Spring 2003, Tues. and Thurs. mornings, 8:00 -9:15 in Campus Center 42. Course home page: http://www.d.umn.edu/~cstroupe/5250/
Moving from California to Minnesota two summers ago, I shot the photograph above as we approached the Continental Divide, the point in the Rockies east of which water flows to the Atlantic rather than the Pacific.
In this course, we will map the Great Divide between genres of communication traditionally taught in composition or English departments and the forms of electronic communication operating in digital environments where various "multimedia" are converging into a single, integrated meta-medium of practices, known as "New Media Writing."
We will explore and understand this divide both by doing and theorizing. In five of our assignments, you will take a traditional print document and "remediate" it using the techniques and discourses of the New Media in the form of Web pages. In the final assignment, you'll move the other direction across the digital/print divide by creating a single-author, analytical essay from an interactive online discussion, which will give you an opportunity to distill and formalize your critical vision of the semester's experiments.
This course is designed to give you skills, practice and understanding toward realizing the following goals:
The six assignments are sequenced to progress from smaller projects using relatively simple HTML techniques to larger projects that take advantage of the New Media's visual and interactive capabilities. On the Assignments Page, these projects are designed by numbers (1-6). I will also ask you to print out the HTML pages (black-and-white is fine) and hand these hard copies in on the due date (or the first class meeting after a non-class-day due date). The sixth assignment will be an analytical paper. I am assuming no background in HTML- or image-editing software.
There is a three-point penalty per day for late projects, including the hard copies.
Other Writing and Design Work
In addition to the design and creation of the projects themselves, you will be assigned
Many of these writings will be kept in a journal,
as numbered "journal entries," which you will turn in at the
end of the semester and perhaps periodically during the semester. The
exercises will be designated by letters (A-Z) on the Assignments
Page so we won't confuse them with the major projects (labeled numerically).
On days when readings are assigned, you can expect brief quizzes or to
write and turn in "pop" responses at the beginning or end of
class. There are no make-ups on these responses if you are absent, late
or leave early.
Since this class will function as a community of writer-designers, your regular attendance is absolutely necessary.
If on some occasion during the semester you need to leave class early, even if it's one of your three allowed instances, please arrange it with me in advance.
A larger goal of this course is to establish a community or network of writer-designers--with a wide variety of backgrounds, expertise, and interests--to enhance your learning and enjoyment during the next sixteen weeks. Work in such networks or teams is a hallmark of New Media culture. The class is designed to provide a number of avenues for this community building, including peer workshopping and critiquing, in-class production work, support groups, and various Internet-based communications and collaborations. Your sincere and regular contributions to maintaining this collaborative environment will count in your grade, and of course will greatly benefit your final products in the course. Because your work is the subject matter for this course, turning in all projects and writings on time is critical; work turned in late will be assessed a 3% penalty per day.