THEORY Final Project

THEORY Final Project


This project is meant to highlight your knowledge of a theory we have covered up until this point in the class. In order to do that, you will (1) choose a media example that illustrates a theory we have covered in class, (2) crate a PowerPoint presentation that illustrates the connections between the media example and the theory, (3) upload the PowerPoint presentation on VoiceThread, (4) record a VoiceThread presentation, (5) Submit the assignment and share it with me and the class.


Here are more detailed steps for how to complete the project:

1. Choose a theory from the list below that you enjoyed learning about, and that you understand well:

a. Expectancy violations theory

b. Social penetration theory

c. Relational dialectics theory

d. Communication accommodation theory

e. Cultivation theory

2. Identify a media example that you feel illustrates one of the theories we have covered thus far, including 4-5 specific concepts within that theory. For example, if you choose Social Penetration Theory, the concept of “depth” would be one concept, and the concept of “breadth” would be another concept. You would need 2-3 other concepts, and all of them would need to be illustrated in the media you choose.


NOTE: I MUST be able to verify that the concepts are in the show, article, etc. Therefore, the show MUST be available on a basic subscription from Netflix or Hulu, so that I can watch it myself. If you choose this kind of media, you will need to document the exact season, episode, and time frame (e.g., “example of breadth is in Season 1, Episode, 2. The clip begins at 1:00 and stops at 3:09).

· If you do not use Netflix or Hulu, you can use a free podcast (something I can download for free and listen to myself). If you choose this kind of media, you would need to give me the same kind of information (exact season, episode, and time frame).

· You may also use an article or news cast from a valid and reliable source (NO BLOGS). Acceptable sources include” The BBC, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Times. If you choose this kind of media, you can save it as a PDF and e-mail it to me as an attachment, or copy and paste the link into an e-mail.


*Important: Examples for each concept from the theory you choose must be from the same media example. You can use different episodes of the same show if you really need to, but you may not use different shows (articles, podcasts, etc.) to illustrate different concepts. If the examples are not from the same media (e.g., same TV show, same article, etc.), you will be asked to complete the assignment again, and the assignment will be counted late, resulting in a point deduction from the overall grade.



Once you have found your media example, you are ready to put your presentation together! Here’s how to do that:

1. Go to Canvas and watch the tutorial on how to complete a “CREATE” VoiceThread assignment. Be sure to do this at least 48 hours BEFORE you plan to submit the assignment. DO NOT wait until the last minute to figure this out. If VT customer service is not available, and I am not available to answer questions, you could end up with a late penalty.

2. Create a PowerPoint presentation as if you are giving the presentation in a face-to-face class. This means that the presentation should be professional and include bullet points and pictures that clearly illustrate how/why the media example you chose exemplifies the theory. Be sure to put enough work into the slides themselves to demonstrate your ability to apply the theory.

3. In order to fully demonstrate how/why the media you chose illustrates the theory, your presentation should include the following components. You may include one or two additional slides if needed, but be as concise as you can, while still being accurate and complete. Avoid using full sentences as much as possible; stick to bullet points instead. You can elaborate on your points in the voice recording.

a. SLIDE 1: A cover slide with the name of your project, your name, course information, and semester

b. SLIDE 2: An overview of the theory in general. Summarize what the theory does (predicts, explains, etc.) in your own words. This should be around 5-10 bullet points.

c. SLIDE 3: Identify the media you chose, and provide a brief overview of the 4-5 concepts related to the theory you will be focusing on. Here, just LIST the concepts (don’t explain the concepts until the next step).

i. CITATION: While you should verbally identify the name or title of the media you chose, you do NOT need to verbally acknowledge other citation information (e.g., season number, episode number, time frame, etc.). However, be sure to include this information on this slide (this can be in smaller font at the bottom of the slide). If you use different episodes of the same show to illustrate different concepts of your theory, list the appropriate reference information at the bottom of the slide for each different concept.

d. SLIDES 4-7 (or 4-8, if you chose 5 concepts): Explain and illustrate each concept one-by-one (i.e., one concept per slide), using your media example. As you introduce each concept, you should define or explain in your own words. You may want to focus on its role in the theory, and/or explain how it is related to the other concepts.

i. Then, provide very specific and detailed examples from the show (or podcast, article, etc.) that illustrate the concepts from the theory.

e. SLIDE 8 (or 9, if you chose 5 concepts): Conclusion – What did you learn from the assignment?

4. In general, throughout the presentation, be sure to use the terminology from the theory in a way that lets me know you understand it. In other words, concepts should not just be “dropped in” or quickly read during your audio recording.

5. Save the PowerPoint presentation on your computer.

6. Click on the Assignment in Canvas.

a. This will open a VoiceThread assignment page in a new tab, just like when you have your VT “Comment” assignments throughout the semester.

7. Upload the presentation on VT, per the instructions in the tutorial video

8. After you upload your slides on VT, give the presentation a descriptive name (e.g., “Greys Anatomy and Social Penetration Theory”), and save the presentation. After saving the presentation, you will be able to go back and click on it to RECORD YOUR VOICE starting on the first slide of your presentation. Be sure to click “save” to save your recording.

a. VoiceThread will put a date and time stamp based on when you finish recording your presentation. That stamp is what I will use to determine whether or not your assignment was completed on time. Please start early!

