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MAS 340 – Advanced Interactivity

2018 – 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
By appointment
Seminar Tutor (weeks 3-6)
Gemma Roberts
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
39cp at 100 level or above including MAS241
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 https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

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/MAS340. The first page that loads must be called index.html. Each student will be assigned a unique link next to their name in the class listings at http://media.mq.edu.au/mas340. It is your responsibility to test your major project from that link. If your project does not load from that link, then it cannot be accessed to be marked. Major projects that are in student accounts but not accessible because they have not been placed in the right folder or configured correctly will be considered as non-submissions.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Active Participation 10% No Ongoing
Project Proposal 20% No 9pm Friday, Week 7
Progress Presentation 5% No In Class, Week 9
Beta Test Presentation 5% No In Class, Week 11
Major Project 60% No 5pm Thursday, Week 13

Active Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

You should ideally strive to attend all taught workshops and seminars. Staff will observe your progress and active 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 5 out of 10 for this assignment. You receive no marks for attendance, only for participation.

You will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Active participation in 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.

Feedback will be given continuously throughout classes.


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: 9pm Friday, Week 7
Weighting: 20%

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. You should provide a storyboard or flow chart that sets out the narrative and the interactive opportunities.
  • 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 submissions are subject to the policy set out in the Policies and Procedures section of this unit guide.

Feedback will be returned with the assignment.


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

Progress Presentation

Due: In Class, Week 9
Weighting: 5%

By week 9 students are required to show progress in their major projects to teaching staff . This may take the form of development of several pages of the project or demonstration of a substantial component, such as an 'engine' for an interactive section of the project. This is an informal presentation. Staff will move through the lab and speak to each student individually. This assessment is conducted during class time only and will not be assessed outside of timetabled classes (subject to the Special Consideration policy).

This presentation will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Development of graphic/interface/design elements
  • Development of sophisticated coding solutions to problems
  • Ability to respond to questions about the presented work

Feedback will be given at the time of presentation.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Engage in the process of learning

Beta Test Presentation

Due: In Class, Week 11
Weighting: 5%

By week 11 students are required to show teaching staff substantial progress in their major projects as they near completion. Substantial progress should have been accomplished since the previous presentation in Week 9.

This is an informal presentation. Staff will move through the lab and speak to each student individually. This assessment is conducted during class time only and will not be assessed outside of timetabled classes (subject to the Special Consideration policy).

This presentation will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Substantial development of graphic/interface/design elements
  • Substantial development of sophisticated coding solutions to problems
  • Ability to respond to questions about the presented work

Feedback will be given at the time of presentation.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Produce interactive possibilities
  • Plan and develop an original creative work
  • Develop problem solving skills
  • Engage in the process of learning

Major Project

Due: 5pm Thursday, 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. The interactive aspect of the project should allow the user to affect the flow of the story. There are many examples of work from previous years at http://media.mq.edu.au/mas340

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 plug-ins and libraries. One of the challenges of this unit is working with the limits of the technologies taught in workshops. NOTE: Frameworks and libraries like Bootstrap, Meteor, etc. are not permitted. Some jQuery plugins are acceptable, but bear in mind that these will not contribute towards the marks awarded for coding. If in doubt, please check with the unit convenor.

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

Late submissions are subject to the policy set out in the Policies and Procedures section of this unit guide.

Students should contact the unit convenor for feedback as it is more meaningful if we can work through your projects together.


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 (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/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.

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

Late Submissions

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (including weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

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

  • Active Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Progress Presentation
  • Beta Test Presentation
  • 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 tasks

  • Project Proposal
  • Progress Presentation
  • Beta Test Presentation

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 tasks

  • Progress Presentation
  • 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

  • Active Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Progress Presentation
  • Beta Test Presentation
  • 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

  • Active 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

  • Active 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

  • Active Participation
  • Project Proposal
  • Progress Presentation
  • Beta Test Presentation
  • 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
  • Progress Presentation
  • Major Project

Changes from Previous Offering

Introduction of the two progress presentations in weeks 9 and 11.