Category Archives: Uncategorized

Professional investigation: academic disciplines, courses, & technology training

You’ll find below a listing of coursework that is relevant to the M.A. New Media Studies as separated by department.

  • Department of Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse,
  • WRD 513: Semiotics
    An introduction to semiotics, or the study of “the sign”—a theory of meaning that is concerned with anything intended to or interpreted to stand for something else, including objects, pictures, sounds, gestures, and body language. The course examines the construction of meaning in manifold contexts, extending the notion of “text” beyond the written page to any artifact that functions as a “message” embodied in a genre and a medium. The study of semiotics is important for writers in that our understanding of and expectations for literacy have become increasingly bound up with other modes of symbolic production in digital environments such as the Internet.

    WRD 520: Computers and Writing
    Explores the cultural, institutional, professional, and pedagogical implications of digital writing technology, drawing upon theories of technology as well as discussions from the field of computers and composition.

    WRD 521: Technical Writing
    An introduction to various aspects of technical writing, including readability, document design, editing, and usability.

    WRD 524: Document Design
    Theories, concepts, and components of effective document design, including the interrelation of visual displays and written texts across a range of electronic and print genres.

    WRD 525: Writing for the Web
    An introduction to various genres of web-based communication and the roles played by writers, readers, and users of web sites. Includes analysis, design, and revision of web-based writing as well as practice producing written documents which accompany the development of web information.

    The relevance of these courses from this department focus on the technical formats for writing for New Media and the meaning behind signs and symbols.

  • Department of Art & Art History,
  • There aren’t any graduate level coursework from the Department of Art & Art History, but relevant courses include Video Art, Culture & Media, Documentary Video, Color Theory, etc.  This department offers courses that focus on the visual communication aspect of New Media.

  • College of Communication,
    This seminar considers the cultural ramifications of new media in shaping life experience and opportunity. As interactive digital media technologies expand opportunities for social networking, text and instant messaging, file sharing, collaborative authoring, blogging, podcasting and mobile communication, this seminar asks how these new technologies impact identity formation, creative participation and concepts of public culture. Issues of concern include race, gender, class, sexuality, cultural citizenship, fandom, subcultures and democratic participation.

    This course examines the ever-increasing influence of public relations and advertising in our society, highlighting issues of power and social responsibility. Students are asked to think critically about the societal effects of public relations and advertising and their roles in the production and maintenance of pubic opinion. Future practitioners consider the potentially adversarial relationship that exists between public relations and advertising and the media in societies bases on a free press. Formerly CMN 505

    This foundational course examines the theories, principles, applications and standards of advertising in multiple contexts, both from the perspectives of the practitioner and the consumer. Formerly CMN 553

    The relevance of these courses from this department focus on the social and cultural reactions and effects to the usage of New Mediums.

  • CDM’s graduate programs <>, particularly HCI <>
  • HCI 402 Foundations of Digital Design
    Shape, line on two-dimensional surfaces. Color. Composition rules as they apply to digitally created documents. Digital manipulation of two-dimensional images. Use of commercially available draw and paint tools to create two-dimensional designs.

    HCI 422 Multimedia
    Multimedia interface design. Underlying technological issues including synchronization and coordination of multiple media, file formats for images, animations, sound and text. Hypertext. Information organization. Survey of multimedia authoring software. Topics in long distance multimedia (World Wide Web). Students will critique existing applications and create several multimedia applications.

    HCI 440 Usability Engineering
    The user-interface development process. Introduction to methods for practicing user-centered design including user and task analysis, user interface design principles and testing using low-fidelity prototypes.

    HCI 470 Digital Page Formatting I
    Problem-based applications of perceptual and communication principles to the presentation of on-line and off-screen pages. Includes experience with industry standard vector, raster and formatting software.

    HCI 454 Interaction Design
    Information architecture and interactive page design. Perception and use of menus, labels and user controls. Structuring information for navigation and presentation. Selecting and placing user controls for optimizing task flow on pages and across pages. Creating wire frames and using content managers.

    The relevance of these courses from this department focus on the technical creation of aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, and user-friendly pages and applications that are useful when designing for New Mediums.

