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JOUR 24 Visual Communication - Syllabus (Fall 2012)

JOUR 24 Visual Communication - Syllabus (Fall 2012)

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Published by Jeremy Littau
Syllabus for JOUR 024 Visual Communication course at Lehigh University. This is current as of the Fall 2012 semester
Syllabus for JOUR 024 Visual Communication course at Lehigh University. This is current as of the Fall 2012 semester

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Jeremy Littau on Aug 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Today we are beginning to notice that the new media are not just mechanicalgimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression.
 – Marshall McLuhan
Journalism24: Visual Communication
Prof. Jeremy J. Littau
Fall 2012
(610) 758-6520Tuesday, 1:10-4 p.m.
203 Coppee Hall304 Coppee Hall
Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This course is intended to give you the concepts and basic skills you need to use visual elements incommunication. You will learn typography and the principles of designing for newspapers, magazines and theWeb. You’ll learn to shoot and edit photographs and videos. You will learn to use Adobe InDesign and a host offree communication tools, including Instagram, MovieMaker, Picasa, and Flickr.
Your grade will be based on class attendance and participation, and a series of projects as outlined below:
Class participation5%In-class labs not on this list5%Photo-a-day assignment10%Photo slideshow10%Basic overlay video10%Mini-documentary video15%Basic layout assignment10%Poster design15%Professional web site20%For the most part, your assignments will be submitted via our shared class blog. I will alert you as to ones that aresubmitted on the blog, but at the very least for each assignment you’ll put up an entry that talks about how youthink you did, what you learned, what you wish you’d done better, and what you want to know more about.Whether or not the assignment is submitted on the blog (such as embedding a video) you are required to write apost for each assignment. When possible, your assignment will be embedded within that post. Posts should bearound 75-200 words.
This should be an easy 5% as long as you’re involved in the class. There are three components tothis subjective grade. The first is answering questions and contributing to the in-class critique exercises. Thesecond is on the class blog; each week four students will be designated “discussion” leaders about assignmentssubmitted the previous week. You are required to read each post and look at the submissions and leave acomment on at least 10 of your classmates’ posts. Pick ones that interest you, and give honest feedback whilebeing constructive. This feedback is due before the start of class on Tuesday. You’ll do the participation on the
blog three times during the semester. The final component is to use Twitter to share your work. Your Instagramphotos and blog posts all should be tweeted with a link using standards I go over in class.
The goal for this assignment is to think visually and see it wherever you go. Instagram is nice becauseit adds mobility to the ability to take photos. This is a class that is immersing you in visual communication and Iconsider this assignment the backbone of the whole semester. You will be required to upload a photo every dayto Instagram. The theme and photo subjects up to you, but I want to see some thought put into what you take (i.e.no pictures of your ceiling just to do the bare minimum). I will show you on the first day how to take and uploadthe photos. I will be looking at time stamps be diligent about this because it’s easy points that you’ll lose by beingdisorganized or lazy.
You will be held to professional journalistic standards in this class, since anything lesswould be a disservice in terms of preparing you for a career. You should think of this class as a job. That meansshowing up on time and ready to work. It means doing your best and most creative work and meeting deadlines.The aim of this class is to learn visual communication principles and skills that will serve you in important ways ina variety of professional settings. As a manager, for instance, you might be part of a team that works on acommunication project. Other members of the team could be writers and editors, photographers, videographersand designers. As a member of the team, you need to understand visual communication principles so that youcan contribute ideas in conceptualization and development of the presentation. You might also use these skills tobecome a communications entrepreneur or consultant.My emphasis in grading your assignments will be whether you have applied appropriate principles to yourprojects. The artistic quality of your efforts will be secondary. We will be using basic software and other tools thatwill yield less professional results than more expensive and complicated systems. We are doing this so that wecan concentrate on the principles of visual communication, without spending a great deal of time learning to usethose more complicated systems. Throughout the class, you should be demonstrating that you understand theprinciples in a way that would allow you to work with other professionals, who could execute a more polishedfinished product.Here are the guidelines I will use in evaluating your projects.
Meets high standards in terms of clear presentation and application of visual communication principles.Demonstrates extra effort with organization, creativity, style, and a good sense of audience. Shows originalthought and a solid understanding of the assignment and the requirements of the project.
An acceptable demonstration/application of visual communication principles, but could benefit from somechanges in presentation. Demonstrates a good understanding of the assignment and the requirements of theproject.
Needs substantial revision in terms of organization and presentation. Shows little originality of thought. Showsa weak understanding of one or more of the principles of visual communication.
Needs complete revision, starting at the conceptual stage. The work demonstrates a weak understanding ofvisual communication principles, of the assignment, and/or a weak grasp of the requirements of the project.
Complete failure to grasp the goals of the assignment or the principles involved in completing it successfully
Much of your work will be done in the department’s computer labs on the third floor of Coppee Hall. Some of yourassignments will be completed during class and some will require you to work on your own time in the lab. Thelab is available to you every weekday; the building is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If another class is meeting in the lab,

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