Courses In Digital Communications

DCOM 099. Portfolio. A formal collection of the student's completed work to be presented before the DCOM faculty and students as part of the student's formal request to take DCOM 400 (Internship). The portfolio must be both in print and in an appropriate electronic form, include a resume, and contain examples of the student's work in both their concentration and the core. Typically taken during the fall semester of junior year.  Graded pass/fail. 0 credits.

DCOM 130. Principles of Information Design. This class surveys the principles and practices of information design, information architecture, and interaction design. Students will learn and practice human-centered design methods (research/observation, design, prototyping, and usability testing) in designing meaningful and effective interfaces in which users interact with information.  3 credits.

DCOM 131. Usability Design and Testing. The course emphasizes planning, conducting, and analyzing usability tests. The course will teach the basic concepts of usability research and the practice of usability testing in a lab setting. Using the principles and techniques of usability testing, students will research the effectiveness of online and print documents, and physical objects, using video and digital equipment, with emphasis on rhetorical effectiveness and usability of information design and architecture, graphics, text, design, and format.  3 credits.

DCOM 150. Fundamentals of Design. An introduction to the fundamental elements of design. Students work with graphic symbols, theories of visual perception, principles of composition, and color interaction in a variety of studio projects. The emphasis of the course will be placed on the design process as students develop their ability to communicate their ideas through the use of traditional and electronic media. This course will introduce students to Adobe Photoshop.  3 credits.

DCOM 151. Digital Graphic Design. The course will focus on blending the creative and technical aspects of developing electronic images and layouts. Students will apply traditional design methods and techniques to the electronic canvas. Additionally, the course will serve to familiarize students with industry standard software and procedures for producing creative work for a variety of media. Work will be produced in the latest version of Adobe InDesign & Illustrator. Prereq: DCOM 150.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 170. Web Markup and Layout. This course will cover the use of the Adobe Dreamweaver software, HTML5, CSS3, and basic JavaScript to create functioning web sites. The course will enable students to incorporate critical thinking skills and integrate web-based principals to develop hands-on projects. The course will be conducted through lectures, readings, tests, and assignments.  3 credits.

DCOM 260. E-Commerce. An exploration of the important technologies related to doing business on the Internet. Topics include e-commerce, advertising, customer support, and business-to-business applications. Emphasis on how businesses implement these technologies, resource requirements, cost-to-benefit analysis.  3 credits.

DCOM 261. E-Business Strategy. An exploration of the way businesses utilize technology to operate effectively. The course will focus on how businesses generate, manage, store, and distribute information that is key to performance of business objectives. Topics will include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), e-Marketing, and Business Intelligence.  Prerequisites: DCOM 260 or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 270. Programming for Digital Media. This course is designed to teach the fundamentals for creating dynamic Web sites using JavaScript. With a basic understanding of the Web page layout and design process, the student will learn the basic workflows of web development and learn how to use JavaScript to create effective and interactive web pages.  Prerequisite: DCOM 170. 3 credits.

DCOM 271. Databases in Design. This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of databases and how they might be used to create dynamic and data driven Web pages. With an understanding of the Web page layout and design process, the student will learn the basics of industry standard languages for accessing databases (such as PHP, Ajax or MySQL)and use these languages to design and develop data-driven sites and networked applications.  Prerequisite: DCOM 270. 3 credits.

DCOM 280. Technical Communications for Digital Media. Technical communications requires students understand the basics of the human-centered design process, while focusing primarily on the use of writing and video to clearly and precisely communicate ideas. Students will develop copy and content appropriate to a given audience, client needs and goals, and context. The course will emphasize iterative design, prototyping and usability testing of acts of persuasive and informative writing.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: DCOM 130 and DCOM 131, or by permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 281. Storytelling for Online Media. This class will give students "digital first" storytelling skills demanded by all online publishers. "Digital first" environments mean that students will engage in data gathering, creating stories, choosing the best digital platform for each story, tailoring the story to the chosen medium, and gauging the effectiveness of the communication and measuring reader engagement through the use of success metrics and analytics.  Prerequisite: DCOM 130, 131, 151, and 270. 3 credits.

