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Lecture 5


Course Code

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McMaster University
Communication Studies and Multimedia
MMEDIA 1A03 – Multimedia and Digital Society
Course Outline – Winter 2015
Lectures: Wednesdays 2:30-3:20 PM (CNH-104)
Fridays 4:30-5:20 PM (CNH-104)
Tutorials: Mondays/Tuesdays at various times (TSH-206)
Instructor: Dr. David Ogborn, x27603,
Online course content:
Office Hours: Wednesdays 3:30-5:30 PM (TSH-306)
Course description:
This course examines the impact of digital technologies on contemporary life. Lectures, readings,
discussions, and multimedia projects will enable students to both reflect upon and participate in today’s
digital society. Lectures will explore the history, development and current state of digital media, with
special attention to social and cultural issues surrounding the use of technologies. Demonstrations and
“hack ins” will help students to express themselves effectively with diverse types of media, including
digital image, audio, video and interactive technologies.
In support of these learning goals, we will complete three creative projects: a digitally mediated
“observation”, an audio, video or animation composition, and an interactive code project. A series of
feedback sessions on work in progress during the tutorials will ensure that all students are developing
the knowledge and skill to create effective media-based expression and communication. The final exam
will cover materials discussed in lectures, tutorials and in a number of required readings (identified on
the schedule).
There will be two one hour lectures each week in CNH/104. While some slides and videos from the
lectures may be available through Avenue, not all materials will be available in this way. Attendance is
very important – this will be true in every phase of your career! Hands-on tutorials will be dedicated to
discussion of course content and readings, feedback on project-based work in progress, and technical
demonstrations on computer software, and will be held in TSH 206.
Required materials and texts:
It is recommended that students purchase a large USB key (at least 2 GB) or portable hard drive.
All required readings will be posted on Avenue To Learn.
Students are encouraged to bring a laptop to lectures, if possible, especially during part three
Students will be able to complete all projects using free and open source software that can be installed
on home computers or laptops. The university library and the Faculty of Humanities provide additional
facilities with access to selected software, including commercially distributed software.

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MMEDIA 1A03 – Winter 2015, p. 2
20% Project 1: Observation/Capture (due Tuesday Feb 3rd, in specific Avenue discussion forum)
20% Project 2: Time/Transformation (due Sunday Mar 8th, in specific Avenue discussion forum)
20% Project 3: Code/Network (due Sunday Apr 5th, in specific Avenue discussion forum)
30% Final Exam (comprehensive of entire course; held during final examination period)
10% Tutorial Participation
(100% Total)
In Project 1: Observation/Capture, students will use some form of Multimedia technology to document
something in at least 10 different states. The intention of the project is to better understand how
multimedia technology can be used not only to produce preconceived representations, but rather and
also to uncover and expose aspects of the world around us.
In Project 2: Time/Transformation, students will work with non-linear editing software (video or audio)
to recompose original footage, with heightened attention to the possibility of transforming time
relations within the material.
In Project 3: Code/Network, students will work with forms of computer programming that are common
in the field of multimedia arts and design. Potential project outcomes include generative or interactive
animation, sound compositions/performances, small video games or experimental web sites.
More detailed descriptions of the three creative projects will be posted to the course’s Avenue-to-Learn
site, together with the rubrics used to determine grades and give constructive feedback. All creative
projects are to be handed in electronically through Avenue-To-Learn. You are encouraged to begin
working on projects well in advance of their due dates.
Tutorial Participation: Attendance at all lectures and tutorials is expected, and is also the best way to
prepare for the course’ projects and final exam. Attendance at the beginning and end of tutorials will
be recorded and, together with general observations made by the instructor and teaching assistants, will
be used to inform a tutorial participation grade according to the following rubric:
9-10% Strong evidence of professionalism & participation well beyond requirements
8-8.99% Evidence of professionalism & participation beyond course requirements
6-7.99% Minor problems with attendance, lack of professionalism and/or participation
below 6% Major problems with attendance, lack of professionalism and/or participation
Late policy: All assignments are due on the due date provided. Any submission after that date will
mean that the assignment is late. However, assignments will be accepted after the due date for up to
one week without any penalty. No assignments will be accepted later than one week. You should do
everything in your power to get your assignment in by the due date; the one-week grace period is to
allow you to complete your assignments should you have minor medical situations or family issues.
Please note that MSAF is for a maximum period of five days, and can only be used for the
assignment’s due date, so even if you submit an MSAF, you will not get additional time beyond
the one week grace period.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF): This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students
to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the
ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used
during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request
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