EDPX 4010 Emergent Digital Tools (F17)

Syllabus

Catalog Description:

This course serves as a primer on the tools essential to expression, sharing, and creation in digital mediums. This will include knowledge of web technologies, creative coding, video, audio, and the basic historical and theoretical contexts of each.  4.000 Credit Hours

Contact information

Associate Professor Chris Coleman

Office: Room 216A Sturm Hall

Office Hours: 10-12 T, R or by appointment

Email: Christopher.Coleman@du.edu

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to some of the technical areas and issues in digital media. In order to give you some core creation literacies in digital media, we will cover foundation concepts of web building and managing simple content management systems as part of the creation and maintenance of a personal research blog. On the blog you will be expected to post your thoughts on different topics related to digital media over the course of your degree.

In addition to the web realm we will look into a number of methodologies, practices, and tools for a broad entry into the field. We will also cover the basic programmatic literacies involved in creating and manipulating digital media. This will involve an introductory exploration of interactive media and the principles and processes involved in creating interactive projects. We will discuss the preproduction processes as well as production practices using the open source language Processing. This portion of the class will focus on learning basic programming approaches as well as rudimentary programming problem solving. Variables, Functions/Methods, Arrays, Conditional statements, loops, and object-oriented approaches to programming will all be discussed.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will:

  • Critically examine interactive pieces and the internet
  • Conjecture about the future of interaction and the internet
  • Analyzing potential projects and creating user aware solutions with clear goals and outcomes
  • Have working knowledge of mainstream and alternative tools for interactive media creation
  • Identifying and utilizing effective structures, information design and navigation for interactive projects
  • Use programming to manipulate and transform media for a variety of purposes
  • Problem-solve and develop solutions to rudimentary programming tasks

Materials

  • You will need at least 64GB of high speed portable storage (thumb drive, portable hard drive, etc.)
  • You must have or purchase a sketchbook approx. 8.5″x11″
  • Other reading materials and examples will be supplied digitally on this website
  • Other materials: All students will need to purchase a webspace and domain name. The webspace will need to support wordpress installations, preferably they will do it for you. Recommendation will be for BlueHost.com and costs $7-$9/month depending on the length of time you prepay for.You must have adequate storage to have a backup of your work. Please do not rely upon the lab computers for your only source of backup. USB drives or CD-R should be used to make frequent and versioned backups of your projects. All media is subject to failure, therefore it is advisable to maintain a practice of frequently making backup copies of your work.We will have a site for class that you can check for updates. In order to ensure that I can contact you, please check your du email on a regular basis.

Policies

This class will combine individual work in the lab with individual and group instruction. Students must come to class prepared to work. Showing up without necessary files or equipment is the same as not attending. Although students may also use their personal computers to work on projects, this is not a valid reason to not attend. It will be necessary to work outside of class to complete all projects and assignments. A minimum of six hours per week of work outside of class is suggested to get an average grade of a C. Computer failure, equipment malfunction, and file corruption are not accepted as excuses for late or unfinished work so BACK UP YOUR WORK. The computer labs are used by many students, so the labs are in high demand. Budget time accordingly as “unavailable computer time” will also not be accepted as an excuse. Participation in all class discussions and critiques, as well as the constructive use of lab time, is considered in the final grade for each project. At any time in the creation process, students should be able to produce notes, drawings, charts etc from their sketchbooks, as well as discuss and articulate the nature of their work to their peers as well as to the instructor.

Attendance is mandatory. Attending class is the responsibility of the student. Lectures and demonstrations may be given or changed without notice and every class will start with professional examples of relevant work so punctuality is essential. An individual who is absent, late or sleeps during class will be responsible for getting the information missed. Students will be allowed two (2) absences without penalty. Any absence in excess of two will result in a 10% grade reduction of the final grade for the course per absence. All absences will be counted. A student who misses 15 minutes or more of a class (late or leave early) is considered absent. A student who sleeps will be considered absent. A student who will acquire absences due to University sponsored activities must provide necessary documentation from the appropriate office prior to the absence to make any special arrangements for missed work.

University policy grants students excused absences from class or other organized activities or observance of religious holy days, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship. You must notify me by the end of the first week of classes if you have any conflicts that may require an absence. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me in advance to make up any missed work or in-class material.

Any special medical or personal problems that occur, where absenteeism will exceed the allowed two, will require verification by a physician or emergency medical association (a letter from Student Affairs merely explains an absence, and will not qualify as an excuse). These situations may require course withdrawal or “Incomplete” status on the final grade. Six absences mandate an automatic grade of “F.” Three late arrivals (less than 15 min.) will equal one absence.

If you qualify for academic accommodations because of a disability or medical issue please submit a Faculty Letter to me from Disability Services Program (DSP) in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. DSP is located on the 4thfloor of Ruffatto Hall; 1999 E. Evans Ave.303.871. / 2372 / 2278/ 7432. Information is also available on line at http://www.du.edu/disability/dsp; see the Handbook for Students with Disabilities.