DCOM 290. Special Topics. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 293. Special Topics in User Experience. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 294. Special Topics in Video. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 295. Special Topics in Design. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 296. Special Topics in Business Technology. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 297. Special Topics in Programming. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 298. Special Topics Which Meets Communications Concentration. Special Topics Which Meets Communications Concentration. Topic to be announced.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 299. Portfolio. Portfolio: A formal collection of the student's completed work to be presented before the DigiCOM faculty and students as part of the student's formal request to take DCOM 400 (Internship). The portfolio must be both in print and in an appropriate digital form, include a resume, and contain examples of the student's work in both their chosen concentration and the core. Typically taken during the spring semester of sophomore year.  Graded pass/fail. Prerequisites: DCOM 130, 131, 151, 260, 270, and 280, or permission of the instructor. Corequisites: DCOM 261, 271 and 281. 0 credits.

DCOM 311. Information Law and Ethics. Students will begin with a foundation in media law and ethical reasoning and examine both legal and ethical questions surrounding the use of digital media. They will then move on to examine the ways that the Web and digital media platforms have transformed traditional understandings of concepts like intellectual property rights, privacy, and free speech. Students will work with case studies, national and international legal documents, academic research, and company guidelines in order to understand whether legal strictures or ethical reasoning should guide personal, governmental, and corporate behavior.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: ENG 112, and junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 333. Experience Design. The design of experiences can take many forms from riding a ride at an amusement park, to attending a concert, to buying milk or computers or underwear at a brick and mortar store, to finalizing the purchase of a book online. Though varied, all of these experiences share at least one trait-they were designed. The primary approach for the course will be case study analysis, including on-site visits to local parks, museums and other sites. Theories and concepts of experience design will be presented in context while analyzing site designs.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 340. Videography. Videography will focus on developing facility with scripting/storyboarding and techniques of using a video camera to capture moving images. Students will learn scripting/storyboarding, videography (lighting, composition, shot selection) and basic non-linear editing. Satisfies the video and communications concentrations.  3 credits.

DCOM 341. Editing/Post-Production. Editing/Post-Production will teach students how to use the video editing and post-production process to tell stories using still and moving images and sounds. Students will learn non-linear editing for video and gain facility with the software and workflows of the video post-production process. Satisfies the video, design and communications concentrations.  3 credits.

DCOM 343. Sound Design. Sound Design will teach students how sound contributes to storytelling and atmosphere. Students will study best practices in how to create and record audio, foley effects, sound effects, and score for use in video and other digital media (such as video games). Additionally, students will study audio editing and basic non-linear video editing workflows and software. Class will be composed of small hands-on projects and a large collaborative project. Satisfies the design, video and communications concentrations.  3 credits.

DCOM 347. Motion Graphics. This course will provide an introduction to motion graphics and time-based media as a way to enhance concept driven projects. The focus of the class will be industry-based projects with an emphasis on the production workflow and process. Satisfies design and video concentrations.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 and DCOM 151, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 350. Corporate Branding. This class will cover the topic Corporate Branding. The course will enable students to incorporate their knowledge and design skills in producing branding campaigns. The course will be conducted on a case study basis and focus on the practical application of branding guidelines across a variety of design elements. Satisfies design and Business Technology concentrations.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 and DCOM 151, or by permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 351. Prototyping. This course provides students with an opportunity to explore, concept, and implement the production of prototypes. It will emphasize hands on learning that focuses on producing creative solutions for a variety of design problems. Students will develop functioning prototypes in a variety of media, both virtual and physical. The course will also explore concepts of usability, 3-D design, and functionality. Satisfies the design and UX concentrations.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 and DCOM 151. 3 credits.

DCOM 352. Package Design. This course will introduce various concepts for the development of packaging in a 3-D format using flat materials. It will focus on producing creative solutions for a variety of packaging needs. Students will develop functioning prototypes for a variety of different products and clients. The course will also explore concepts of mass production and constructing unique types of packaging. Satisfies the design concentration.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 and DCOM 151. 3 credits.

