Course Syllabus

Multimedia Composition Course Syllabus

This page should be used solely for reference purposes. The course syllabus is subject to change from semester to semester. This syllabus is a general guide to Multimedia Composition.

Students, please use the syllabus provided on the first day of class.


About this Course

As the course catalog description suggests, our focus will be on “the rhetorical examination and production of visual and textual documents in such areas as politics, education, art, culture, and advertising.” The course will give equal attention to the development of individual writing skills at advanced levels and in various modes. The course will require students to compose in digital environments and for a variety of audiences. (Prerequisites for this course are ENGL 1020 and 2030.)

Why are we studying rhetoric in a writing course?

Multimedia composition rests on the assumption that effective writers bring an intimate understanding of audience and purpose to each reading and writing situation. This course will help you use language and technology to participate more critically and creatively in your various communities and workplaces.

General Course Design

While a great deal of our initial coursework will be devoted to cultivating our ability to interpret texts and situations, we will ultimately use this ability to produce texts for audiences inside and outside the classroom. The course schedule follows a writing process model that moves from invention practices (aimed at developing focus and detail) to arrangement and style considerations. Your work will be the center of the course; the readings help you develop a process for producing the best work possible.

Many of the texts you produce will be “rhetorical” in that they will contribute to current civic, political, and cultural conversations on issues that are important to us and our communities. Because all of us make sense of texts and issues in a variety of ways, this course will ask you to utilize multimodal (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, etc.) forms of communication. For example, you will incorporate more than one form of media (print, photographs, video, sound, graphics, etc) into the majority of your texts. As members of an image-saturated culture, we know that print text is only one form of “writing” and communication, and sometimes it is not the most effective choice in reaching your desired audience.

Course Requirements 

  • Weekly Homework (Reading, Writing, Discussion Posts/Participation in Class)
  • Visual Narrative Drafts, Peer Reviews, and Final
  • Themed WordPress Blog (Continuous)
  • Multimedia Documentary (5 Milestones)
  • Multimedia Documentary (Final Draft)

Course Materials

  • Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property. Kembrew McLeod. University of Minnesota Press. Copyright 2007;
  • A mechanism to back up your data (pen drive or external hard drive);
  • Access to a camera with still and basic video capability;
  • Active university email account that you check daily;
  • Access to a computer with photo and video editing software (Auraria Campus multimedia labs will work for this).

Course Opportunities

  • Understand Media Literacy;
  • Practice critical reading, thinking, writing, speaking, & listening;
  • Experiment with a range of writing modes, approaches, styles, and technologies;
  • Produce effective textual, visual, & multimedia documents;
  • Receive extensive feedback on writing through instructor & peer reviews;
  • Practice conducting primary and secondary research & documenting sources;
  • Gain appreciation for the transformative power of language.

Course Policies

  • Plan for and meet your deadlines;
  • Be an active participant;
  • Ask for help when you need it;
  • Read critically & prepare to discuss texts in class and online;
  • Complete all writing assignments to the best of your ability;
  • Back up your work;
  • Expect to work in collaborative situations;
  • Exhibit professionalism & show respect for all colleagues;
  • Expect to cite your sources using MLA style when appropriate.

Campus Resources

Campus resources The Writing Center, Media Center, Library, Experiential Education Office, Career Services, Computer Labs, etc. are available to help you with your work in this course as well as in other courses. I encourage you to take advantage of these (free!) services.

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