Decoding Visual Media

Media and technology have become an integral part of our lives, and we are often mindless consumers. Countless portrayals of propaganda, advertising promotions, entertainment media, news broadcasts, and interpretative media are encountered on a daily basis. While the overarching focus of this course is on visual media additional topics will be explored in order to provide background knowledge including the concept of responsible digital citizenship. Within this course students will analyze the visual media that they often view in an effort to become more informed consumers. Students will be introduced to the concepts of media and information literacy as well as digital citizenship through in-class discussions and an array of assignments including analysis of various forms of advertisements, peer-centered media circles, library research, attendance of cultural events as well as the weekly analysis of current events from local, national and global sources. Students will also evaluate these various forms of media (films, magazines, advertisements, photographs, and current events) for their perceived purpose, viewpoint, and overall effectiveness of intent. To accomplish these goals, students will complete assignments and explore the concepts through the lens of their own personal and cultural experiences, as well as using knowledge acquired through course readings and a library research assignment. This section of First Year Seminar will encourage both campus and community involvement through discussion, debate, assignments and experiences.

NOTE: This is a hybrid course meeting 50% in person and 50% via Zoom.

Section 101: Monday via Zoom / Wednesday in person.

Section 112: Tuesday via Zoom / Thursday in person.

Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
101: MW 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm - Hybrid
112: TR 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm - Hybrid
Fall 2021
Civic Engagement
Student Success

Michelle Bowers

Michelle Bowers

Michelle Bowers transferred to Appalachian State University during her sophomore year and fell in love with the university and the town; of course it didn't hurt that she was local to the area. She completed a BA in English Literature with a minor in Sociology in 2010. Michelle then went on to receive two Masters degrees- one in Educational Media with a concentration in Media Literacy from ASU and the other a Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. She is concurrently an Academic Advisor in University College. Her academic focus areas include women in propaganda during World War II, and college student development.