DCOM 353. Typography. This course will explore typography as a form of communication design. The focus of the class will be on using typography in creative layouts and design. The class will also explore the history and origins of type and how it influences modern design techniques. Students will experiment and manipulate typography to produce solutions that could include posters, promotional items, packaging, books, web or app based design, and motion graphics.  Prerequisite: DCOM 150 and DCOM 151. 3 credits.

DCOM 375. Advanced Website Design. Students will learn programming and scripting for the web. This should teach the importance of clean, semantic markup coupled with advanced CSS techniques of today and tomorrow [CSS3]. Also cross browser compatibility, web accessibility, and web standards. Topics to be covered would be CSS and XHTML. Students begin by learning how web pages are structured and styled with scripting, then learn to use advanced applications to create sophisticated presentation and interactive effects, including typographical and layout control, and interactive elements. Students receive hands-on experience programming in web/multimedia projects and learn to create advanced Web sites and multimedia projects using current scripting languages and website authoring software.  Prerequisite: DCOM 130. 3 credits.

DCOM 380. Advertising. Students will learn how advertising is used to create awareness in audiences, to persuade them, and move them to action, drawing from theories and practices established by academics and advertising professionals in design, psychology and rhetoric. Students will learn about the advertising industry, how advertisements are commonly structured- particularly on digital platforms-- read case studies of both successful and disastrous brand audience interactions, and learn how to gauge the effectiveness of content and measure audience engagement through the use of success metrics and analytics. They will also examine the various moderation tools and philosophies used by news organizations, commercial comment spaces, and social media sites, and develop guidelines for best moderation practices.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: ENG 112, and junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 382. Producing Web and Mobile Communications. The role of digital editor for real-time content is like that of a live-TV producer-involving fact checking, rewriting copy, performing format and design maintenance, editing graphic elements, overseeing an organization's social media outlets, making informed and ethical decisions, managing online platforms, and analyzing success metrics and analytics to measure the effectiveness of their content. Editors manage a variety of web and networked content that should communicate information to audiences clearly, accurately, and effectively. Students will learn to manage web platforms such as Word Press and Moveable Type; be introduced to basic content management systems, learn how to work with writers, graphic designers, and programmers by understanding their restrictions and concerns; perform follow-up research to rate effectiveness of content; and adhere to current industry communication standards.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: ENG 112. 3 credits.

DCOM 383. Mobile Media: History, Theory, and Practice. Students in this course will learn how mobile media is changing how we relate to others, how we interact with products and brands, and how we judge the quality of the information we consume. Students will study our relationships with our devices and the history of human interaction with communications devices; they will use theories established in communications and media studies in order to understand not only the present face of mobile communication but also the future of mobile as our devices become more sophisticated. Students will put theory into practice working on their own content creation, emphasizing speed, versatility, and quality, as they create compelling, accurate, and engaging stories.  Prerequisite: ENG 112. 3 credits.

DCOM 384. Digital Media Ethics. Students will begin with a foundation in ethical reasoning and examine the unique ethical problems embedded in our culture's use of digital media. Recent academic work in this area includes the ethics of MOOCs, fashion photo manipulation, food and product reviews, targeted marketing, crowdsourcing, book and music pirating, and anonymous comments. Students will research and write papers on topics such as privacy, free speech, intellectual property, surveillance, and digital citizenship.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: ENG 112, and junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 385. Big Data and Storytelling. Those who can "read" data sets can ferret out untold narratives buried in them and are of enormous value to the institutions that employ them. Some data is consulted for specific purposes by individuals maintaining governmental, educational, and commercial organizations, but the potential for making the data tell stories exists and has already been explored by those who practice data journalism and other kinds of data-driven investigations. Students who plan careers not just in media but in any business or academic pursuit can learn to contribute more to their areas of interest by learning how to arrange data sets to answer questions, to follow through with research and interviews, to write accurate narratives that explain the process and findings of examining data sets, and to create clear, attractive infographics and data visualizations to supplement traditional storytelling.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: ENG 112, and junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 386. Video Games: History, Theory, and Social Impact. This class will critically examine video games as historical and cultural artifacts, as narratives, as works of art, as a technologically dependent medium, as part of human play and as a powerful social influence.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 3 credits.

