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MMEDIA 4ST6A Senior Thesis Rsrch & Prod

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Mactavish


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 308A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 21679

Office Hours: Mondays 1:30 am - 2:30 pm, or by appointment

Course Objectives:

The Senior Thesis Project provides you with an opportunity to pursue individual advanced multimedia projects under supervision. In the fall semester of the  course, working either alone or collaboratively, you will pitch a creative project, conduct a scholarly review of relevant literature and works, compose a thesis proposal document, and create a proof of concept work for your Multimedia Senior Thesis Project. You will execute the full production and completion of your thesis project in this course in the winter term.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

All students should have an external hard drive for backing up Multimedia project(s).

Method of Assessment:





Attends course meetings;
Attends advisory sessions with Supervisor



The Pitch


Sept 28

Review of Literature and Works


Nov 2

Thesis Project Proposal


Dec 7

Proof of Concept Work (includes presentation on November 30th)


Dec 7






Thesis Guidelines: You will propose, research and develop a creative major project in a single or combined media format. Your multimedia thesis work must fulfill standards of scholarship associated with traditional academic theses: It must entail a significant research component; it must constitute an original and creative contribution to the field; it must demonstrate depth and breadth of theoretical and practical knowledge of the media form and content of your project.

Thesis Objectives: Your thesis work must have a research or research/creation objective. Your thesis project may be the result of self-directed inquiry, or may be the result of a collaborative inquiry with peers, or may result from your participation in faculty-led research. Third party client-based projects and projects that merely fulfill the multimedia objectives of others are disallowed. In all cases you must have significant creative autonomy, research participation, and substantial contribution to the form and content of the submitted work.

Thesis Media/Medium Requirements: Thesis projects may utilize any media or combined media formats. Experimental approaches are welcomed. You should utilize technology, mediums, and styles that most effectively express your ideas and content. Serious consideration should be given to the relationship between form and content.

Thesis Supporting Materials: You will provide supporting written materials (Research Report and Proposal in fall term and Artist Statement in winter term) contextualizing your work within the media form’s field and within theories of digital culture and media. You will discuss your work in the context of other multimedia works and relevant theoretical frameworks. Sometimes the relevant theory won’t be about digital culture and media, it may be about feminism, or critical race theory, or queer theory, or affect theory, etc.

Assignments for Evaluation:

  1. The Pitch: DUE Sept. 28 plus Mandatory Course Meetings September 28 and October 5.
  2. Review of Literature and Works: DUE November 2, APA Format, 10 pages + cover page + reference list.
  3. Thesis Proposal Document: DUE Dec 2, approx. 6-7 pages
  4. Proof of Concept: DUE Dec 7, the proof of concept work must be approved by the instructor, in advance:

Submission of Assignments: All assignments will be in pdf format. All assignments must be uploaded to the course management website on the date they are due (before midnight). 


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be penalized by 5% per day of the week.  Extensions will be given if requested before the assignment’s due date and only if the reason is considered legitimate by the instructor.

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

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 ( 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 or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or 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 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 Policy, please go to

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 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:

Course Schedule:



Topic and Activity

Assignment Due Dates



Sept 14




Sept 21

No course or individual meetings



Sept 28

Pitch Presentations
; Discussion of Review of Literature and Works

DUE: Sept 28 Pitch Assignment


Oct 5

Pitch Presentations
; Discussion of Review of Literature and Works



Oct 12




Oct 19

Scheduled Individual Meetings with Advisor



Oct 26

Scheduled Individual Meetings with Advisor



Nov 2

MANDATORY COURSE MEETING: Review of Literature and Works Submission; Discussion of Proposal and Proof of Concept Assignments

DUE: Nov 2; Review of Literature and Works


Nov 9

Scheduled Individual Meetings with Advisor



Nov 16

Scheduled Individual Meetings with Advisor



Nov 23

Scheduled Individual Meetings with Advisor



Nov 25

MANDATORY COURSE MEETING: Proposal Submission and Proof of Concept Presentations

Due: Dec 7 Thesis Proposal and Proof of Concept


Dec 7

Pass in Multimedia Thesis Proposal Document and Proof of Concept


Other Course Information:

Accommodations For Students With Disabilities: If you require special accommodation for learning or have any special needs please let me know of them as soon as possible in order that arrangements can be made. Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Centre for Student Development at