COMM 2555: Interactive Digital Communication

Fall 2016

About the Course

This course is one of the four core courses in the Interactive Digital Studies (IDS) program. It provides a foundation in digital production skills that students will need for all their other IDS classes.

Specific content varies from semester to semester; we typically use Adobe Photoshop fot digital image editing and HTML & CSS for web page coding and design. Students will also learn about principles of visual design and designing for the web, as well as proper usage of digital images and other media online.

Course Schedule

Week Date Readings Topics Labs Homework
1 Tue, 08/23 Session 1: Introduction to the course
Thu, 08/25 Session 2: How the Internet works, text editors and coding, file management and FTP Lab 1 Homework 1:
due 8/24, available on eLearning
2 Tue, 08/30 Shay, chapter 1 (In Practice: optional) Session 3: Introducing HTML and CSS
Thu, 09/01 Shay, chapter 2 (read up to Hyperlinks; In Practice: optional) Session 4: HTML: common elements; structure and semantics Lab 2
3 Tue, 09/06 Shay, chapter 1 (review Working with Selectors)
Shay, chapter 3 (Common CSS Property Values, The Cascade)
Session 5: CSS common properties: color and length; basic selectors; cascading and inheritance
CSS exercise
Homework 2
Thu, 09/08 Shay, chapter 6 (In Practice: optional) Session 6: CSS: styling text Lab 3
lab files
4 Tue, 09/13 Shay, chapter 8 (Unordered Lists; Ordered Lists; Nesting Lists)
Shay, chapter 11 (Creating a Table; Table Structure)
Session 7: HTML structured content: lists and tables
Thu, 09/15 Shay, chapter 8 (List Item Styling; Horizontally Displaying a List)
Shay, chapter 11 (Table Borders; Aligning Text)
Session 8: CSS: styling lists and tables Lab 4
5 Tue, 09/20 Shay, chapter 9 (Adding Images/Video/Audio (no styling); Semantically Identifying Figures & Captions)
Shay, chapter 2 (Creating Hyperlinks)
Session 9: HTML: media and links Homework 3
Thu, 09/22 Shay, chapter 4 (up to In Practice) Session 10: CSS box model Lab 5
6 Tue, 09/27 Shay, chapter 5 (Uniquely Positioned Elements)
Position property
Z-index property
Session 11: CSS positioning: normal flow, relative, absolute, static
Thu, 09/29 Shay, chapter 5 (Positioning with Floats)
Optional: Containing floats
Session 12: CSS floats and reusable layouts Lab 6
7 Tue, 10/04 TBD Session 13: CSS gradients and transitions Homework 4
Thu, 10/06 Session 14: Exam overview Lab 7
8 Tue, 10/11 Exam-1
Thu, 10/13 In Digital Age, Advancing a Flexible Copyright System Session 15: Exam review
Copyright, Public Domain, & the Creative Commons
9 Tue, 10/18 Session 16: Introduction to Photoshop
Thu, 10/20 Lynda tutorials (TBD) Session 17: Image optimization; building an image gallery Lab 8
10 Tue, 10/25 Williams, pp. 11-54 Session 18: Design principles: proximity and alignment
Introduction to Illustrator
Thu, 10/27 Lynda tutorials Photoshop selections / building a collage Lab 9 Homework 5
11 Tue, 11/01 Williams, pp. 55-94 Session 19: Design principles: repetition and contrast
Thu, 11/03 Lynda tutorials Session 20: Photoshop compositing, more selection techniques, and smart objects Lab 10
12 Tue, 11/08 Williams, pp. 95-112 Session 21: Designing with color
Thu, 11/10 Lynda tutorials Session 22: Photoshop adjustment layers; more tools as time permits
Exam overview
Lab 11 Homework 6
13 Tue, 11/15 Exam-2
Thu, 11/17 Session 24: Exam review / project discussion
14 Tue, 11/22 THANKSGIVING BREAK
Thu, 11/24
15 Tue, 11/29 Williams, pp. 149-218 Session 25: Typography
Thu, 12/01 TBD Session 26: Project implementation: layout Lab 12
16 Tue, 12/06 TBD Session 27: Project implementation: editorial style
Thu, 12/08 Session 28: Project implementation: wrap-up
17 Thu 12/15 Final Project Presentation (section 2: 10:00 - 11:50 a.m. / section 3: 3:00 - 4:50 p.m.)