Module Identifier MC32020  
Module Title DIGITAL CULTURE  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Jamie Sexton  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   10 X 2 HOUR LECTURE/SEMINARS  
Assessment
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1st essay of 2500 words50%
Semester Assessment 2nd essay of 2500 words50%

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. fully understand the theoretical and practical aspects of digital technologies and how these differ from analogue technologies. To explore, in relation to a host of other developments (social, economic and other technological features) how these impact upon the cultural landscape;
2. explore the meanings and implications of `media convergence┬┐, and examine the levels at which this is taking place in relation to key examples;
3. consider the impact of digitization on production, storage and distribution within the above, and critically understand this by comparison with previous changes in media technology.

Brief description

This module will replace the existing Globalization, Convergence, Digitization. Many of the topics covered in that course will also be incorporated into this course, but elements will be covered in more depth, whilst the globalization components - even though forming a backdrop in terms of digital developments - will not be studied in detail. Nevertheless, the topic of globalization in relation to media and communications will be provided for in two new lectures to be fitted into the first year module Mediated Communication from next year.
The course will focus on the huge impact that digital technologies have had upon multiple areas of culture, looking in detail at the changing cultural landscape in the digital age. It will enable students to explore the underlying basis of the 'digital' and the associated theoretical implications: in particular, the chief differences between digital and analogue will be underlined, and their respective enabling and constraining features will be considered. Technology will, however, be placed firmly within a web of interlocking influences so that it is demonstrated that it not only shapes the cultural sphere, but is also shaped by (and cannot be extracted from) broader social forces. We will look in particular at a number of discrete instances of media forms and issues, and we will also begin to look at how forms that were once considered separate are now beginning to blur (considering the key notion of convergence). We will also stress the importance of continuities by placing these developments within historical frameworks, so that the 'newness' of new/digital media is not overstated.

Aims

Content

Possible topics include:

Module Skills

Problem_solving The solving of problems will be applied in terms of students having to think about key questions in relation to digital culture, which include: relations between technology, culture and society; the virtualization of information; convergence; production and consumption; copyright issues; access to media tools and cultural politics. These will be assessed in terms of essays. Assessed through written essays.  
Research skills Students will have to conduct research into through a number of means, chiefly through books, articles, both in paper and online forms. They will be encouraged to use a number of digital library resources, such as online journal access and LexisNexis, and will also be encouraged to look at practical examples of their study on the web (including digital art works online; the way in which corporations and individuals use the web as a platform; various forms of online cultural interaction). Assessed through written essays.  
Communication Students will be encouraged to keep in touch with each other through occasional group presentations in seminars, through which they will be expected to use communication skills in exchanging ideas and information with other students.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to improve and learn through the development of research and presentation skills, which are a central part of the course  
Team work Students will be asked to engage in group work within seminars and will also be asked to conduct areas of research within groups on occasions.  
Information Technology The web will be an essential research resource; use will also be made of email for transmission of information, and work will be conducted through WP applications.  
Application of Number There will be no considerable application of numbers, though occasionally statistical evidence may be required in presentations/essays (though this will not be a necessary requirement).  
Personal Development and Career planning This module is part of a degree scheme that has flexible career prospects: it can prepare students for general employment opportunities.  
Subject Specific Skills Skills developed on this module are not subject specific.  

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6