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MMEDIA 1A03 Multimedia & Digital Society (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2019

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Andrea Zeffiro

Email: zeffiroa@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 301

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23503

Website

Office Hours: Wednesday 1:00-2:00 and by appointment



Course Objectives:

This course is designed to help students better understand the role of digital technologies in contemporary life and to encourage students to reflect on, and create new possibilities for, how they participate in today’s digital society. Lectures will explore topics such as what it means to live in a mediated society, the power of creativity and divergent thinking in today’s economy, fundamentals of graphic and multimedia design, interactivity, and remix culture. Special attention will be paid to social and cultural issues surrounding the use of technologies. Tutorials will provide opportunities for in-depth discussions of course readings and also facilitate students’ ability to express themselves effectively with diverse types of media.

In support of these learning goals, students will complete four multimedia exercises. A series of feedback sessions on work in progress during the tutorials will ensure that all students are developing the knowledge and skill to create effective media-based expression and communication. The final exam will cover lecture materials as well as readings discussed in lecture and/or tutorial.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required materials and texts:

• It is recommended that students purchase at a usb key for storage.

All required readings will be posted on Avenue to Learn (Learning Management System).

Software: Students will use a variety of software packages. In some cases, this will be free and open source software that students can easily install on home computers or laptops – in other cases, this will be commercially distributed software available in Faculty of Humanities computer labs.


Method of Assessment:

Detailed descriptions of individual assignments will be posted in Avenue to Learn and explained in class. You are encouraged to begin working on assignments immediately to fully benefit from the work-in-progress feedback sessions provided in tutorial. All assignments will be submitted via Avenue to Learn in the forum associated with the assignment.

Assessment:

Four Multimedia Exercises (4 x 15% each)      60%

(#1 due Sept 27; #2 due Oct 25; #3 due Nov 17; #4 due Nov 29)

Final Exam   25%

(Exam administered by Scheduling office)

Tutorial Participation   15%

Active in discussions about course readings and in feedback sessions with peers (5%) and completion of regular quizzes (10%). The quizzes are not graded. One point is allotted for quiz completion, and zero for incompletion. The purpose of the quizzes is to review course concepts, and practice multiple choice questions in preparation for the final exam.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Assignments

Detailed descriptions of assignments are posted in Avenue to Learn and explained in class and tutorial. You are encouraged to begin working on assignments immediately to fully benefit from the work-in-progress feedback sessions provided in tutorial. All assignments will be submitted via Avenue to Learn in the forum associated with your tutorial. E-mailed assignments will not be accepted. A technical difficulty (network outages, hardware or software malfunctions, data loss) does not warrant an extension. Please keep this in mind. Plan accordingly and maintain backup copies of work.

MSAF

All assignments are due on the due date provided. Any submission after that date will mean that the assignment is late.However, assignments will be accepted after the due date for up to one week without any penalty. No assignments will be accepted later than one week. You should do everything in your power to get your assignment in by the due date; the one-week grace period is to allow you to complete your assignments should you have minor medical situations or personal emergency. Please note that MSAF is for a maximum period of three days, and can only be used for the assignment’s original due date, so even if you submit an MSAF, you will not get additional time beyond the one week grace period.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

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. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

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. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at https://secretariat.mcmaster.ca/university-policies-procedures-guidelines/

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to Turnitin.com or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by Turnitin.com) so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or Turnitin.com must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity.

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or sas@mcmaster.ca e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

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.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
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".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.


Topics and Readings:

WEEK 1: SEPTEMBER 4

Reading: Review course syllabus and log onto to Avenue to Learn

Lecture Sept 4: Intro to Class, review course outline, expectations. What is digital society? What is Multimedia?

