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MAS 340 – Advanced Interactivity

2016 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Steve Collins
Contact via stephen.collins@mq.edu.au
Y3A 191D
By appointment
Tutor and Technical Support
John Cook
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
39cp including (MAS241 or COMP249)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit explores the opportunities and challenges for interactive storytelling. As well as engaging with theories of interactivity, narrative and design, students will expand their existing knowledge of HTML and CSS and learn JavaScript and jQuery to produce a major interactive project.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  2. Produce interactive possibilities
  3. Plan and develop an original creative work
  4. Present an original creative work in the online medium
  5. Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  6. Develop jQuery skills
  7. Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  8. Develop problem solving skills
  9. Engage in the process of learning

General Assessment Information

All written assignments will be submitted online via Turn It In (see link on iLearn).

Major projects will be submitted in student accounts ~/Sites/MAS340project. The first page that loads must be called index.html. Each student will be assigned a unique link at http://media.mq.edu.au/mas340. You should test your major project from that link. If your project does not load from that link, then it cannot be accessed to be marked.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Progress and Participation 15% Ongoing
Project Proposal 25% Friday, Week 7
Major Project 60% Wednesday, Week 13

Progress and Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 15%

You should ideally strive to attend all taught workshops and seminars. Staff will observe your progress and participation but you will only receive marks proportionate to the classes you attend. For example, if you engage in only 50% of classes then you can only earn a maximum of 7.5% for this assignment. You receive no marks for attendance, only for participation.

You will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Participation and contribution to seminar discussions and exercises
  • Progress in workshops: You will demonstrate a high level of understanding of HTML, CSS, jQuery and related concepts. To achieve marks in this area ask questions if you're unsure and work hard to grasp the weekly topics.

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Engage in the process of learning

Project Proposal

Due: Friday, Week 7
Weighting: 25%

The main project for this unit in an interactive, non-linear Web-based story. The first step is to produce a project proposal.

Proposals must:

  • Outline the basic storyline. Stories can be completely original or you can modify an existing story.
  • Indicate the target audience for the project and how the project meets their expectations. For example, if your project is pitched at young children, then you should discuss how the project is appropriate for them.
  • Detail the required interactive elements. You don't need to provide code but you should demonstrate an understanding of the technical concepts involved. This means that if you are proposing features not covered in workshops then you should demonstrate some research in how to achieve said features.
  • Provide some visual indicator of aesthetic design and style. This will include mock-ups (these can be drawn digitally or by hand, at this stage we're not assessing the quality of visuals) that showcase the interface and visual style of the project. Ideally, you will showcase at least four (4) different panels.

Proposals will be marked according the following criteria:

  • Originality of your story (this also covers originality in modifying an existing story).
  • Consideration for non-linearity and interactivity.
  • Coherence of your proposal (structure, language, presentation).

There are three options for submitting the project proposal:

  1. You can submit a written project proposal in Word document format.
  2. You can present your idea in person to Steve (email him at least two weeks in advance to make an appointment).
  3. You can submit a screen capture presentation/video/narrated PowerPoint presentation.

Late submission incurs 10% penalty per day.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Engage in the process of learning

Major Project

Due: Wednesday, Week 13
Weighting: 60%

You are required to create an online non-linear and interactive Web-based story using HTML, CSS and jQuery skills developed during workshops. Your story should be original or modified from an existing story. The story must be interactive and allow the user to influence the flow of the story. Note: this is not a game, it is an interactive story. Certainly, you can include some game-like elements, for example puzzles, but the emphasis is on creating an engaging story.

Your story will be a minimum of 20 HTML pages at one panel per page. If you wish to use a different layout or horizontal scrolling then please negotiate length of story with your convener.

This project is worth 60% of your overall mark. Such a heavy weighting should indicate that this is meant to be a substantial project that pushes your own technical skills to create a unique and engaging experience for the user. We will teach a suite of useful skills during workshops but we do encourage students to push the envelope and go beyond workshop exercises. If there is something you would like to feature, but are unsure of how to achieve it, then ask for guidance and assistance. An ability to write original code and synthesize ideas and approaches is rewarded over use of existing plugins and libraries.

