Syllabus for PHO-101
INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOGRAPHY
Introduction to Photography is an online distance learning course designed to help you discover and develop the skills required to use photography confidently and effectively. The course introduces you to basic photographic principles and concepts and relies on the structure of the textbook Photography, 11th ed., by Barbara London, Jim Stone, and John Upton (published by Pearson). A major emphasis for the course is to improve visual awareness.
The Internet provides exciting opportunities to share rich visual experiences by viewing and studying the work of others, including professional photographers. Completion of activities requires you to interact frequently with other participants, to work with the assigned textbook and relevant Web sites, and to apply the insights you gain to your own photography.
On successfully completing this course, you should be able to:
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
You will need either a digital SLR camera or a 35mm film SLR camera that allows manual control of shutter speed, aperture, and focusing distance. A normal lens (e.g., 50mm or 18–55mm) is sufficient.
General note: Whether you use a digital camera or 35mm film camera, your camera needs to be "adjustable," that is, it must have, at minimum, the option of manually selecting the shutter speed, aperture, and focusing distances. Automatic cameras are acceptable as long as you can override the aforementioned automatic features and control them manually. Generally, this will entail having a single-lens reflex (SLR or D-SLR) camera with manual controls and interchangeable lenses. Fully automatic or point-and-shoot cameras without manual capabilities are not acceptable for this course.
Digital camera users: Ancillary supplies include a memory card, batteries (or rechargeable batteries and charger), and flash (if not already built in to your camera).
Film users: Expect to use about 10 rolls of 24-exposure 35mm color negative film. In addition to the cost of film, you will need access to a film processing service providing digitization of processed 35mm film.
Introduction to Photography is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules and a final project. Five modules center on a photographic exercise and its associated online participation (self-critique and subsequent class discussion). Modules include objectives, getting started study materials (including reading from the required textbook and a creative exercise) and activities. Module titles are listed below.
For your formal work in the course, you are required to complete five (5) Photographic Exercises, participate in five (5) associated Photographic Exercise Forums (self-critique and subsequent class discussion) and six (6) Creative Exercises, take part in an online discussion forum, and complete a Final Project. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.
Introduction to Photography requires you to complete five (5) Photographic Exercises and to participate in five (5) associated Photographic Exercise Forums (in modules 1–3 and 5–6). In addition, you are to complete and participate in six (6) creative exercises and one (1) class discussion in module 4. The Photographic Exercises involve taking, processing, selecting, editing, and displaying photos in an online photo album (hosted by an online album service of your choice and made available to all class participants for review). In the associated Photographic Exercise Forums you present a self-critique of your photos and participate in online discussions of each other's work. You will be graded separately on the quality of your photos and on your participation in the Photographic Exercise Forums. The six creative exercises entail posting responses to activities in class discussion forums.
The Internet has a plethora of online album services, some of which also offer fine film processing services. Basic membership is often free. Possible options include:
Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Since we believe significant discovery occurs through studying and sharing commentary pertaining to visual materials, this course has been designed for maximum communication and collaboration among students, mentor, and contributing consultants for the course.
Our class discussions include three types of forums: (1) a "Class Lounge," where you can post comments, ask questions, and share information about course-related topics and issues at any time; (2) Photographic Exercise Forums, where you post self-critiques of your photographic exercises and contribute constructive comments on the work of your classmates; and (3) Creative Exercise Forums and an online discussion forum, where you post and reply to discussion topics in response to a specific activity or question.
Meaningful participation in discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.
For posting guidelines and additional help with discussion board activities, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.
For the final project, you will create a portfolio of twenty images that demonstrate an understanding of the techniques explored throughout the course and that express a personal or critical point of view. Accompanying the images will be a narrative (artist's statement) that:
A photography portfolio is a cohesive body of work that tells a visual story. The final project is your opportunity to apply the techniques and ideas covered in the course to the production of a portfolio of images whose subject is of your own choosing. You may elect to revisit and expand on one of the topics or approaches covered in earlier activities, or you may head off in another direction entirely. The choice is yours. Your images, however, must relate to one another. In other words, your portfolio should not be a collection of your “greatest hits” but rather a formally and conceptually unified body of work.
Your portfolio, like a well-written book, should have a unifying theme. This theme can be conceptual or it can be technical. For example, your theme could be about courage, love, urban life, rural life, or garbage. Alternatively, you can create a theme based on photographic technicalities. For example, you could create a portfolio showcasing all of your best wide-angle work or one that displays your best black-and-white work. The themes for creating a portfolio are only limited by your own imagination. So take your time and create a themed portfolio that means something to you.
Choosing the right images to put in your portfolio will be a time-consuming process. By the nature of the portfolio itself, only your best pieces should be placed within the portfolio. If you don't have too many top picks, spend some more time photographing until you get the desired results. Your portfolio is something you should be proud of, not something thrown together out of impatience and haste. Make sure that the images are in a logical order—either chronological or through mood development.
Your final project will be evaluated according to the following criteria (weights in parentheses are approximate):
For additional information on the final project, go to the Final Project section of the course Web site. (See also the Course Calendar.)
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a non-area of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
Consider the following study tips for success:
Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.
Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Originality Report Checking at Turnitin
First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:
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