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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Drew R. Keller
COM 597
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Communication

Class description

This course aims to help students understand the processes involved in producing web-based video storytelling. This media creation is a multi-step effort, with thoughtful decision-making involved throughout the process. Students will deliver their content in multiple versions of encoded formats and data rates for successfully streamed compression. The goal of this course is to introduce students to new technologies and methods for creating participatory media and making it available. Students will develop new ideas for helping this transition along both on the internet and in the traditional broadcast space.

This course provides students an opportunity to gain basic skills in media creation while developing an understanding of the architecture of streaming media and the pros/cons of various streaming options. Each week will include instructor lecture, student discussion and class workshops. Instructor lectures will be augmented with guest expert presentations.

In addition to weekly writing assignments, each student will shoot, edit, produce and deliver a short narrative video, write a short (10-12 page) research paper and complete weekly technical workshops.

Student learning goals

Evaluate how storytelling is shaped by both content and context

1 Evaluate storytelling techniques 2 Develop skills necessary for video production 3 Practice critical evaluation of message creation and delivery in Social Media 4 Evaluate, document, and investigate future narrative environments

Provide students with the basic skills for creating and distributing video media on the internet

Develop an understanding of social media and the dominant technologies used to deliver moving images and audio via the Internet

Acquire fundamental knowledge to encode media for appropriate software

Perform all technical aspects of creating, converting, encoding, linking, uploading and testing audio and video in Web sites

General method of instruction

Lecture with individual student project and final research paper.

Recommended preparation

This is not a production class per se, but each student will shoot and edit a story. Class workshops will provide some support for production, but it is recommended that those students unfamiliar with shooting or editing find class members who can assist them with their project, if needed. Additionally, this is not a coding class, but we will discuss the infrastructure of the internet and a passing awareness of the web is always helpful.

Class assignments and grading

Final Paper 40% Completion of final film 20% Weekly blog assignments 20% Participation in weekly discussion 10% Completion of all encoding exercises 10%

Weblog 20% Due to the fact that we are exploring this material from both a production and audience standpoint, most assignments will involve recording observations and insights. It is expected that each student in the class will maintain a blog for their thoughts on readings, assignments, research and items of note. In addition, students will be expected to post selected assignments (compressed media) on their UW web sites for instructor review.

Production Each student is expected to create and provide media that we will use in class workshops. Schedule for media requires is as follows: July 16 Source content for capture (either file or tape, but if tape must also provide camera and cable) July 23rd Content to use for edit (can be scratch video) July 30th -- Content for edit project video August 6th Project media for final edit

Final Video 20% Each student will be required to submit a 90-120 video on a general topic agreed to by the class. This video will be a specific angle of the general topic, and will be created to integrate with videos created by the other students in class. The final videos will be submitted in electronic form as Windows Media files, with technical specifics outlined by the instructor after week 6. Each student will provide two versions of their video; one that does not have opening or closing credits; a second with title and credits defined by the user so that the video can stand on its own.

Final Video is due midnight, Tuesday, August 11th for inclusion in class project and review on August 13th.

Paper 40% There will be a 10-12 page paper, due on August 23, midnight. Although the specific topic is left up to you, some topic suggestions are as follows:

-A reaction to one of the suggested readings -A project idea (relating to the class material) -An analysis of a television or radio program that enables some type of audience interaction -An idea for adding audience participation to an existing television or radio program -An idea for integrating Social Media into a web experience for enhanced story development


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Drew R. Keller
Date: 07/27/2009