Spring 2015 Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Susan Codone

Office: Room 241, Science & Engineering Building

Phone: 301-4185

Textbooks and Supplies

Required textbooks are available in the campus bookstore or online at such sites as
Barnesandnoble.com or Amazon.com.

  1. White Space is Not Your Enemy: a beginner's guide to communicating visually through graphic, web, & multimedia design (required)
    Kim Golombisky & Rebecca Hagen Focal Press ISBN: 978-0-240-81281-6
  2. InDesign CS5 Visual QuickStart Guide; Sandee Cohen (optional)
  3. Dreamweaver CS5 Visual QuickStart Guide; Tom Negrino & Dori Smith (optional)

Also Required:

Storage: please use a USB drive or cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive to save your work.
All pc's in Lab 216A run Deep Freeze software, which deletes all files each night (except for program files).

Course Purpose

You will learn to design effective print and web documents for varying audiences and purposes. The course includes basic design principles, integration of visuals, analysis of multiple documents, production issues, and introduction to computer software for desktop publishing and web design.

This course requires significant additional lab time outside of class.

Course Objectives

Given that you participate, work as hard as you can, and apply what you learn, you will be able to do the following when you complete the course:

  1. Analyze the audience and purpose for a document and design an appropriate document to achieve the communication goals.
  2. Analyze the different genres for both print and on-line distribution, and be able to describe the salient features and purposes of each.
  3. Achieve proficiency in the use of typical desktop publishing software.
  4. Achieve proficiency in the use of web development software.
  5. Master the basic vocabulary of print and online document design and production as used by professionals.
  6. Participate successfully in both team design and individual design projects, learning to analyze products as well as produce them.
  7. Increase your skills as an active, independent learner, and also as a vital participant in collaborative learning teams.

Course Standards

Class attendance is required. Because this course involves a great deal of hands-on work and collaborative activity, your presence is important not only to the instructor but also to your learning colleagues. Students who miss more than 3 classes in a semester will lose 10 points from their final grade, with an additional 10 points for each additional absence. When you are absent, email me explaining the circumstances and asking for permission to make up missed work.

Attendance is very important and it is easy to lower your grade by too many missed classes. Attendance will be taken every day, so make sure you don't miss more than 3 classes. There are 850 points possible, and 10 points per absence above 3 will be deducted from this total.

Computer proficiency is mandatory for success in TCO 285. Students should already know how to use computers well, including some sophistication in word processing. The course is demanding, but rewarding: each student is expected to master design skills and hardware/software proficiency in a semester. Learning how to learn new software and developing confidence in your ability to use the tools are the key features of the course.

This is not a "Software Course". Emphasis will be placed on the process of thinking and design, together with acquiring useful analytical skills to apply to any document. Software applications are introduced, but they are not the focus of the course.

Digital Resources on topics covered in TCO 285 are plentiful. You are encouraged to search the web for tutorials and techniques. Also, you may download a free 30-day copy of many software programs that you may wish to learn on your own.

Grading standards are typical for TCO courses: points devoted to examinations and laboratory exercises, major projects, daily grades, and class participation. Grading of documents will include not only design and technical proficiency, but also grammatical proficiency. Assignment submissions that demonstrate technical proficiency but contain multiple grammatical and spelling errors will be graded accordingly.

The honor code provisions as outlined in the Bulletin and in the student handbook, The Lair, will be assumed for everyone. Please ask if you have any questions. Plagiarism is a violation of the honor code and is prohibited.

Out of courtesy for all those participating in the learning experience, all cell phones and pagers must be turned off before entering the classroom or lab.

Students with a documented disability should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting. The instructor will refer you to the office of Student Support Services (SSS) for consultation regarding evaluation, documentation of your disability, and recommendations for accomodation, if needed. Students will receive from SSS the Faculty Accomodation Form. On this form, SSS will identify reasonable accommodations for this class. The form must be given to the course instructor for signature and then returned to SSS. To take full advantage of disability services, it is recommended that students contact the Office of Student Support Services immediately. This office is located on the third floor of the Connell Student Center.


Assignments & Points

Print Assignments

Letterhead -- 25
Flyer -- 75
Brochure -- 100

Web Design

Personal site & portfolio -- 100
Comprehensive website -- 200

Tests and Exams

White Space Chapters 1-8 -- 50
White Space Chapters 9, 10, 15 -- 50
Midterm Exam -- 100
Final Exam -- 100

Participation -- 50

Total Points Possible: 850