Communication and Media Studies 626

COMS 626
Interactive Media and Analytics

1. Catalog Entry

COMS 626
Interactive Media and Analytics
Credit hours (3)

This course focuses on developing theoretical knowledge and proficiency in the use of interactive media in the field of communications. Students will critically examine various examples of interactive media and learn how to create their own audio and video podcasts, short animated pieces, and a tutorial. Current readings on theoretical and practical perspectives on creation and consumption of interactive media will be reviewed through discussion posts and blog posts. Development of a web site for the course will give students more web site design skills as well as provide an active portfolio for their work.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The content for this course will be derived from several graduate-level texts and academic articles related to interactive media technologies. Several videos and tutorials will also be utilized in the course.  Resources such as Lon Safko’s Social Media Bible will provide basic knowledge of each form of interactive media discussed in the course. In-depth analysis of perspectives such as Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory, Computers as Social Actors theory, media literacy, and Henry Jenkins’ perspective on convergence culture will provide a basis for examining the development of interactive media. Articles on social networking, mobile media, virtual world technology, content management systems, and podcasting will place each form of media in its proper social context, while providing insight into how to effectively create and distribute for each medium. Finally, a review of media ethics will allow students to confront modern ethical quandaries in the changing world of digital media, further preparing them to be ethically strong media creators and consumers.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will be delivered in an online format.  Students will be required to watch several online lectures, videos and tutorials that coincide with the readings and assignments.  They will also be required to complete several practical assignments and participate in discussion boards and blogging with the instructor and their peers.  

The learning activities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Development of a web site for blog posting and presentation of media projects
• Blog entries and discussion posts to discuss concepts from the readings and to further develop an online voice
• Creation of a tutorial to learn basics of screen capture and audio recording
• Creation of an audio and a video podcast to learn the basics of interviewing, writing for a web audience video capture and audio/video editing
• Creation of Adobe Photoshop assignments to advance digital imaging and basic animation skills
• Recorded lectures, tutorials, and online readings to enhance understanding of theoretical and practical perspectives of interactive media
• Analyzing a web site and providing a critique based on theoretical background and best practices discussed throughout the semester

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

General Learning Objectives:
This course is designed to give students the basic skills necessary to critically examine and create various forms of interactive media. Students across the various sub-fields of communication can use the skills learned to create digital media and devise strategies to best take advantage of the development of interactive media for an organization. Understanding of theory behind digital media will allow students to better understand the social context of digital media and how to best utilize it for various purposes.

Specific Learning Objectives:
• Develop a working knowledge of the various forms of interactive media available to professionals in communication industries
• Describe the theoretical background behind the development of various interactive media and the societal changes created by increased use of these media
• Develop a thorough understanding of the role of ethics in the use of interactive media in society
• Increase proficiency in using web sites and blogs to successfully disseminate ideas to the public

5. Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed according to their performance in various participation assignments (e.g. online discussion and blog postings) and the overall quality of their podcasts, Photoshop assignments, and the final paper. Methods including, but not limited to, the following may be used to assess student learning throughout the semester:

• Blog and discussion posts to measure students’ understanding of the reading assignments and lecture material. Students must be able to effectively deconstruct the theories discussed and apply them to development of digital media, as well as, provide current examples of the theories and practices in the media examined.
• Podcasts, Photoshop assignments and creation of tutorials to measure students’ application of the practical knowledge attained in constructing digital media and properly preparing for consumption on the web. Students will need to show they have the basic production skills necessary to create web appropriate content.
• The web site to examine students’ skills in producing a professional quality web site. The student web site will need to demonstrate effective labeling of pages and projects, a functional web design, presence of various media created by the students, and appropriate and well written blog posts.
• A final paper to examine students’ understanding of the theoretical and practical background of interactive media and its growing use in all aspects of communication.

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February 10, 2014