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IGME-110 Introduction to Interactive Media, Fall 2017: Syllabus

Instructor and Class Details

Course Catalog Description

This course provides an overview of media in historical, current and future contexts. Incorporating lectures and discussion with hands on work involving written and interactive media assets, students examine the role of written and visual media from theoretical as well as practical perspectives. The course also provides an introduction to interactive media development techniques, including digital media components and delivery environments. Students will be required to write formal analysis and critique papers, and use digital modes of writing including collaborative editing and effective presentation design.

Course Materials and Communication

There is no required textbook for the course, but there will be an assortment of handouts and online readings that you will receive over the course of the semester. They will be uploaded to (or linked from) this Github site.

I will be assigning a number of tutorials from the website, which you can access for free using your RIT login.

We will be using Slack, a group communication tool, for announcements, discussions, and Q&A about class activities and projects. We will also be using Google Docs for collaborative note-taking. We'll be discussing both of these tools in week 1.

MyCourses will only be used for grading, quizzes, and submission of assignments, not for distribution of materials or communication. There will be links in myCourses pointing you to this Github repository and to our class Slack.

Course Organization

Listening to a lecture is seldom the best way to learn. As a result, when new topics are introduced I will expect you to complete the assigned readings or tutorials before the class where we discuss that topic. In most of our class meetings, I will give a lecture providing context and additional information about the assigned materials, and then we'll do an in-class exercise to get hands-on experience with the concepts being discussed.

Course Topics & Schedule

The schedule of topics, readings, and exercises can be found in the file. Materials for in-class exercises can be found in the Github folder for that week's class. It is your responsibility to check the schedule for each week's readings. You will find the in-class exercises very challenging if you do not complete the readings and/or tutorials for that week.


Because much of the class revolves around in-class exercises, attendance is critical. If you miss a class, you should check Github and/or Slack for information on the exercise, and complete it on your own time. If you know you'll be missing a class due to a conflict please let me know, so I can make sure you have the materials for the exercise. While I do not give a grade for attendance, missing a class where there's a quiz will result in a zero on the quiz, and missing a class where there's an exercise, if you haven't completed the work in advance, results in a zero on the exercise.

Assignments & Grading

These are brief descriptions of each of the assignments. Follow the links to see more detailed information.

Exercises & Homework (20% of final grade)

At least once a week there will be an in-class exercise, which will be due by the end of the class time. I will also occasionally assign homework in addition to the exercise. Exercises and homework will be always be uploaded to myCourses, with information on their required submission date and time. If a class will have no lecture content, I will inform you of that, and allow you to submit the exercise early instead of attending class.

Research Paper (20% of final grade)

For this paper, you will select a person, event, or technology related to the Internet or media—ideally, one that is important to you. You will write a 5-7 page paper on this topic, and will need to cite a variety of sources—so be sure to select a topic on which you can find sufficient resources.

Web Site (20% of final grade)

You will create a website to present key information you learned while researching your paper topic.

Presentation (20% of final grade)

You will prepare a slide presentation with 20 slides, each of which auto-advances after 15 seconds. Each of the twenty slides should be used to present something that you learned in this class. You will have the option to either present this live during finals week, or to submit it as a file with an accompanying audio narration.

Quizzes (10% of final grade)

I will give at least one quiz each week, with content drawn from that week’s readings. You are allowed to bring a sheet of (handwritten) notes with you to class to use while taking the quiz. The quizzes will also serve as an attendance-taking mechanism. There are 15 weeks of lecture, but at the end of the semester I will drop your lowest five quiz grades, so only the top ten quizzes will count. I do not give makeup quizzes; if you miss a quiz, even for an excused absence, it will count as one of your dropped grades.

Group Notes (10% of final grade)

You will be assigned to a group for collaborative note-taking during the semester, using RIT’s Google Docs. You are expected to actively participate in creating and/or editing the notes. Your group will receive a grade for the quality of the notes, but if you did not participate in a substantive way you will receive no credit.