Tutorial: NONE

WEEK 2: SEPTEMBER 9 & 11  

Readings: McLuhan, Twenge, Mollman

Lecture Sept 9: The Medium is Still the Message; Discuss Exercise #1

Lecture Sept 11: Technology Transforms Everyday Life

Tutorial: Discussion of assigned readings

WEEK 3: SEPTEMBER 16 & 18  

Readings: Rosen, Wortham, Urist

Lecture Sept 16: From Disciplinary to Control Societies

Lecture Sept 18: Surveillance and Everyday Life

Tutorial: Feedback for Exercise 1 in progress; discuss assigned readings

WEEK 4: SEPTEMBER 23 & 25  

Readings: Stracey, Squires, Venkatraman

Lecture Sept 23: Intersections of Art and Science: Bio Art

Lecture Sept 25: Creativity: Not Just for Artists

Tutorial: Discussion of assigned readings

DUE: Exercise #1 (September 27th by midnight)

WEEK 5: SEPTEMBER 30 & OCTOBER 2

Readings: Gladwell, Glei, RSA Animate

Lecture Sept 30: Creativity in Action and in the Economy; Discuss Exercise #2

Lecture Oct 2: Education Paradigms and Divergent Thinking

Tutorial: Discussion of assigned readings; Create groups for Exercise #2

WEEK 6: OCTOBER 7 & 9

Reading: Samara

Lecture Oct 7: What is design? Design as Communication

Lecture Oct 9: Design Fundamentals

Tutorial: Discuss Exercise #2 projects in progress

WEEK 7:  MIDTERM BREAK

WEEK 8: October 21 & 23

Reading: Kidd, Kreider

Lecture Oct 21: Book Cover Design; Discuss Exercise #3

Lecture Oct 23: Introduction to Typography

Tutorial: Photoshop Basics

DUE: Exercise #2 (October 25th by midnight)

WEEK 9: October 28 & October 30

Reading: Samara, Bright

Lecture Oct 28: More on Typography

Lecture Oct 30: Abstract Form and Meaning

Tutorial: Feedback on Exercise #3 projects in progress, more on Photoshop as needed

WEEK 10: November 4 & 6      

Reading: Manovich

Lecture Nov 4: Analog vs. Digital

Lecture Nov 6: Interactivity; Discuss Exercise #4

Tutorial: Discussion of assigned readings; feedback on Exercise #3 projects in progress

WEEK 11: November 11 & 13

Reading: Chokshi, Fuchs

Lecture Nov 11: Code Art

Lecture Nov 13: Participatory Culture & Fandom

Tutorial: Code basics using Processing

DUE: Exercise #3 (November 15th by midnight)

WEEK 12: November 18 & 20  

Reading: LaFrance, Murray

Lecture Nov 18: Remix Culture

Lecture Nov 20: Copyright and Fair Use

Tutorial: Discussion of assigned readings; more code basics in Processing as needed

WEEK 13: November 25 & November 27

Readings: Frank, Quartz  

Lecture Nov 25: Digital Media & Materiality

Lecture Nov 27: Final Exam Review

Tutorial: Project Troubleshooting

DUE: Exercise #4 (November 29 by midnight)

WEEK 14: December 2 & 4

Lecture Dec 2: Short practice exam

Lecture Dec 4: Showcase of 1A03 student projects (presented by TAs)

Tutorial: None
 


Other Course Information:

TUTORIALS

TA and Tutorial information TBA.

The tutorials are collaborative spaces of learning, where ideas and experiences are shared and in confidence. When we enter into dialogue with one another and in these spaces, we do so with respect.

QUIZZES

10% of the final course mark is generated from the completion of regular quizzes in tutorial. 1 point for completing the quiz and a zero for incompletion. For instance, the completion of 5 quizzes will result in 5%. The aim of the quizzes is to reiterate weekly course concepts and provide an opportunity to practice answering multiple choice questions in preparation for the final exam.

How This Course Works:

  • Everything you need to know about the course is in the syllabus. This document provides you with a schedule of the required readings for the term, assignment due dates, a tutorial schedule and contact information for the instructor and TAs, and course policies.  
  • Each week you are responsible for completing the assigned readings, attending lecture and tutorial.
  • All course readings are available through Avenue to Learn.
  • The assignment instructions and guidelines are available on Avenue to Learn. There are 4 in total. We will go over the assignments in tutorials.

