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MMEDIA 3X03A Presentation & Critique (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2019

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Chris Myhr


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 328

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23930


Office Hours: Wednesdays 9:30am-12:30pm

Course Objectives:

This course offers upper-level Multimedia students an opportunity to develop and refine current 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 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 technical/conceptual frameworks which underpin their 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.

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 TSH 202 Multimedia Wing
  • Writing materials for taking notes during all critique sessions (no open laptops/mobile devices 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)
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)

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).

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 zerofor that particular component. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of his/her presentation schedule.

A penalty of 5% per daywill 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 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:

The outline below is for orientation purposes only, and is subject to change. Please consult the full and definitive syllabus posted on Avenue to Learn for any potential updates.


Fall Semester:

September 6
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 13
Deadline to sign up for critiques (end of class)
Effective language/strategies/protocol for critique
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion (Round 1) 

September 20
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion (Round 2)

September 27
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

October 4
Fall Peer-to-Peer Critiques
Fall Group Critiques (Round 1)

October 11
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

October 18
Midterm Recess (No Class)

October 25
Fall Group Critiques (Round 2)

November 1
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

November 8
Fall Group Critiques (Round 3)

November 15
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

November 22
Fall Group Critiques (Round 4)

November 29
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton and Chris Myhr)

Winter Semester:

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

January 17
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion (Round 1)

January 24
Analysis/critique presentations and discussion (Round 2)

January 31
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

February 7
Winter Peer-to-Peer Critiques
Winter Group Critiques (Round 1)

February 14
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)

February 21
Mid-term Recess (No Class)

February 28
Winter Group Critiques (Round 2)

March 6
Consultation Session (Chris Myhr)

March 13
Winter Group Critiques (Round 3)

March 20
Consultation Session (Robert Hamilton)
March 27
Winter Group Critiques (Round 4)

April 3
Course consolidation
Special topic presentation/discussion (4th Year Thesis Orientation)

Other Course Information:

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.
The detailed and definitive version of the syllabus will be posted on Avenue to Learn. Students are responsible for consulting this document for the most up-to-date information on scheduled activities, rubrics, etc.

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. 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 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 this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.