DCOM 387. Social Media: History, Theory and Practice. Social media connects organizations, companies, and individuals throughout the world, fostering interaction, collaboration, discussion, and community. And it's not surprising that social media networking is the number one online activity of people in the United States. Students in this course will study the history and theory of social media. They will also put into practice specific marketing, community-building, and institutional support activities that take place through social media channels. This course is for students who wish to obtain analytic and practice-based skills for careers in media, Web-based companies, and publicity in any form.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: ENG 112. 3 credits.

DCOM 390. Special Topics. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 393. Special Topics in User Experience. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 394. Special Topics in Video. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 395. Special Topics in Design. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 396. Special Topics in Business Technology. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 397. Special Topics in Programming. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 398. Special Topics in Communications. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 400. Internship. Internship in Digital Communications  Graded pass/fail. This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 1-12 credits.

DCOM 410. Capstone - Project Management. This capstone course teaches the theory and application of planning projects in the field of digital communications. The course covers principles of project management, research, and project strategy. Additionally, topics of professionalism, client interface, modes of communication, and collaborative group theory and practice are explored.  3 credits.

DCOM 411. Capstone-Research and Development. This course is a practicum class where students work on a project for external clients. This course simulates the collaborative and interdisciplinary environment of the field of digital communications and emphasizes usability testing in the identification of a problem, in formative testing and prototyping of potential design ideas and summative testing of the final project. The course takes the integrative theory and skills from the four areas of concentration (visual, content, commercial, and technological) and builds upon the theory and application explored in the first Capstone course to develop a multi-disciplinary team of students to deliver an appropriate project.  3 credits.

DCOM 431. Advanced Usability. Advanced Usability explores topics in the field that challenge students with methods, tests, and subjects beyond the introductory level. The course addresses advanced tools such as eye tracking and 3D prototyping; advanced methods, such as field-testing and ethnography; and unique applications, such as unique test populations and iterative software development. The course focuses on the flexibility of the test team in selecting the appropriate test method, applying appropriate pre and posttest activities, and collecting valid data. Expert and Heuristic methods for identifying the areas and activities for testing will also be examined. Satisfies UX concentration.  Prerequisite: DCOM 131, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 462. Customer Experience Management. Customer Experience Management (CEM) explores the theory and methods that businesses use to engage and retain customers. This course examines the theory and application of User Centered Design principles to customer interaction. Customer engagement is broadly expanded in the course to include all types of businesses, including non-profit businesses, government, and even internal processes and relationships. The course will also feature computer software platforms that support both analytical and transactional Customer Relationship Management objectives. Satisfies business technology concentration.  Prerequisite: DCOM 260, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 464. Enterprise 2.0. This course explores the way companies use Web 2.0 technologies to conduct business. Students will examine the relationship between technology and knowledge, social media for business, and collaboration through communities. Students will also develop basic proficiencies with common Web 2.0 channels including blogs, wikis, video, collaboration and KM systems. Satisfies the business technology concentration.  Prerequisite: DCOM 261 or by permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 465. Internet Marketing. The course examines the principles and processes of Internet Marketing. Students will examine current topics including search engine advertising; social media, online advertising strategies and models; metrics, and ethics. The course will also integrate a comparison and contrast of online promotion to traditional channels and extensively employ case studies. Satisfies the business technology and communications concentrations.  Prerequisite: DCOM 260, or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

DCOM 466. Innovation. Why are some companies considered innovative and others stodgy? What cultural, organizational, and personal elements make innovation in technology possible? This course attempts to answer these questions by exploring how technology ideas are created, fostered, and shared. The course will study innovation from both theoretical and applied perspectives using case studies, creative exercises, research, and simulations as learning experiences. Satisfies business technology concentration.  Prerequisite: DCOM 261. 3 credits.

DCOM 493. Special Topics in User Experience. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 494. Special Topics in Video. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 495. Special Topics in Design. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 496. Special Topics in Business Technology. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 497. Special Topics in Programming. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.

DCOM 498. Special Topics in Communications. Topic announced at the time of registration.  This course may be repeated for credit as topic changes. 3 credits.