
  7. Eli Pariser, “The User is the Content”
  8. Pariser, “Adderall Society”
  9. Clay Shirky, “Gin TV and Cognitive Surplus”
  10. Shirky, “Means”
  11. Evgeny Morozov, “How to Break Politics By Fixing It”
  12. Morozov, “The Perils of Algorithmic Gatekeeping”
  13. Lawrence Lessig, “Property”

Finally, I wish you good luck with this and your other exams. See you on Wednesday.

Final Exam is Now a Take-Home Exam

In today’s class, I announced that the final exam is now a take home. Here’s how it will go down:

At our last class on December 9, I will distribute the final exam questions. The questions will consist of identification and short essay questions. The questions will be based on the material we’ve covered during the entire course with an emphasis on the material we covered in the second-half of the course, corresponding to the American film industry after the advent of television.

Take the exam home and answer all of the questions, as directed on the exam.

Email your responses in a PDF document to by Tuesday, December 17, 8:00 PM. Late exams will be subject to 10% penalty each day it is late.

You should receive your final grade within three days.

Final Class

We set aside some time at the end of class for everyone to complete the course evaluations. You can access the evaluations in one of two ways:

Don’t forget that the Final Paper is due on December 6. (No, I didn’t specify a time.) To make it easier for me to process your paper, please follow these three steps:

  1. Email to
  2. Your paper should be a PDF only
  3. The file name of your document should begin with the following eight characters: COMM2500

Also, don’t forget to follow the guidelines on Quotes and Citations. And be mindful of the exact word count: 2,013 words.

Finally, if you missed class today, you missed out on the essay questions that will be on the final exam.