In the increasingly complex and complicated media world of today, media literacy is a growing field in both K-12 and postsecondary education. With theoretical roots in visual literacy, film studies, information literacy, psychology and education, media literacy explores the ways in which we access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a wide range of media forms (including print, audio, visual and audiovisual, digital and social media). There is a strong emphasis on inquiry and reflection, as well as knowledge and awareness about the ways in which media messages are constructed and shared, and putting those skills into practice by taking informed and reflective actions.
The Media Literacy Minor at Ithaca College has its home in Humanities & Sciences, but is open to any student at Ithaca College. The curriculum is interdisciplinary, drawing from more than 20 departments across campus. The core required course – PSYC 11000 Media Literacy and the Psychology of Inquiry – lays out basic media literacy approaches, theories and perspectives, with activities and assignments designed to build strong critical thinking and media analysis skills as well as opportunities for reflective media creation. That course introduces psychological processes that can influence interpretations of media messages (including selectivity and confirmation bias).
The remainder of the 18-credit minor consists of restricted electives in different categories. Students must take one introductory theory course that addresses media industries, content and/or analysis from a particular academic perspective (art history, communications, cultural studies, film studies, or mass media). Upper level courses in media analysis (MAP) are taken from two different academic perspectives (e.g., philosophy, politics, sociology, music) and a required course in media creation (MC) can be taken in art, computer science, writing, film or television production. Minors then put their skills into practice by doing an internship or independent study that is approved by the coordinator of the minor, and create a multi-media portfolio and reflection tying together what they have learned through a media literacy lens.
A complete list of courses that fulfill the different categories is available from the media literacy minor coordinator, Cyndy Scheibe, firstname.lastname@example.org.