Topic Introduction Post

Points: 25
Due date: Friday, September 1, at 11:59 p.m.
Overview: Choose a course topic, then publish a blog post about it

All your projects in COM210 will be related to a course topic that you choose. It’s important to think carefully about how this topic will work with all four unit projects. The objective of this assignment is to choose your topic and explain that choice in the first blog post you publish on your WordPress blog.

Part 1: Think about possible course topics

Think carefully about the topic you select for this semester, because you will apply this topic to create all four digital media projects: a graphic design project, a logo design, and audio story and a video project. You will need access to create materials related to your topic, such as photos, audio interviews and video footage.

You are strongly encouraged to choose a topic related to your life or identity, such as “My Professional Identity” or “My Career Path.” You might also choose a more specific topic related to your lifestyle or regular activities, such as “Eating Gluten-Free” or “Nature Photography.”

Questions to Ask Yourself: Consider these questions once you have a topic in mind. You should be able to say “yes” to all five.

  1. Do you have a unique personal perspective or experience to share?
  2. Do you have access for collecting raw media such as images, audio and video?
  3. Will it work well for all four multimedia projects (image collage, logo, audio story, video)?
  4. Does it provide a comfortable amount of creative focus (neither too narrow nor too broad)?
  5. Are you comfortable discussing it thoroughly and publicly?

Here are some examples of why certain topics are recommended or not:

redSeahawks: You may really like the Seahawks, but unless you work for the team it is unlikely you have a unique personal perspective. You probably do not have access to collect media such as video and photos unless you personally know someone on the team. Copyright law will make it difficult to find any materials you can legally use.

yellowHiking in the Pacific Northwest: This could be a good topic if it’s something you’re actively doing on a regular basis, because it could work well for all four projects. However, it could be a challenge if you don’t go hiking during the semester and won’t have enough opportunities to gather materials.

greenMy Fitness Journey: As long as this is a topic you are comfortable sharing about, it provides many opportunities for gathering raw materials and makes use of your personal perspective.

yellowMusic: This is too broad for creating a portfolio of focused projects. Most likely you are most interested in a particular genre or topic within this. Unless you create music yourself, you may have some trouble finding materials to legally use. However, you could focus on yourself as a recording artist or songwriter, if applicable, or a specific interest such as music education.

redWSU: Since everyone in this course is part of the WSU community, this is too vague. Also, just because you’re a WSU student doesn’t mean you have the right to legally use copyrighted materials such as the WSU Fight Song and logo. However, clubs or groups within WSU can work well, along with other initiatives you’re personally involved with.

greenA company or nonprofit you’d like to start: Your topic could be something you aspire to do, as long as you can collect some materials now. This works best if you already do some activities related to the topic, rather than entirely theoretical.

yellowGreek Life: Sororities and fraternities are always popular topics. Because of this, it requires creativity to make projects that are unique and bring new insight to the topic. You may want to consider related topics such as “building leadership skills” or a specific philanthropy cause.

Finally, you should consider how your topic might work for the four projects in this course, which are described in the Introduction to Course Content. Here is an example of what a student who wants to become an event planner might create for My Professional Identity.

Unit 1 Graphic Design Project Poster that advertises event planning skills
Unit 2 Logo Project Personal logo to be used on website and business cards
Unit 3 Audio Story Story with interviews about the ups and downs of planning a student group event on campus
Unit 4 Video Story An entertaining how-to video showing ways to get strong attendance at your events

Here is an example for a student who chooses marathon training:

Unit 1 Graphic Design Project Inspirational poster showing the stages of a workout
Unit 2 Logo Project A personal training logo that could go on T-shirts
Unit 3 Audio Story Audio story with advice from three marathon finishers
Unit 4 Video Story Video story that shows training routine

Part 2: Start Finding Inspiration

To help think of new ideas and stay on top of design standards, designers often keep an inspiration file. This is a way to keep track of interesting ideas you may find as you encounter multimedia in your daily life, and may also include specific people or organizations whose work you find inspiring.

Start your own inspiration file for the semester by collecting links related to your topic:

  • Organizations or companies with a similar focus
  • Online publications or blogs related to your topic
  • Specific multimedia content that you like

For example, if your topic is “My Professional Identity,” you might want to collect the websites and social media accounts of companies you’d like to work for. You might also look for blogs that focus on your industry, or videos and advertisements that fit with how you imagine you envision your career path.

Part 3: Write an introductory blog post

Your first blog post will introduce your course topic, why you’ve selected it, and what kind of projects you tentatively plan to create this semester.

Post requirements:

  • 300-500 words
  • Follows all blogging best practices (see Blogging Best Practices for guidelines)
  • Includes an appropriate post title
  • Uses professional language, spelling and punctuation

In your post, include the following information:

  • Your topic and why you selected it
  • How you plan to collect original materials including photos, audio recordings and video footage
  • Ideas you have for at least two of the four unit projects (see Introduction to Course Content for examples)
  • At least three links from your inspiration file, with brief explanations of each

1. From your WordPress admin dashboard, go to Posts and create a new post.

2. Add your text, links and any additional media (such as embedded videos). Although WordPress autosaves fairly frequently, make sure to click “Save draft” to avoid losing any work.

3. Add an appropriate post title.

4. Create a new post category other than “Uncategorized.” You may want to create a category related to your course topic, or you may create a category related to this course, such as “COM210” or “Assignments.”

first-post
Don’t forget your post title and creating a new category other than “Uncategorized.”

Part 5: Submit your assignment

1. Copy the URL for your published post. Once you have published your post, it will appear publicly on your blog, but you may need to click the headline to get the specific post URL.

0-post-URL

2. Find the correct assignment dropbox in Blackboard under “Assignments.” Paste the URL into the Text Submission box, and click “Submit.”

TIP | Blackboard does not allow right-clicking in most browsers, but you can paste in your URL using the keyboard shortcut, which is Control+V for Windows and Command+V for Macs.

3. Check your submission history and make sure a yellow exclamation mark appears under “My Grades” to confirm that the submission successfully went through.


Grading Rubric

Achievement Level Missing/ Minimal Partially Complete Complete
Topic Introduction 0 points
Post missing or not submitted correctly
5 points
Topic introduction post identifies topic, though may be unclear or missing some required information
10 points
Topic introduction post explains topic clearly with all required information
Blogging Best Practices 0 points
Post missing or not submitted correctly
5 points
Published post does not make use of all blogging best practices and/or does not include a category other than “Uncategorized”
10 points
Published post makes use of all blogging best practices and includes a category other than “Uncategorized”