OUR ROLE

  • This course has one instructor, six teaching assistants.
  • Our goal for this course is to facilitate a positive learning experience for you.
  • We will be available to you if you need help with the course material – themes and issues in the readings, the assignments, or any technical issues. Please visit office hours for these purposes.

YOUR ROLE

  • It is your responsibility to understand the requirements, expectations, and policies of the course. All of this information is available in the syllabus.
  • We encourage you to create a schedule for yourself: map out and organize when you will work on this course.
  • We recommend at least 5 hours per week: 2 hours lecture, 1 hour tutorial, 2 hours for course readings and review.  
  • The course moves at a rapid pace. Complete the required readings and assignments, attend lectures and tutorials regularly.
  • Please ensure that you are familiar with the layout of Avenue to Learn.

AVENU TO LEARN

In this class, we will be using A2L. Students should be aware that when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster email accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure, please discuss this with the instructor.

E-MAIL

  • Please use e-mail only for scheduling appointments with your T.A. or the instructor.
  • If you send e-mail, please identify the course number (MM1A03) in the subject heading and include your full name and student number.
  • All other questions are to be submitted in the ‘Ask a Question’ Discussion Forum
  • Questions concerning course content and/or assignments are to be submitted in the ‘Ask a Question’ discussion forum. You can access this forum via Avenue to Learn. In the dropdown menu, select: ‘Communication’ ---> ‘Discussions’---> Class Questions ---> Ask a question

SUBMITTING ASSIGNMENTS

  • Assignments for the course are submitted online through Avenue to Learn and only Avenue to Learn. To submit assignments: --->‘Assessment’ ---> ‘Assignments’ ---> Select the assignment folder that corresponds to the assignment number (i.e. Submit assignment 2 in the  ‘Assignment 2’ folder)
  • Name all files accordingly: last name.first name. assignment number
    • For example: zeffiro.andrea.assignment4
  • Files that cannot open and/or incorrect files will receive a grade of 0. We will not chase down assignments. It is your responsibility to ensure the file is compatible.
  • Assignments sent via email will not be accepted.

GRADING

  • This course has six TAs to facilitate the grading of assignments.
  • Please allow a two-week turnaround for assignment grading.
  • Remember: One does not start out with a perfect score. Marks are not lost because points are taken off. Grading begins at zero and marks are allotted based on the demonstrated proficiency of the assignment.

ASSIGNMENT REDO

Everyone has the opportunity to redo one assignment (Assignment 1 or Assignment 3), but only if it’s submitted by the due date, not by the end of the grace period.

Here are the guidelines:

  1. The new exercise must be a new concept and execution (not an improved version of the original).
  2. The new exercise must fulfill the original exercise requirements.
  3. The deadline for re-done assignments is December 7th at midnight.
  4. Submit the assignment on Avenue to Learn in a folder called 'Assignment Re-do’.

DUE: December 6 by midnight - no extensions.

 

Definitions of Grading Descriptions

A+ Exceptional. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques and exceptional skill or great originality in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of the assignment.

A Excellent. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a high degree of skill and/or some elements of originality in satisfying the requirements of the assignment.

B+ Very Good. Thorough knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with a fairly high degree of skill in the use of those concepts/techniques in satisfying the requirements of the assignment.

B Good. Good level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of the assignment.

C+ Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with considerable skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of the assignment.

C Fairly Competent. Acceptable level of knowledge of concepts and/or techniques together with some skill in using them to satisfy the requirements of the assignment.

D+ Passing. Slightly better than minimal knowledge of required concepts and/or techniques together with some ability to use them in satisfying the requirements of the assignment.

 

  1. Barely Passing. Minimum knowledge of concepts and/or techniques needed to satisfy the requirements of the assignment.

 

E Marginally Failing.

 

F Failing.