This the second orientation week before we jump into the four main content units of COM210. During this week, you’ll be choosing a course topic, publishing your first blog post, and learning about U.S. copyright law. Read the Topic Introduction Post assignment early this week so you have some time to think about your topic before committing to it.
Understanding copyright law can be tricky, because there is a lot of misinformation out there, and because some of the law doesn’t immediately seem like common sense. For example, did you know you may not have the legal right to use a photo of yourself? And that it’s illegal to download a photo from Facebook to use on your blog, even if you give credit to where it came from? In some ways, these copyright infractions are sort of like driving 5 mph over the speed limit — it’s common and most of the time no one gets hurt, but it is still illegal.
In this course, all assignments need to follow all copyright laws. If you have any questions about copyright this week, or as you begin to work on your projects, make sure to ask so you don’t include any material illegally!
First, a quick reminder that it’s WSU policy that all course communication must be sent to your WSU email address. (If you send me email from a different account, I won’t ignore it, it just may not appear in my inbox immediately.)
Unfortunately, the WSU email system has been plagued by spam for the past couple of semesters. They are mostly similar phishing attempts, meaning the emails include a link that will try to trick you into entering your login information. Often these messages pretend to be from WSU, informing you that your email is at capacity or that urgent action is necessary to prevent your account from being shut down.
Legitimate emails from WSU will never include links that say things like “CLICK HERE” without showing you the link. Professors have been urged to do this as well, which is why I include full URLs in class emails.
Visit security.wsu.edu/phishing for other information and examples. If you’re ever unsure about an email you can report it to email@example.com, especially if you have accidentally clicked on any links.
At the end of previous semesters, we asked students what advice they’d give to students just starting out in COM210. Here’s what they had to say about procrastination, creativity, assignments and more:
“It’s more work than you expect.”
“Be prepared to put a lot of time and effort if you want at least a B.”
“Know that it isn’t easy like everyone says it is. Carve out chunks of time to do the tutorials.”
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 didn’t see the welcome message from me during your first lab session, you can view that in the previous post.
During Week 1, we get started right away with a lot of information and the first assignment. You’ll be meeting your section’s TA and you can always find our contact information on the course About page.
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.
All Pullman students are required to attend their lab session (the time you signed up for in MyWSU) on the first day of classes. For reference, here are the course overview slides. Some information differs slightly for students in the online section, which is clarified in the syllabus and the Week 1 materials on the Course Schedule.