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ICOM897 – Interactive Communication

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convener, lecturer, tutor
Alex Mesker
Y3A 193K
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MCrInd or MIntComm or MIntRel or MIntCommMIntRel or MIntBusMIntComm or MCrMedia or MFJ or MCreIndMFJ
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is concerned with web design and reaching new media audiences. It offers practical as well as theoretical instruction on web design and international audience research. The unit includes a practical component during which students will learn Web design skills to build their own site for the purpose of audience research. The theoretical components will study the multidimensional impact of new media on audiences in the context of international communication. Students are encouraged to bring their experiences with new media and their multidisciplinary knowledge learned in their previous studies to the class and contribute to the critical discussions in studying this unit.

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. Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  2. Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  3. Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  4. Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  6. Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
In-class practical tasks 30% Ongoing
Analysis and Proposal 30% Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017
Website production 30% Monday 5th June, 2017
Class Participation 10% Ongoing

In-class practical tasks

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 30%

There will be 5 coding/practical tasks throughout the session that will encourage students to implement content and concepts discussed in lectures and practical tutorials.  These will be small projects to complete in class time and are designed to get students to concentrate on process, technique, form, and function.

These will be assessed on students' ability to apply practical and analytical skills acquired throughout the unit, and show evidence of understanding via how the code addresses the challenges.

 

These tasks should be submitted as a hypertext (HTML) documents within your ICOM897 résumé.  Submission details will be explained in class and on iLearn prior to due dates.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Analysis and Proposal

Due: Tuesday, 2nd May, 2017
Weighting: 30%

Students must analyse a website/web presence and articulate why it is an effective example of interactive communication.  In particular, they should explain how the technologies used facilitate the communication of media content, identity, product, and usability.

Your writing should entail a technical discussion as well as a design/usability appraisal focussing on communication across devices, audiences, and purpose.

Based on this appraisal, students will write a proposal for their intended final website project.  The proposal should:

  • Demonstrate a considered understanding of the target audience for the site
  • Demonstrate a considered understanding on how best to communicate original content with identified audiences
  • Demonstrate competitive analysis with existing similar websites
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of information architecture and design principles
  • Provide a detailed overview of the aesthetics and layout of the site
  • Students are encouraged to include images/mock-ups where appropriate
  • Articulate the technologies required to realise/implement the proposed final work

Subject matter: websites can be on any topic but can be discussed with teaching staff. Students should treat this project as though they are proposing a standalone site for a particular purpose/cause or real client.

This will be assessed on suitability (in terms of scope and technical requirements) of project, quality of discussion with regard to applying a set of judging criteria, and a reflection of how your critique informs your project goals.

The combined length of the Analysis and Proposal project should be roughly 1800-2000 words.

 

This assessment is both an analytical review and creative work and should be submitted to iLearn via Turnitin.  Submission details will be explained in class and on iLearn prior to due date.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Website production

Due: Monday 5th June, 2017
Weighting: 30%

Students should produce a website based on their project proposal. Websites will be assessed based on the following:

  • Aesthetic design
  • Suitability for intended target audiences
  • Structure
  • Appropriate use of graphics and images, sound, video, and other media
  • Appropriate writing style
  • Clarity/quality of code (a lesser amount of well-written code is better than a lot of badly written code)
  • Technical functionality
  • Adherence to current web standards and practices

This will summatively assess students' ability to produce and deliver content suitable for dissemination via the web, including structure of content, style/layout/design, functionality, and technical proficiency.

 

This assessment should be submitted as a hypertext (HTML) document within your ICOM897 résumé.  Submission details will be explained in class and on iLearn prior to due date.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Class Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

Throughout the unit, class discussion will incorporate critical analysis of the effectiveness of how information and user experience are conveyed via different websites.  Students will be asked to identify two websites: one should be an example of a well-constructed website, and the other an example of a poorly constructed website.  We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the sites in class.

Pay particular attention to content, layout, user-interface design, and user interaction, identify a number of positives or negatives about the site, including thoughts on usability, colour scheme, standardisation of layout, information/content, and writing style.  Try to be objective.  With regard to usability, if it a site that you regularly visit, try to view it as if you were a new visitor to the site.

Consider the reading/s for that week when analysing the webpage. As we start to learn more about 'coding' webpages, we'll start taking a look at the HTML behind the pages, and how particular aspects of the site's functionality might work.

 

Lecture and tutorial attendance is compulsory, and missing more than two tutorials without medical certification or evidence of disruption will result in failure of the 10% ‘Participation’ component, a unit requirement. To avoid being penalised for missing a tutorial, medical certification or other evidence of disruption must be provided. A roll will be taken in the first 10 minutes of each class; students entering late are responsible for making themselves known to the tutor so they can be marked as in attendance.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Delivery and Resources

ICOM897 Website & iLearn | Content (such as links, references, readings, assessment tasks) will be available from either http://media.mq.edu.au/icom897 or http://ilearn.mq.edu.au

Required Equipment | No equipment is needed for ICOM897.  While use of your own equipment is not discouraged, the Computer Lab has direct access to a web server where your work should be saved.  All software is available on the Lab machines, and free software alternatives are available (if students wish to work off-campus).  Mac-compatible USB memory sticks (4GB or more) are handy for additionally backing up projects from the server.

Media Lab | You may make use of the Y3A Media Labs at any time when there are no classes taking place. The opening hours for the Labs will be 9–5 on weekdays, with possible extensions; this will be discussed in lectures/tutorials.

