Summer Courses

COM 500.  Seminar in Media Law and Ethics (no credit)
Covers the legal and ethical dimensions of media communications across platforms, with an emphasis on First Amendment, privacy and copyright issues. Students examine historical cases, analyze the contemporary evolution of law as it relates to technological development, and discuss ethical situations that arise from the confluence of accelerated technological development and the culture’s ability to understand its consequences, unintended or otherwise. Required for those without an undergraduate media law and ethics course or professional experience waiver.

COM 510.  Seminar in Media Writing (no credit)
Clear, logical writing is necessary to communicate effectively to an audience.  This course focuses on background research, interviews, accuracy, attribution, and styles of writing (print, broadcast, online, news release).  Superior grammar and language skills are expected, and Associated Press style is introduced.  Required for those without an undergraduate media law and ethics courses or professional experience waiver.

Students without a media law and ethics background will be required to participate in the Seminar in Media Law and Ethics from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for one week and students without a media writing background will be required to participate in the Seminar in Media Writing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that same week.  These will be undergraduate seminars and will not involve academic credit.  Materials will be provided in advance.  There will be no additional costs for the one-week seminars.

COM 520.  Digital Media Workshop (3)
(Required of all M.A. students)
Provides concepts and applied skills related to visual communication, photo editing, audio processing, video capture and editing, and Web publishing. Students develop the ability to organize elements for a variety of visual effects and gain an understanding of how to use technology to create meaningful digital communication.

Fall Courses

COM 530.  Theory and Audience Analysis in an Interactive Age (3)
Introduces students to the intellectual logistics of graduate study in general, to the historical and contemporary body of research literature in the scholarly subject area of interactive communications, and to career opportunities.  Students write research papers capped by a bibliographical essay that covers books, professional journal articles, or studies focused on interactive communications.

COM 540.  Interactive Writing and Design (3)
This course aims to provide the student the fundamentals of Web programming by establishing a strong foundation in the syntax and structure of coding languages.  The course will enable students to identify appropriate technologies and employ applicable problem-solving techniques to solve errors.  Projects include interactive content galleries, mobile design techniques, and online portfolio creation. 
 
COM 550.  Producing Interactive Media (3)
Covers the fundamental practices associated with interactive media production, including interface design, applied multimedia and usability refinement. In the effort to provide users with optimized opportunities for choice and control, students will apply design guidelines such as Shneiderman's Eight Golden Rules and production/ design trends emerging in various industries.  Students will author interactive experiences and explore historical origins, as well as today's best practices.

COM 560.  Interactive Media Strategies (3)
This course examines how cognitive, social, and affective issues apply to interaction design from both theoretical and practical approaches. It provides an overview on how interactive technologies affect users on visceral, cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral levels.  It discusses the process of user-centered design, the issues of usability, and the methods for evaluating various interactive interfaces. 

COM 565. Visual Aesthetics (3)
This course will explore the core design components that make up the majority of interactive visual media. Through an even balance of theory (through reading and discussion), criticism (regular in-class critiques of work--both student generated and professional examples), and practice (through student project assignments) students will thoroughly explore the design of visual media, especially as it pertains to the creation of interactive products and experiences.

Winter Course

COM 570.  Interactive Project for the Public Good (3)
Students work in a team environment to create an interactive media project for the public good. In teams, they travel for approximately a week to a site to gather content through interviews, photos, audio and video needed for the project. They then return to campus to organize this content into a project that will becomes accessible to the public at large. Students develop, design and deploy original interactive projects in a deadline-driven setting.

Spring Courses

COM 590.  Interactive Media Capstone (6)
Students complete an individual capstone interactive media project accompanied by an explanatory paper. The master's capstone project requires students to create an original, fully functional interactive media presentation for news, entertainment, informational services or strategic communications.

Electives

Electives for the Interactive Media program are a part of the spring course load. Students will pick three electives from those offered.

COM 561.  Intellectual Property Law (3)
Focuses on how intellectual property law (specifically copyright and trademark law) intersects with new and interactive media such as web journalism, advertising, electronic databases, video games, and visual and performing arts. This course addresses both practical considerations and public policy concerns.

COM 562.  Multimedia Storytelling (3)
Analysis of the effective use of online tools to tell stories in journalism, documentary, corporate and marketing applications that is then applied through interactive creations such as websites. More importantly, students experiment with diverse ways of using text, graphics, photos, sound and video to effectively transmit information and to interact with users.

COM 563. Virtual Environments (3)
Study three-dimensional online environments, massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) and the phenomenon of real-time, online interaction. By examining Second Life and emerging virtual worlds, students will explore how such realms and the accompanying tool sets can be leveraged in a communications capacity, whether to create an online political presence, disseminate news, or be a virtual forum for marketing and commerce.

COM 564.  Public Opinion through New Media (3)
With the advent of virtual communities, smart mobs, and online social networks, old questions about the meaning of human social behavior have taken on renewed significance. Although this course is grounded in theory, it is equally rooted in practice, and much of the class discussion takes place in social cyberspaces. This course requires active participation of students and a willingness to immerse in social media practices–mailing lists, web forums, blogs, wikis, chat, instant messaging, virtual worlds–for a part of every weekday during the semester.

COM 566.  Interactive Media Management & Economics (3)
Forms of interactivity are challenging and changing the economic models for media companies, corporations and non-profit organizations seeking to communicate with desired audiences. In turn, this changing economic model influences management strategies for interactive media initiatives.  In this course, students will understand the driving forces in media management through the exploration of changing theories, content management business practices, audience measurement and analytics and the leadership vision of modern media managers.

COM 567.  Application Development(3)
The creation of “apps” (native applications) for tablet computers and other popular mobile devices typically requires an in-depth knowledge of advanced programming languages.  Building on previous experience using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, students in this course will create content for tablet and mobile devices, and re-design existing Websites for optimal mobile/tablet viewing and interaction, without additional programming languages. Local device storage, GPS and device detection will also be covered.

COM 568.  Special Topics in Interactivity (3)
Because of the fast-changing world of interactivity, special topics may arise periodically that the School of Communications believe warrant a special course for iMedia students.  Special topics classes will be added to the curriculum in such cases as electives.

COM 569.  Professional Apprenticeship (3)
An independent work experience under a professional mentor provides an opportunity to acquire insights and skills in a professional environment. Students are required to work at least 240 hours in a supervised environment. Apprenticeships must be approved by the graduate program director and will be permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

COM 572. SEO, Analytics and Social Media (3)
This course develops the ability to use content types, content quality and presentationstrategically to engage audiences in online and mobile media. A combination of hands-on assignments, lectures and experiments are used to develop skills with current tools and prepare to learn emerging tools throughout the career.

COM 573. Data Visualization (3)
This course introduces design principles, tools and techniques for visualizing static and interactive data. Content includes the fundamentals of data collection and analysis, visual perception, interaction principles for web-based interactive visualizations. This course is meant for students who will use data for communicating to the general public.

COM 580.  Contemporary Media Issues (3)
Focuses on the historical and contemporary state of personal and public interaction with popular media, within the context of technological developments and their impact on society and culture. Students study journal articles, survey the research literature, and write papers on the historical trajectory of information consumption from the emergence of mass-produced, paper-based texts to the development of the World Wide Web.  Students should use this course to evaluate the current ethical, political and economical controversies that will part of their daily lives upon entering media professions.