9. Your last step will be to submit your assignment. If you do not click the blue “SUBMIT” button, I will not be able to see your VT presentation (which means your grade will be zero), even if you can see it on your VT account.


NOTE : The tutorial posted on Canvas takes you to a video that shows you step-by-step how to complete this assignment. The only thing not shown in the video is that you have to create the PowerPoint presentation FIRST. When you have your PowerPoint presentation ready, THEN click on the VT assignment on Canvas. Once you get to the step to “Add Media,” you will upload your PowerPoint presentation, create and save your audio recording, and submit the assignment.



The following movies and TV shows may NOT be used for this assignment:

· Any examples I have used in slides, VTs, and supplemental materials (e.g., FriendsSeinfeld, etc.)

· Examples from the book

· New Girl

· Mean Girls

· 500 days of summer

· Hitch

· The Breakup

· Good Will Hunting

· The Good Place

· The Office (Jim and Pam)

· Jane the Virgin



Here are some resources for APA citations, for your reference:

How to cite a TV show:



How to cite a movie:



How to cite electronic sources, including newspaper articles:




Please keep in mind that any issues or disputes among group members (e.g., someone does not meet when they say they will, or someone does not compete their part of the assignment) will not be taken into account during the grading process. Each assignment will be graded rigorously and each group member will earn/receive the same grade regardless of issues that may arise. The only exception is a member with a serious medical emergency for which they receive a physician’s note, indicating that they were unable to contribute to the project. In other words, select your group members carefully!





Please see the next page for the grading rubric!


Requirement Point Value
a. OVERVIEW of the theory

*Includes a slide that summarizes the theory in your own words (paraphrase; avoid direct quotes)

*Highlights what the theory predicts or explains

*Information is correct AND reflects what we learned in class (i.e., from the e-book, slides, and supplemental materials).

*You may only use information from the book and lecture slidesInformation from websites such as Wikipedia, communication theory websites (general Google info.), etc. will not be accepted. Failure to adhere to this standard will result in an automatic 10-point deduction from the overall grade on the assignment.




_____/ 10

b. OVERVIEW of chosen media and 4-5 concepts from the theory

*Bullet points and audio recording briefly list the concepts (not defined or explained just yet) and identify media chosen to illustrate those concepts.


*Citation for media is included at the bottom of the slide (including title, author, season number, episode number, time frame, etc.).


*Reminder: Examples must be from the same media (e.g., same TV show, same article, etc.).


*If examples for different concepts from the theory are from different episodes of the same showcitation information for each episode should appear with the concept it is used to illustrate (i.e., on slides 4-7 or 4-8), so that I can easily locate and review it.


_____/ 10

c./ d. DETAILED explanation of chosen media and 4-5 concepts from the theory

*Each concept from the theory is defined and explained in your own words

*Provide very clear, specific and detailed examples from the media you chose that illustrate each concept from the theory.

*Information related to the theory should ONLY come from the e-book and course slides. Information from websites such as Wikipedia will not be accepted.

*Points will be deducted as applicable for incorrectly defining or using course terminology



_____/ 20



e. Conclusion

*Last slide briefly explains what you learned from the assignment


_____/ 10


f. Terminology integration

*Terminology is utilized in a way that lets me know you understand the theory and concepts associated with it

*Concepts should not just be “dropped in” or quickly read during the audio recording. Instead, concepts should be thoughtfully and correctly utilized throughout the presentation

**Point deductions are possible for inaccurate use of terminology. Be sure you correctly understand the theory and concepts before you begin your presentation!



_____/ 20


*Professional, appropriate for college-level work in an upper-division course

*Pictures, quotes, examples, etc. are clearly linked to the theory and the 4-5 course concepts you chose.


**Slides are clear and organized; spelling and grammar issues are very minimal

***Includes all required slides:

SLIDE 1: Cover

SLIDE 2: Overview of the theory

SLIDE 3: Identify media and list 4-5 concepts from the theory

SLIDES 4-7 (or 4-8): Explain and illustrate each concept one-by-one

*Each slide (4 – 7/8) has one concept from the theory and one example from the media you chose to illustrate it

SLIDE 8 (or 9): Conclusion



_____/ 10

AUDIO presentation

*Presentation is clear, concise, and to the point.

*Voice is strong and clear with no (or minimal) background noise

*It is obvious the presentation was prepared & rehearsed (no rambling, ums, likes, etc.), as if it was being given in a face-to-face class.

*If a GROUP is working on the project, ALL MEMBERS MUST record part of the presentation (different members can record on different slides, at different times, if group members cannot record at the same time. If any member records their part late, the full assignment will be considered late). If all members are not on the recording, there will be an automatic 10-point deduction.

**Remember your basic presentation skills from public speaking!!! They count!


_____/ 20


Late penalty (per the syllabus): Beginning the minute the submission box closes (- 10% per day)

*Using information for the “theory overview” that was not covered as part of the class (-10)

*For a group project, not all members are on the presentation/recording (-10)

*Other deductions at the discretion of the instructor