Software Compatibility/Assignment Submission | While there should be reason for document incompatibility (as documents work cross platform).  It is your own responsibility however to ensure that any work undertaken outside of the Media Computer Labs is fully functional within the Lab (ie. ensure that all assets are copied to the server).

Attendance | Students are required to attend all lectures and tutorials for this unit. Lecture and tutorial attendance is compulsory, and missing more than two tutorials without medical certification or evidence of disruption will result in failure of the 10% ‘Participation’ component. To avoid being penalised for missing a tutorial, medical certification or other evidence of disruption must be provided. A roll will be taken in the first 10 minutes of every tutorial; students entering late are responsible for making themselves known to the tutor so they can be marked as in attendance.

Written Assignment Submission | Written assignments can be handed directly to your tutor in class time.  This will be further explained in tutorials.

Return of marked work | Marked work will be returned to students in tutorials. For assessments submitted in Week 13, e-mail your tutor for feedback.

Extensions and special consideration | Assessments submitted after the due date and time will automatically be deducted 10% per day (weekends included) unless medical certification or evidence of serious and unavoidable disruption is provided. For extensions, contact the course convenor well in advance if you may be unable to submit an assessment on time. Extensions will only be granted on grounds of illness or misadventure, where appropriate supporting documentation is submitted, and are awarded at the discretion of the course convenor.

Referencing style | Preferred referencing styles include Harvard http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm?harvard_id=24#24 and APA http://www.usq.edu.au/library/help/referencing/apa.htm. Either or any style may be used as long as all necessary information is provided and a consistent approach is taken.

Recommended reading and research | The weekly recommended readings/resources for this unit are intended to supplement your core work, as well as enhance students' understanding of concepts taught throughout the course. Readings will not be objectively assessed from week to week, however it is strongly advised that students broaden their understanding of concepts and practices relating to the web, content delivery, HTML, CSS and JavaScript/jQuery by completing all relevant recommended readings.

Changes made to previous offerings of this unit | Minor revisions to learning outcomes and assessment weighting.

Unit Schedule

The following is an indication of the content that will be covered in the unit.  Class to class structure may change according to existing competencies.

In a broad sense, the unit comprises:

  • Producing content (the technical side of producing content)
  • Distributing content (syndicating/disseminating content)
  • Dealing with media forms
  • Working with content management systems and leveraging existing toolkits
  • Technical literacy and the broad technological competencies required for interactive communication

Class 1

  • Introduction to ICOM897 and software we will use throughout the semester.
  • The Media server and user accounts.
  • What makes a good website?

Class 2

  • Introduction to HTML text tags and attributes.
  • The importance of semantic HTML.
  • Separation of content and style, CSS.

Class 3

  • Towards new Web standards: HTML5, CSS3.
  • Using images, icons, and text.
  • Typography.

Class 4

  • Design principles, introduction to project assignment. 
  • Writing an analysis/project proposal.
  • Design and layout with Photoshop.

Class 5

  • Taking design to the web.
  • Responsive and fluid design.
  • User experience, page structure, responsive web design.
  • The distinction between content and display. 
  • Networked and web-enabled devices and the 'viewport'.

Class 6

  • Content is primary: writing for the Web.
  • Information architecture, contextual elements, designing efficient navigation.
  • CMS integration.
  • Uploading and FTPing content.
  • Social Media.

Class 7

  • Overview of the DOM and interface behaviour.
  • User interaction and jQuery.
  • Audiences, languages, disabilities.
  • User contribution.

Class 8

  • More responsive CSS.
  • Animation and transitions.
  • Data visualisation and representation.
  • Analytics.

Class 9

  • Editing and organising media content/forms for the web.
  • Project work time.

Class 10

  • Project work time.

Class 11

  • Project work time.

Class 12

  • Project work time.
  • Website project due.

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

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.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 (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

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.

Re-mark procedure

Additional Information on MMCCS Website 

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

Information is correct at the time of publication.

Disruptions to Studies: Extensions and special consideration

Assessments submitted after the due date and time will automatically be deducted 10% per day (weekends included) unless Disruptions to Studies (including a request for an extension) is approved. Please contact the course convenor well in advance if you may be unable to submit an assessment on time. Extensions will only be granted on grounds of illness or misadventure, where appropriate supporting documentation is submitted, and are awarded at the discretion of the course convenor.

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

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class practical tasks
  • Analysis and Proposal
  • Website production

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class practical tasks
  • Analysis and Proposal
  • Website production
  • Class Participation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class practical tasks
  • Analysis and Proposal
  • Website production
  • Class Participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the fundamental technologies required to communicate content through the medium of the Internet.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class practical tasks
  • Analysis and Proposal
  • Website production
  • Class Participation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Apply current practices and design principles to webpage construction.
  • Effectively communicate information-rich media to a target audience via the web.
  • Develop the ability to dissect, analyse and objectively critique web pages, and a familiarity with diverse media formats.
  • Articulate technological practices, and present a portfolio/brief to a prospective client.
  • Develop life-long technological application skills, critical analysis and evaluation skills, and problem solving skills that are paramount in an era of technological literacy.

Assessment tasks

  • In-class practical tasks
  • Analysis and Proposal
  • Website production
  • Class Participation

Changes since First Published

Date Description
07/04/2017 Amended assessment due date