COM 335 WRITTEN WORK

Web Board Discussion

Each week (more or less) I'll put a question or statement in the eConference relating to the material we're working with. Everyone is expected to respond at least once a week, either to the question directly, or to someone else's response. In the event we have an interesting discussion in progress, the new question may be delayed. Also, anyone can pose questions or present statements. After two weeks contributions to a topic will not be counted toward the grade.

The beginning discussion will be concerned with ideas presented in the articles from Time's "Person of the Year " issue for 2006, which is available in ERes.

Following discussion topics will be concerned with information in the electronic format--an obvious reference to Keith Smith's Structure of the Visual Book, which will guide us in our thinking as we adapt his ideas to a different medium. These ideas will also have an impact on the way we approach the hypertext projects.

Traditional hard copy project

A note on images: check the digital size of images to be used. The images from your facebook pages may be too small to display accurately or intelligbly. Images should be between 60 and 120 kb. More than 120kb takes up space without any real benefit for what we are doing.

Project 1: The House: A visual book

This will be composed on the computer, and printed to form a 12 or 16 page book, not including the cover. The work will be composed primarily of images, but it may contain text. Your task will be to use images of rooms to construct a house using the book form. The images must come from at lease three different houses. You must take the photos (no images appropriated from the web). On the due date you email me a pdf of the book, and will hand bind and submit one bound copy for evaluation. The hard copy will be returned.

Hypertext Projects

These projects will be evaluated for a grade on the due dates. The projects are evolving, and may continue to be changed and refined after they are evaluated. Students making significant changes to the projects may request that they be re-evaluated for the final grade.

Project 2: Your web site

You will be setting up a site to demonstrate your understanding of some of the ideas we'll be working with this semester. If you already have a site, you can link the pages created for this course to it. The site will have at least the following:
A. Homepage with links to other documents, including the syllabus for this course.
B. A page consisting of at least four related images. A digital camera will be available.

Project 3: Tale

The class will be broken into groups, each of which will choose a fairy or folk tale (more than one group can use the same story). Each member of the group will write the story from the point of view of one of the characters in the story. The group will then assemble the stories as a hypertext document, deciding on how the parts will be linked. While you are welcome to use images, they must be original--either drawings or photographs. In addition to the digital camera, there are both flat bed scanners and a slide scanner available. It may be possible to get access to the Theatre Costume Shop--let me know if you you would like to use it.

Research project

Project 4: Communication implications of technology

Each student will choose an emergent communication technology currently being explored at the MIT Media Lab or John Patrick's Blog and examine the ways it affects the involvement of people with each other, or their isolation from each other. There will also need to be a discussion of the spatial and temporal implications of these technologies.

The student will gather materials from both the library and the internet and store them in a Storyspace document. These materials will be used to support points made in the essay, and will be cited using the APA style.

You may think about (or even work on) this project while you do the other projects.

Past attempts at the second project have met various degrees of success (Toxic Jack was considered for publication). However, the questions raised in attempting these tasks are interesting, and I'm sure that we will become aware of a number of things involved in both reading and writing/telling/showing, as well as ideas about media. Your experiences in these projects will provide discussion material for the eConference.

There is a link to several stories from previous classes on my homepage.

Syllabus