    Madden, Fox, Smith, & Vitak- Digital Footprints, Report: Identity, Search, Social Networking

    Madden, Fox, Smith, & Vitak have compiled a Pew Internet report detailing user awareness of their digital footprint.  With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, a person’s name, address, and phone number just scratch the surface of what really comprises personal information.  In a time where people are voluntarily authoring personal content (thoughts, pictures, videos) over the web where an innumerable amount of people have access to viewing, we are not only willingly (although sometimes involuntarily) opening the doors to public criticism, but we’re also introducing our innermost thoughts and an intimate look into our lives to strangers in a way that we wouldn’t normally do.

    The phrase “digital footprints” may seem less serious than it really is.  The authors point out that unlike footprints in sand, digital footprints (or online data trails) last much longer after the tide has come and gone.  According to this report, users today are much more aware of their digital footprints than just 5 years ago.  In 2002, only 25% of people have searched information about themselves online as compared to a 22% increase in 2007, when this report was conducted.  Users under the ago of 50 are more likely to conduct self-searches via the internet than those that are 50 and older.  Other statistics show that men and women search information about themselves in equal numbers, but men and women who have higher levels of education and income are more likely to search themselves and monitor their identities through search engines than those with lower levels of education and income.

    Out of all self-searchers, nearly 3/4ths have said they only check-up on their digital footprints only one or twice, 22% said they check up on their footprints every once in awhile, and only 3% have said they make it a regular habit.  With the exception of their e-mail addresses, home phone numbers, home addresses, and their employer information, the other internet users who aren’t considered one of these self-searchers say they aren’t even aware of what personal information of theirs is available on the internet.  Still, some of these internet users say they aren’t certain if even this information is available.    However, privacy advocates have assured the authors that most of this information is readily available on the internet, whether through online databases or to the public through the world wide web, regardless of whether you’ve authored the information or not.

    Out of all internet users, 60% aren’t concerned with the information available about them online and 61% of online adult internet users do not find it necessary to limit the amount of information that can be found about them online.  38% of these online adults have, however, indicated that they have taken steps to limit the amount of information that can be found about them online.

    Madden, Fox, Smith, & Vitak have divided online adult internet users into the following four categories:

    1.) Confident Creatives(17% of online adults- Not worried about the amount of information found about them online and actively participate in the authoring of their digital content. They do, however, take steps to limit their personal information that can be found online.)
    2.) Concerned & Careful (21% of online adults- Weary about the information found of them online and regularly take steps to limit their online information.)
    3.) Worried by the Wayside (18% of online adults- Worried about the information found on them online but don’t do much to limit the information that can be found of them online.)
    4.) Unfazed & Inactive (43% of online adults- This group of adults neither care about the amount of information that can be found online of them nor do anything to limit their digital footprints.)

    Users such as the 43% of online adults have legitimate reason to show minimal concern and/or uncertainty about their digital footprint, as 38% of internet users who performed searches of their name find little or no information on themselves.  Among the users who perform self-searches, 13% express disbelief on how little of information is retrieved from such searches.  Regardless, 87% of self-searchers find their personal information retrieved to be very accurate.  However, some find inaccurate information like the 4% of online adults who said such information has caused them to have bad experiences due to the embarrassing and inaccurate information that exists of them online.


    Your colors change like the skin of a chameleon.
    Your facade is altered every inch by slow inch you crawl.
    Assimilating to the likes of those around you, but never true to who you really are.
    A new visage for every situation you’re placed in as if you’re in a masquerade party.
    Your countenance- a grin from ear to ear.
    Truly, it is big and bold, but possesses as much sincerity as the mask that shields you.
    When you’re behind closed doors, your true colors are revealed.
    Nobody to please. No colors to vary. No veils to hide behind.
    It is how you act when nobody is around that determines who you really are.
    A chameleon can change into as many colors as it deems necessary,
    but it can never change the fact that it is now, has always been, and will always be a chameleon.

    New Blog

    Instead of posting my thoughts in notes and blogs on facebook/myspace, this will be the new home for all my writings.  It’s currently 2:40 AM and I’m wide awake (I fell asleep for like 4 hours and awoke at around 11 pm).  Anyway, I think I’ll lay down and watch “A Christmas Story” until I finally fall asleep.  Night!