Week 10: Creating Your Audio Story

After learning basic techniques for audio editing in the tutorials, it’s now time to start the third unit project in this course: your Audio Story. Students often find the editing tools for audio easier than the first two units, but this means it’s all the more important to plan your project carefully and gather high-quality audio to work with.

Here are answers to some questions that commonly come up about the Audio Story:

What counts as a “story,” and what formats are recommended? There’s a lot of freedom over the format of your audio story, but whatever format you choose should sound planned and deliberate. To count as a story, it should have a clear beginning, middle and end. This doesn’t mean it needs to be a “once upon a time” sort of story, but that you should guide your listener through the content and consider using narrative elements like anecdotes and a concluding moment of reflection (as described in the audio chapters).

Does it need to include an interview? There’s no requirement about interviewing someone for your Audio Story, but you should record and use a variety of voices and sounds to construct your story. If you narrate most of it yourself, think about what other sounds — ambient sound, sound effects, music, etc. — will help tell your story effectively.

What if I can’t get all my interviews/material this week? As long as you submit a draft that shows reasonable progress, you can continue adding material until the final version is due. However, mention any incomplete aspects in your blog post so you can still get helpful feedback.

How much should the story relate to my course topic? Like all portfolio projects, the audio story should have a clear connection to your course topic. However, it does not need to encapsulate everything about your topic. Specific stories are often more successful than broad ones that try to cover too much.

Week 10 Checklist

❑ Read the Week 10 materials listed on the Course Schedule
❑ Post and submit the Raw Audio Footage assignment by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday
❑ Post and submit your Draft Audio Story by 11:59 p.m. on Friday
❑ Take the Unit 3 Quiz in Blackboard by 11:59 p.m. on Friday

Week 8: Logo Feedback and Final Project Submission…

This week we finish up Unit 2 with peer feedback and the final version of your Logo Project. It’s been great to see your ideas so far! However, there are also some common issues with the logo draft — see if these apply to you:

Not fully scalable. It’s a key characteristic of logos that they can be used very large (think billboards and T-shirts) or very small (think business cards and social media icons). Small text, narrow outlines and borders, and too much complexity all hurt scalability because those details will disappear at small sizes.

Too colorful. Color choice can add meaning to your logo, but too much can look unprofessional and distract from your message. The most iconic logos can be rendered in black-and-white, and this is a good test: Does your logo still make sense without color?

Too timid. Simplicity is a virtue. But stay too safe, and a logo can never be very distinctive. There should still be strength and energy, and make sure to choose elements that uniquely represent you and your topic.

Understanding the Rubric

Final projects in this course are graded to a very high standard, which is balanced by all the other assignments graded for completion. You can find the rubric goals at the end of the assignment, and the full rubric is available in Blackboard. Back in Unit 1 I made an FAQ video explaining the rubric categories, and that still applies now if you want to review.

Week 8 Checklist

❑ Earn your Unit 2 Participation credit if you haven’t already
❑ Complete the Logo Feedback assignment by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday
❑ Submit your blog post for your Final Logo by 11:59 p.m. on Friday

Week 5: Feedback and Critique

Now that you’ve created a draft for your Graphic Design Project, this week you’ll get feedback and make revisions to improve your design. This is the final week of Unit 1 and Photoshop before we move to the next unit.

Feedback groups will be posted on Blackboard Announcements and sent via email today (9/16). Before you provide feedback to your group members, make sure to read this week’s chapter on Constructive Criticism & Feedback in Design to think about the best way to communicate your response to other students’ drafts. Giving useful feedback is one of the most important skills you’ll get to practice in this course.

Week 5 To-Do List

❑ Read the Week 5 reading listed on the course schedule
❑ Complete and submit the Graphic Design Project Feedback assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete and submit the Final Graphic Design Project by Friday
❑ Earn your Unit 1 Participation Credit by attending your lab section, if you haven’t already (you must attend your lab session once per Unit, and be marked in attendance by your TA, in order to earn this).

Photoshop 1.0

For fun, here’s a video of Photoshop experts attempting to use Photoshop 1.0, which debuted 26 years ago in February 1990.

Week 2: Your First Blog Post and Copyright Law

Congratulations… you’ve officially made it through the first week of the semester. Now, it’s time to dive into Week 2! Hopefully everyone has submitted their WordPress Blog Assignment (if you haven’t submitted it yet, please be sure to do so as soon as possible, with Wednesday being the final day to submit for partial credit).

During this week, you’ll cement your topic, publish your first blog post, and learn about U.S. Copyright Law. Be sure to read the Topic Introduction Post Assignment early this week so you have some time to think about your topic before formally committing to it.

When it comes to copyright law, there’s lots of misinformation out there, and it’s important you’re aware of the details so you can create unique and exciting materials without infringing on someone else’s protected work. Under copyright law, original text, graphics, audio, video and all other elements that make up the original nature of the material are protected, and are property of the original owner unless specific permissions and protocol is in place. It’s very important that all assignments and materials used in this course follow copyright laws. If you have a question regarding these regulations throughout the semester, be sure to reach out to myself, or your TA, to make sure you don’t include any illegal material!

Good luck on this week’s assignments, and don’t forget to do the readings before you dive in…

Week 2 To-Do List

❑ Read about Blogging Best Practices and User-Centered Design
❑ Complete the Topic Introduction Post assignment
❑ Read about Copyright & Fair Use, then take the Copyright Quiz

 

Week 1: Welcome to COM210!

Welcome to COM210: Multimedia Content Creation! This can be a challenging course, but most students who leave plenty of time for assignments say that it’s a fun one. I’m your professor, and if you’d like to become better acquainted, please feel free to make an appointment to connect during office my hours, or learn more on the About page.

During Week 1, we get started right away with a lot of information and the first assignment.

A couple of things I want you to know about COM210:

1. This class is big. There are usually 300-500 students enrolled each semester, which would fill the largest lecture hall on campus. What this means is that you need to be your own best advocate, and ask for help when you need it.

2. This class is not easy. You should definitely ask for help if you’re struggling, but this course is designed to give you hands-on problem-solving experience, which means it takes time. If you block out that time in your schedule now, you’ll get much more from the course than if you try to rush before deadlines.

3. This class has been substantially revised. The overall structure and learning goals remain the same, but many details have changed. If you have taken this course before or heard about it from other students, be careful to go through this semester’s materials and avoid making assumptions.

Week 1 To-Do List

❑ Make sure you are receiving COM210 emails
❑ Read the course syllabus and take the Syllabus Quiz
❑ Review the Course Schedule
❑ Complete all readings and assignments listed for Week 1