TCO 325 Multimedia Spring 2014 Syllabus

Course Purpose

This course is an introduction to the theory and design of web-based multimedia and the management of multimedia production. We will discuss the history and definitions of multimedia, software and hardware issues of multimedia design and production, and the principles and elements of effective multimedia products. We'll learn to analyze and critique multimedia products for a variety of attributes and conduct quality assurance reviews for internal consistency issues. Our tools will include Adobe CS5 Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, Captivate 5.5, iMovie, Audacity, Lectora, Articulate, and the engineering webserver.

Textbooks and Supplies

Costello, V. (2012). Multimedia Foundations: Core Concepts for Digital Design. Focal Press.
ISBN 978-0-240-81394-3

Recommended: Any Dreamweaver CS5 book, any Captivate 5.5 book

A usb drive, use of Dropbox, Google Drive, or other online storage on which you save your course files is required. All machines in Rm 216 run Deep Freeze software, which deletes all files nightly.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to do the following:

1. Apply design principles to effectively design, build, and test multimedia products with a specific audience purpose based upon a comprehensive design plan.

2. Analyze and critique existing multimedia products to evaluate the use of design principles, identify problems, and measure web accessibility.

3. Acquire and apply specific multimedia project-management skills such as project planning, work scheduling/estimating, and writing design blueprints.

4. Acquire knowledge of web accessibility standards and test multimedia products for accessibility and compatibility according to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (based upon public law 508).

5. Learn and apply a specific design and production model (steps).

6. Develop a moderate level of proficiency in multimedia authoring tools (Flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Captivate, Audacity)

7. Conduct quality reviews of multimedia products to measure usability, internal consistency, and reliability.

8. Develop a web portfolio of multimedia and print products.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of TCO 285.

Course Standards

1. Assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the date due. In an exceptional circumstance you may petition to submit an assignment late. If granted, the grade will be reduced one letter grade per day late.

2. Out-of-class writing will be prepared using a word processor and properly formatted in a business-like manner.

3. Correct grammar (usage, spelling, and punctuation) is the standard requirement for technical communication. It is assumed that you know the mechanics of writing and this will not be the focus of this course. Therefore, errors will count in class, just as they do in the business world.

4. Attendance is required due to the large amount of in-class work and team activities we will be doing. You can't "make up" experiential learning. Therefore, if you must miss a class, please notify me in advance and bring a memo of explanation with you when you return to class. Each absence above 3 unexcused absences will result in a loss of 10 points off the final grade. It is especially important that you be present when your classmates give peer reviews and oral presentations, since you will be giving written feedback.

5. You are encouraged to schedule a conference at any point that you need it. If you need to see me outside of class, catch me after class to schedule a time.

6. Students bear the sole responsibility for ensuring that papers or assignments submitted electronically are received in a timely manner and in the format(s) specified by the professor.

7. Out of courtesy for all those participating in the learning experience, monitor use of all devices while in the classroom.

8. The honor code provisions as outlined in the Bulletin and in the student handbook, The Lair, will be assumed for everyone. It should be clear from class discussion which projects will be collaborative and which ones must be individual. When in doubt, please ask to avoid potentially embarrassing situations.

9. 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.


Multimedia is important to your potential career in technical communication. Even Wikipedia talks about multimedia!



Google Folder Access

Captivate Manual


Assignment & Point Distribution
Note: point distribution may change as assignments are modified, deleted, or added.

Personal Portfolio website
A website on which you post all course assignments


Multimedia Pioneer Presentation
A presentation on a person of historical importance in multimedia


Multimedia Gallery
Small assignments in an animation tool



Pairs Presentations
20-30 minute PowerPoint presentations by 2-person teams on topics important to multimedia


Midterm exam


Design Proposal
A brief proposal recommending final design project


Storyboards -- at least ten representing your final project 50

Design blueprint
A 3-5 page comprehensive plan for your final design project


Captivate Project
Individual assignment. A comprehensive, at least 15 minute program developed in Adobe Captive 5.5 for training / e- learning


Multimedia Evaluation Project
Team assignment. A 3-5 page report that evaluates 3 multimedia products


Video Podcast
A video tutorial on a specific training topic using iMovie or an equivalent

Lectora and Articulate Projects (TBD)

up to 100



Total: up to 1300 points