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MMEDIA 3X03A Presentation & Critique

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Mondays 2:30-4:30pm

Course Objectives:

MMEDIA 3X03 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.

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Engage in critical discourse in a variety of contexts as both a presenter/responder

  • Understand the interplay between form, content, and meaning

  • Perform detailed denotative/connotative analysis of work from a wide variety of media/creative disciplines (i.e. two-dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based)

  • Articulate creative/conceptual objectives (of their own work) in a clear, effective, and professional manner

  • Articulate critical responses (to the work of others) in a clear, effective, and professional manner

  • Better understand the motivations and historical/contemporary positioning of their current practices

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • Any required/optional 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. Be sure to test your connection before the scheduled time of presentation

  • For Peer-to-Peer Critique sessions, students should bring their own laptop or other appropriate means for sharing their project. You may also present your work on the machines in the TSH202 Multimedia Wing

  • Writing materials for taking notes during all critique sessions (no open laptops/mobile devices will be allowed)

Method of Assessment:

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.

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)
10% Attendance/In-Class Written Reports
15% Group critique Presenter performance (once during full year)
55% Group critique Responder performance (seven times over full year)

Project grades will be determined by the following criteria:

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:

Detailed descriptions of all assignments will be uploaded to Avenue to Learn. Depending on the nature of the assignment, work will be submitted to an A2L Drop Box folder, or submitted in hard copy form directly to the instructor (details outlined in lectures and A2L project descriptions).

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.

Appeals for extensions on written work will not be accepted on or after project due dates, and must be received no later than 48 hours before the deadline.


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

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 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 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.

Topics and Readings:


Fall Semester:
September 8
Course orientation
Instructor introductions and presentations on work/research
Function/merit of critique; strategies; understanding form and content
Discussion Session
Assign analysis/critique groups and works (10 groups of 3-4 students)
Analysis preparation session

September 15
Deadline to sign up for critiques (end of class)
Effective language/strategies/protocol for critique
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion  (5 Groups)

September 22
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion  (5 Groups)

September 29
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

October 6
Fall Peer-to-Peer Critiques
Fall Group Critiques (Round 1)

October 13
Midterm recess

October 20
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

October 27
Fall Group Critiques (Round 2)

November 3
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

November 10
Fall Group Critiques (Round 3)

November 17
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

November 24
Fall Group Critiques (Round 4)

December 1
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton and Chris Myhr)


Winter Semester:
January 5

Special Topics Discussion
Assign analysis/critique groups and works (10 groups of 3-4 students)
Analysis preparation session

January 12
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion  (5 Groups)

January 19
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion  (5 Groups)

January 26
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

February 2
Winter Peer-to-Peer Critiques
Winter Group Critiques (Round 1)

February 9
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

February 16
Winter Group Critiques (Round 2)

February 23
Midterm recess

March 2
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

March 9
Winter Group Critiques (Round 3)

March 16
Consultation Week (Robert Hamilton)

March 23
Winter Group Critiques (Round 4)

March 30
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton and Chris Myhr)
Course consolidation
Special topic presentation/discussion