Additional Policies

Important RIT Deadlines

  • Last day of add/drop is 5 September 2017.
  • Last day to withdraw with a grade of “W” is 10 November 2017.
  • You have one semester after the class has ended to challenge your grade.


Any updates to assignments or the syllabus will be posted in Github and automatically announced in Slack. Major announcements (such as class cancellations) will be posted in the general channel in Slack. This means you should regularly check the class Slack, and consider setting up notifications for the general channel. I check both email and Slack frequently, and will try to always respond within 24 hours (the exception to this is when I’m traveling, for which I’ll give you advance notice). You will get a faster response using Slack, with the bonus that other people in the class can help answer questions, as well. If you want to send me email, please make sure you send it from your RIT account to my primary RIT email: Elizabeth dot Lawley at rit dot edu.

Late Policy

If you are having problems with an assignment or have an emergency that may make you late in submitting your work, please contact me before the due date. Late assignments that have not been cleared with me before the due date may not be accepted, or may incur a grade penalty.

Missed Classes

If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to check with classmates for notes to supplement the materials I've already provided online. I will not recap classes for you.

Office Hours

I will have a minimum of four office hours per week. This is an excellent time to come in with questions on the course material, homework, or in class work. I am always happy to help you understand the course material or assignments—or just to chat about whatever topic you’d like. Take advantage of this time, since few students bother to talk with their professors outside of class. If for some reason I’m called away during office hours, there will be a note on the door.

Mobile Phones

Please turn off sounds on your phone, so that you don’t disturb the people around you with notification noises. If you must take a call, please leave the room to do so.

Notices of Accommodation

If you have a notice of accommodation, I should have received a copy electronically. Please discuss this with me after class or during my office hours, so that I can make sure all of your accommodations are met.

Social Networks

I don’t initiate friend requests on Facebook, because I don’t want you to feel obligated to accept. However, I do generally accept friend requests from students. I have a private Twitter account that I seldom use, and don’t accept follower requests on it. I maintain a LinkedIn account, and am happy to connect with students there in order to help them find job-related connections. Links to my various social media accounts can be found on my website (

Policy on Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades will be given only in the most exceptional circumstances, and then only by prior arrangement with me. Note that I only give incompletes in the event of: 1) military deployment or 2) documented and verifiable family or personal illness/emergency. Being overcommitted, overwhelmed, and/or not having enough time to complete your coursework does not fall into either of those two categories. Please come see me ASAP if you’re having difficulty so we can find a solution together.

Academic Dishonesty

My policy on academic dishonesty is simple: If you get caught cheating or plagiarizing, you get an “F” as a grade for the course, a letter detailing the incident goes into your records folder, and you are immediately removed from the class. (If this is a second occurrence during your career at RIT, the penalties are harsher.)

Please review RIT’s policy on academic integrity:

Discrimination and Harassment

RIT is committed to providing a safe learning environment, free of harassment and discrimination as articulated in our university policies located on our governance website. RIT’s policies require faculty to share information about incidents of gender based discrimination and harassment with RIT’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless whether the incidents are stated to them in person or shared by students as part of their coursework.

If you have a concern related to gender-based discrimination and/or harassment and prefer to have a confidential discussion, assistance is available from one of RIT’s confidential resources on campus (listed below).

  1. The Center for Women & Gender: Campus Center Room 1760 585-475-7464; CARES (available 24 hours/7 days a week) Call or text 585-295-3533.
  2. RIT Student Health Center – August Health Center/1st floor 585-475-2255.
  3. RIT Counseling Center - August Health Center /2nd floor – 2100 585-475-2261.
  4. The Ombuds Office – Student Auxiliary Union/Room 1114 585-475-7200 or 585-475-2876.
  5. The Center for Religious Life – Schmitt Interfaith Center/Rm1400 585-475-2137.
  6. NTID Counseling & Academic Advising Services – 2nd Floor Lynden B. Johnson 585-475-6468 (v), 585-286-4070 (vp)


Any or all of the previous information is subject to change or modification during the semester. Any changes to the syllabus will be published here on GitHub, and will be announced in Slack.