As part of the University’s Culture of Care & Support we provide campus resources to create access for you to maintain your safety, health, and well-being. We understand that as a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug concerns depression, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These stressful moments can impact academic performance or reduce your ability to engage. The University offers services to assist you with addressing these or ANY other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any challenges, you should reach out for support. You can seek confidential mental health services available on campus in the Health & Counseling Center (HCC). Another helpful resource is Student Outreach & Support (SOS), where staff work with you to connect to all the appropriate campus resources (there are many!), develop a plan of action, and guide you in navigating challenging situations. If you are concerned about one of your peers you can submit a report through our Pioneers Care System. More information about HCC, SOS, and Pioneers CARE can be found at:

Health & Counseling Services (http://www.du.edu/health-and-counseling-center/)

Student Outreach & Support and Pioneers Care reporting http://www.du.edu/studentlife/studentsupport/

In this class, we will work together to develop a learning community that is inclusive and respectful. Our diversity may be reflected by differences in race, culture, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and myriad other social identities and life experiences. The goal of inclusiveness, in a diverse community, encourages and appreciates expressions of different ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that conversations and interactions that could potentially be divisive turn instead into opportunities for intellectual and personal enrichment.

A dedication to inclusiveness requires respecting what others say, their right to say it, and the thoughtful consideration of others’ communication. Both speaking up and listening are valuable tools for furthering thoughtful, enlightening dialogue. Respecting one another’s individual differences is critical in transforming a collection of diverse individuals into an inclusive, collaborative and excellent learning community. Our core commitment shapes our core expectation for behavior inside and outside of the classroom.

Grading

Grades will consist of the following:

  • Assignments @ 30%
  • Reading Responses @ 10%
  • Project 1 @ 10%
  • Project 2 @ 10%
  • Project 3 @ 10%
  • Process Blog @ 20%
  • Participation @ 10%

Projects and assignments will be graded on the following basis, listed in order of importance.

  • Development, creativity, and originality of concept or problem solution
  • Technical development and demonstration of skills
  • Craftsmanship and presentation of work
  • Participation in classroom discussions and critiques in connection with the work

Your grade will be calculated according to the following standards:

  • A = Excellent (100-90%)- work pushes far beyond the project stipulations and shows clear evidence of extreme time, dedication, care and thought about the project as evidenced in effective execution of original/thoughtful ideas.
  • B = Good (80-89%)- work exceeds the basic criteria, provides creative solutions to the problems and shows technical proficiency. Student has made the project “theirs” in that they do not need to explain project stipulations before showing the work.
  • C = Average (70-79%)- work fulfills all requirements, does not expand on techniques shown in class, ideas are close derivations of popular culture.
  • D = Unsatisfactory (60-69%)- work might meet basic criteria but in a careless and/or thoughtless way. Technical proficiency is rudimentary and no chances were taken.
  • F = Failure (0-59%)- the work does not meet the basic criteria.

Late projects will be penalized a letter grade for every class period they are late. Turning a project in after the beginning of the critique counts as one class day late.

Process Blog

A key piece of your work this quarter will be documenting your process on a blog. The general structure for each entry will be as follows:

  • Research and inspirations: this section should include ideas, quotes, snippets of readings, embedded videos, inspirational images, links related to the course or a current assignment/project
  • Progress and process: this section should include in-progress images of projects and assignments, scanned sketches, descriptions of progress. Also include sentences reflecting on your progress.

It is expected that each entry is comprised of more than two paragraphs of text and several images or other media. These entries must be completed before the start of the Tuesday class period. All work for this class will be documented and submitted via the blog.

Lab Rules

It is your responsibility to adhere to all rules regarding the use of the EDP labs and equipment. You will be given a sheet stating all rules. Please see Dorian in the EDP office or look on the EDP website if you need a form to access the EDP lab in Sturm 211.

Plagiarism

All work submitted in this course must be your own and produced exclusively for this course. The use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases, code) must be properly acknowledged and documented. For the consequences of violating the Academic Misconduct policy, refer to the University of Denver website on the Honor Code (www.du.edu/honorcode). See also http://www.du.edu/studentconduct for general information about conduct expectations from the Office of Student Conduct.

Software

While you are not required to purchase the software that we are using, not having the software is no excuse for failing to complete your projects. It is your responsibility to work out times when you can use the EDP labs or to make other arrangements for doing your work. Please do not download and/or install trial versions of this software or any other onto campus computers. Processing is freely available and available for all major operating systems. You will also do some work in Affinity Designer and Photo.

Course Outline

(The following schedule is open to revision at any point in the quarter.)

  • 9/12 – Introductions, Tech roundtable, identity levels, Feeds and sources
  • 9/14 – Tech discussion, p5.js Intro, Setting up WordPress and themes
  • 9/19 – Reading Discussions, Camera Basics, Editing
  • 9/21 –
  • 9/26 –
  • 9/28 -Work Day
  • 10/3 –
  • 10/5 – OHS?
  • 10/10 –
  • 10/12 –
  • 10/17 –
  • 10/19 –
  • 10/24 –
  • 10/26 –
  • 10/31 –
  • 11/2 –
  • 11/7 –
  • 11/9 –
  • 11/14 – Arduino
  • 11/16 –
  • 11/21 – Final

 

Day 1:

Reading #1 – Introduction to “Program or be Programmed”

Reading #2 – To_Save_Everything_intro

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