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Course Title: New Media Perspectives

Semester: Fall 2019
Credit Hours: 3
Course #: NMC*101
CRN#: 3479
Time: MW 10:05-11:15AM


See Course Website

The Tunxis Student Handbook

Required texts are indicated on the Course Calendar.

1. A flash drive or other means of storing information
2. A Tumblr or WordPress weblog
3. Poster board and sticky notes

What qualities do video games, comics, films, and computer simulations share? New Media Perspectives considers this question by examining the underlying structures and interrelated qualities of various media and communication technologies. Students will study selected text-based stories, films, video games, simulations, comics, visual art, and web design. Students will apply what they learn by developing hypertexts, digital stories, and games. The course will also address questions such as: what is new media? How does human experience shape the design of technology? What is interactivity?

Attendance Policy

Attendance will be taken every day. If you miss class for whatever reason, you’re responsible for work due or to be completed at the next meeting in the same way as those students in attendance. Typically, missed information will be demonstrated in the assessed materials required for the course. Issues in attendance my be complicated by work, health-related issues, weather, or family responsibilities. Please make sure you plan ahead to schedule other appointments so that they do not conflict with class session times because there is no such thing as an “excused” absence. All absences from class mean that you miss the materials, concepts and ideas presented on that day and these cannot be made up. It’s advised that you take contact information from other students in class so that you can share notes.

I reserve the right to change, reword, add and/or subtract materials in order to meet changing circumstances, expectations, and course requirements. This means that it is possible that if you miss a particular day, you may miss new assignments, new assessment criteria, or changes to an assignment. Note that it is the student’s responsibility to keep a close eye on the Course Calendar which is online and always available.

Another issue with attendance has to do with how learning is constructed in the course. Each class meeting adds to what has come before in a specific way, so missing class leaves gaps that are nearly impossible to reconstruct. So the second sentence in the above paragraph is deceptive. Life happens, so “requiring” perfect attendance is impossible. On the other hand, choosing not to attend will affect your ability to perform at peak.

There are days on the Calendar that are required for your attendance. These include all days where work must be handed in, days where a quiz may be given, and peer review sessions. Note that no work provided in other ways other than indicated on the Course Calendar will be accepted for review or for a grade.

The instructors for this course believe strongly in being on time and that students not enter the classroom when the door to the classroom has been closed. We discourage leaving class also while class is in session. In New Media studies, courtesy is appreciated.

Ability-based Education

Assessed Course Abilities:

Project Building

D. Applies inter-disciplinary concepts, ideas, and tools in communication contexts

Level 1: Identifies media interrelationships and associated concepts

New Media Literacy
A. Describes, evaluates, and compares systems

Level 1: Observes and accurately describes the use and properties of a traditional and digital system

B. Effectively communicates new media concepts, experiences, and their contexts

Level 1: Builds effective media experiences and new media objects using multiple modes of expression

C. Selects, manipulates, and integrates digital and traditional media in appropriate contexts

Level 1: Describes the affective qualities and structural elements of a traditional and digital media form

Assessed General Education Abilities:

Aesthetic Dimensions: Students will understand the diverse nature, meanings, and functions of creative endeavors through the study and practice of literature, music, the theatrical and visual arts, and related forms of expression.


Demonstrates:  Identifies and describes formal aspects, historical or cultural context, and aesthetic elements of the genre with clarity and appropriate vocabulary.

Does Not Demonstrate:  Unable to clearly identify and describe the formal aspects, historical context, and aesthetic elements of the genre.

Students will generate  assignments evaluated against the course and General Education abilities typically in the manner of a studio course. The assessments are project-based and are typically followed by exams.

The New Media Portfolio
The New Media Portfolio may include all of your work completed for the course, including but excluding quizzes:
1. 3 quizzes (10% each: 30% total)
2. Digital Story, includes script and storyboard (20%)
4. Interactive Fiction Game Assessment (50%)

Please find a model for how to design your ePortfolio here: Model Portfolio

1 = D and F
2 = C-/B+
3 = A

During the course of the semester, students might want to experience works from the list below. Some of these will be mentioned on the syllabus as relevant to a particular topic. Excerpts of these works may be required, while the work in its entirety may be experienced over a weekend. For instance, a computer game or simulation such as Skyrim or Fallout would be difficult to complete in a semester.

Films: The Godfather, Sliding Doors, Groundhog Day, Minority Report, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Garden State, 12 Monkeys, Lone Star, Final Destination 3 (Special Feature DVD).
Games: Monopoly, Life, The Sims, Journey, Flower, Civilization series, Battlefield I, Half-Life series, Call of Duty, Halo, No Mans Sky.
Stories and novels: The Diamond Age, Hopscotch, afternoon, a story, The Garden of Forking Paths.
Sequential Art: Moore and Gibbons, Watchmen, Moore et al, Tomorrow Stories Book 1, Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, Neil Gaiman, The Sandman. Of course there are too many to name.

Today the fundamental concepts and tools of new media, such as laptop computers, smart phones, social (Twitter) and cloud networks (Dropbox), are influencing nearly all areas of life. They influence the way we build buildings (where are the broadband cables or wireless stations threaded or the robot network?), entertain ourselves, market products, conduct business, teach, tell stories, collaborate, and create works of art. Education, entertainment, business, communications, science, engineering, the creative arts–all are influenced by and are influencing digital computing and expression.  No matter what your plans for the future, some aspect of new and traditional media will play a role; you may even be considering a career in a new media field.

New Media Perspectives, in a lot of ways, is about definitions and questions. “What is new media?” is just one of them.  Here are a few more: What are the criteria that we use to define new media; what characteristics do new media and traditional media share: that is, how is a film related to a game and why is it important to know this?  Moreover, how do the narrative structures of new and traditional media shape the way we interpret, use, and innovate them?

In this course your instructor will be coming at the idea and forms of new media from a lot of directions, one of the most important being a continual reflection on what has come before and what is still influencing contemporary communications, creative production, social media, collaboration, art, business, how people work together to shape understandable and meaningful media experiences and tools, and how past and current work in art, games, film, business, design, architecture, and programming may guide our thinking about the future. It should be an interesting tour.

Requests for an incomplete must meet the college’s criteria (see below) and must be put to the instructors in writing one week prior to the end of the semester and an Incomplete Grade Agreement.

Incomplete grades may be given when the instructor determines that the student has completed 80 percent of the course work or when extraordinary circumstances have arisen which prevent the student from completing course requirements within the prescribed time limits. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange with the instructor the conditions under which an incomplete will be made up. Additionally, the student and instructor must sign an Incomplete Grade Agreement, available in the Records Office that identifies the specific work to be completed. The agreement must be filed in the Records Office.

An incomplete must be made up by the end of the fourth week of the following full semester (fall or spring). Deadline dates appear in the Calendar portion of course catalogs and on the Tunxis Web site.

An incomplete that is not made up within the time limits set above will be converted to an “F” grade at the end of the following fall or spring semester.”

One of the greatest sins that can be committed in education is an act of plagiarism:

1: a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work 2: the act of plagiarizing; taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own”
Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University
Anyone caught plagiarizing in this course will face one of the following penalties (based upon my determination of the seriousness of the offense):

A warning and a grade of “0” or “F” for that assignment;
A grade of “0” or “F” for the course;
Disciplinary action by the Dean of Student Services and/or the Dean of Academic Affairs.

The instructors reserve the right to edit or modify this syllabus at any time.

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