Major projects will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Originality of the story or originality in modifying an existing story
  • Interface design
  • Overall aesthetic design and coherency
  • Level of interactivity
  • Demonstration of contemporary uses of HTML, CSS and jQuery (including image optimisation)
  • Creativity and innovation
  • X-factor - the indescribable "wow" factor

This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Present an original creative work in the online medium
  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Engage in the process of learning

Delivery and Resources

This unit is comprised of 1 x 1 hour seminar and 1 x 2 hour workshop.

All readings have been scanned for electronic delivery and are available via the library's eReserve system.

There is no workshop manual. Students are expected to use available documentation and take notes during workshops.

Unit Schedule

Week 1

Seminar: Unit introductions.

Workshop: No workshop.

Week 2

Seminar: Presentations of initial project ideas. These are not formal, students will have just a couple of minutes to share their ideas with the class.

Workshop: HTML/CSS refresher. For many of you, it will have been a few months since you last coded any HTML/CSS. This workshop offers a refresher and covers some useful approaches for positioning that can be deployed in the major projects.

Week 3

Seminar: Telling stories.

Workshop: jQuery refresher. For many of you, it will have been a few months since you last coded any jQuery. This workshop offers a refresher and also introduces some methods for handling and automating events using intervals, IF statements and switch statements.

Week 4

Seminar: Icons, symbols and representations.

Workshop: jQuery interactions. This workshop looks at binding events to audio and video playback.

Week 5

Seminar: Characters and development.

Workshop: jQuery: data, dragging and dropping. This workshop utilises the jQuery UI library to allow dragging and dropping of elements. You will also learn how to use HTML5 localStorage objects to manage information across pages.

Week 6

Seminar: Interactive logic.

Workshop: Photoshop. As your major projects will be image intensive, in this workshop we'll cover some basics of Photoshop.

Week 7

Seminar: No seminar.

Workshop: Negotiated workshop. This workshop is an opportunity for students to request tutoring on negotiated topics.

Weeks 8-12

Seminar: No seminar.

Workshop: Project development. These weeks are an opportunity for students to work on and develop their major projects. Assistance is always available during timetabled classes in this period.

Week 13

Seminar: No seminar.

Workshop: Finish up and submit projects.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

New Assessment Policy in effect from Session 2 2016 http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html. For more information visit http://students.mq.edu.au/events/2016/07/19/new_assessment_policy_in_place_from_session_2/

Assessment Policy prior to Session 2 2016 http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy.html

Grading Policy prior to Session 2 2016 http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/grading/policy.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Late Submissions

Late submissions will attract a penalty of 10% per day including weekends and public holidays.

Additional information

MMCCS website https://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_media_music_communication_and_cultural_studies/

MMCCS Session Re-mark Application http://www.mq.edu.au/pubstatic/public/download/?id=167914

Information is correct at the time of publication

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Present an original creative work in the online medium
  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery

Assessment tasks

  • Progress and Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Major Project

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Develop problem solving skills

Assessment task

  • Project Proposal

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Develop problem solving skills

Assessment task

  • Major Project

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Present an original creative work in the online medium
  • Develop problem solving skills

Assessment tasks

  • Project Proposal
  • Major Project

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate key concepts in non-linear digital storytelling
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Present an original creative work in the online medium

Assessment tasks

  • Progress and Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Major Project

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Engage in the process of learning

Assessment task

  • Progress and Participation

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment task

  • Progress and Participation

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Engage in the process of learning

Assessment tasks

  • Progress and Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Major Project

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Develop high-level HTML and CSS skills
  • Develop jQuery skills
  • Synthesize HTML, CSS and jQuery
  • Engage in the process of learning

Assessment tasks

  • Project Proposal
  • Major Project