Prof. Vitoria Szabo
Maximum Class Size: 19; All sessions in the Mac Lab
As the Internet, World Wide Web, and digital media become increasingly pervasive as a means of communicating information, it is important to understand the impact and implications of this transforming technology. It is also essential that students learn the concepts and capabilities that will equip them with the skills to communicate effectively using digital media. This course explores the theory and practice of multimedia information systems — including presentation media, hypermedia, graphics, animation, sound, video, and integrated authoring techniques, with discussion and application of the underlying technologies that make them possible. Students will gain theoretical background and extensive hands-on practical experience to help them design, innovate, program, and assess web-based digital multimedia information systems. Each student will develop a course web site as the principal venue for publication of individual and group projects.
This course is required for the ISIS Certificate at Duke University, but is designed primarily for students in non-technical disciplines.
Course Format
This course explores issues related to planning and deploying Web-based multimedia communications solutions. It is a required course for the Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS) Certificate at Duke University, satisfying both the information technology skills and programming requirements of the Certificate. Learning is accomplished via lecture, written critical case analysis of real web multimedia communications systems, practical hands-on laboratory exercises, and the development of a multimedia semester project. Using experience in web multimedia development and surprisingly basic principles of web programming, students will learn the skills, capabilities, and competencies all successful Web multimedia developers need to know.
In this course, we adopt a student-centric learning environment. To fully appreciate issues related to multimedia communications, students perform a broader role, working in teams, interacting with each other, and seeking more involvement than is typical in the professor-centric class setting. Everyone should come to teach and learn from each other. Classes are organized as guided discussions, research explorations, breakouts, exercises, projects, writing reviews, and critical analysis sessions. The Apple Macintosh is the platform of choice for most multimedia designers, and in this course, we will utilize the Mac Lab for our course meetings.
Topics Covered:
• Hand-coding HTML and CSS from a text editor
• Information architecture and data management
• Graphic Design for the Web
• Modifying templates and frameworks
• Creating interactive websites with JavaScript
• Multimedia Integration
• HeadFirst HTML and CSS, 2nd Edition (e-Book in Moodle)
• Designing for the Web (e-Books in Moodle)
• Additional readings as assigned (PDFs and links)
• Other resources: W3C Schools, Code Academy etc.

During practical experience lab sessions, students develop a personal webpage to display a portfolio of their multimedia programs and communications projects. These websites are instrumental to our real goals: to uncover multimedia communications principles that scale, work across space, and adapt as features and functionality inevitably change in this rapidly advancing technology. Throughout the semester, each lab exercise will build upon skills and capabilities as students progress toward completion of the semester project (interactive multimedia website). In addition, a semester project proposal, project storyboard, project final report, and weekly laboratory exercises that stress critical inquiry and analysis are required.
Major Assignments:
1. Team Presentation of the Different Topics related to Internet Concepts
2. My Course Website: HTML Only
3. CSS on course home page
4. Project Proposal + Wireframes
5. Web Graphics for the Website
6. Video Pitch
7. Final Project Website
Course Learning Goals:
Describe the role of networks, the impact of the Internet/World Wide Web, and the future potential of emerging new media technologies
Demonstrate an understanding of how information is represented in computer data structures, how it can be manipulated by a sequence of commands, and how large media files can be effectively managed on the bandwidth-limited network by completing a variety of laboratory assignments
Demonstrate the ability to create and publish web pages, using valid HTML and basic principles of Web design, information architecture, and fundamentals of usability for enhancing the user’s Web experience though the creation of a course portfolio website
Demonstrate proficiency in the use of web and new media technologies; capture, edit and control digital media types – text, images, audio, video and graphic animation – for inclusion in web-based multimedia semester project
Course Grading
• 30% In-Class Labs
• 10% Class Participation
• 30% Major Assignments
• 30% Final project