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MMEDIA 3X03A Presentation & Critique

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Robert Hamilton

Email: hamiltr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 330

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27955


Office Hours: Thursdays 1:30-2:30

Course Objectives:

This course is designed to help students develop and refine their current media production concepts, practices, and works through a process of presentation and review. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding that effective critique is a two-way process in which both the maker and audience members share equally in the responsibility for active learning and artistic development. Throughout the semester students will be actively engaged in both the presentation of work and the provision of constructive critical feedback on the work of their peers.


Students will have the opportunity to present and critique work in a variety of contexts: from smaller peer-to-peer conversations to larger group sessions. Students will learn strategies for articulating the technical/conceptual frameworks which underpin their own projects, as well as methodologies and language appropriate for analysis, evaluation and formal critique.


Students are expected to demonstrate an attitude of respectful criticality and active engagement at all times, and contribute to the creation of a collegial and productive learning environment. Given the student-centered, participatory dynamic of this course, punctuality, attendance and active engagement during scheduled critique sessions is mandatory. The quality and professionalism of individual contributions and performance during these activities will constitute the bulk of the final course grade.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • Any required readings will be posted on A2L in PDF format
  • For Group Critique sessions, students should bring their work on a USB key or external hard drive for presentation on the classroom computer
  • Please ensure that the classroom computer has the appropriate software to present your project. You may also connect your own laptop to the classroom projector if necessary
  • For Peer-to-Peer Critique sessions, students should bring their own laptop or other appropriate means for sharing their project
  • Writing materials for taking notes during all critique sessions (no audience laptops will be allowed)

Method of Assessment:


Detailed descriptions of individual assignments and expectations will be posted on A2L and explained in class. Breakdown is as follows:


20% Group analysis sessions (once in Fall, once in Winter - 10% each)

20% Group critique presenter performance (once during full year)

60% Group critique responder performance (seven times over full year)

Based on the student meeting the  assessment criteria outlined above, grades will be determined by the following:


A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A­ = 80–84; B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B­ = 70–72;

C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C­ = 60­–62; D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D­ = 50–52; F = 0–49


OUTSTANDING (A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A­ = 80–84)

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:

Excellent grasp of concepts

Conceptual rigour

Deep critical engagement

Thoughtful, engaged presentations and responses

Engagement with all aspects of the course (meeting deadlines, class contribution, promptness and stellar attendance)


VERY GOOD (B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B­ = 70–72)

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:

Very good grasp of concepts with only minor weaknesses

Evidence of critical skills

Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests

Satisfactory presentation and responses

Engaged with most aspects of the course (meeting deadlines, promptness and stellar attendance) 


GOOD (C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C­ = 60–62)

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:

Fair grasp of concepts with some major weaknesses

Little evidence of critical skills

Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state

Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)

Minimal engagement with course (meeting deadlines, promptness and stellar attendance, few contributions evident)


MARGINAL (D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D­ = 50–52)

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:

Poor grasp only meeting the minimum requirements

Significant struggle with concepts and objectives

No evidence of critical skills

Missed deadlines

Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)

Unsatisfactory engagement with course



Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Students who miss more than 25% of the course risk a failing grade. 

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Much of the assigned work in this course will involve scheduled group analysis and critique activities requiring  active, in-class participation. Hence, it will not be possible to receive accommodation for missed critique/presentation sessions. If a student must be absent for a scheduled critique/presentation activity, he/she will be responsible for seeking out a peer who is willing to switch dates. Missed presentations will receive a grade of zero for that particular component. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of his/her presentation schedule.


A penalty of 5% per day will be deducted from assignments submitted late, or those not presented in the required format. Assignments will not be accepted after seven days without official documentation (see the MSAF section for details), and will receive a grade of zero. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that assignment materials are uploaded to the appropriate location in the required file format. Extensions for late written work will be granted only upon the recommendation of a student's home faculty: please take such requests directly to your home faculty's office.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.