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2010 Fall: ATEC/EMAC 2321

Writing and Research for New Media


In this course, students will be introduced to a variety of communications environments. Students in the course will
become proficient in these environments, as well as in the process of learning to effectively master emerging media
for communication.

Policy Statement
General Information
Course number: ATEC 2321.001
Course name: Writing and Research for New Media
Term and year: Fall 2010
Class number: 2407
Time and location: MW, 10:30–11:45a, CB11.102
Instructor: John Jones, Faculty Associate
Email: john dot jones at utdallas dot edu
Office: AT 1.502
Office hours: TBA
TA: Barbara Vance
TA Office hours: TBA

Readings
A list of the topics the course will cover, along with readings, can be found in the course schedule below. There are
no assigned textbooks for students to purchase.

Additional course requirements


• Access to a computer
• An email account which is checked regularly

Evaluation
Course grades will be based on the following factors:

Attendance, participation, and short assignments (20%): This course is designed to be a participatory learning
experience. As such, each class meeting will build on and extend the skills and concepts introduced in previous
meetings. For this reason, it is important that students attend class, arrive on time, bring with them any assigned
work, and otherwise participate in all in-class activities. If a student misses three (3) class meetings, these absences
will affect the student's grade. If a student misses more than five (5) class meetings—excused or unexcused—
this could result in the student failing the course. This includes absences for illnesses and other emergencies. For
this reason, students should reserve their absences for truly unavoidable emergencies. Because we have a
limited number of class meetings, it is important that students be in class on time and stay for the entire period. If a
student is late or leaves class before it is dismissed, he or she will be counted absent. If a student finds that any other
unavoidable conflict prevents him or her from attending class or being on time, that student should discuss this
conflict with the instructor prior to the absence (if possible). Otherwise, the student should contact the instructor
about the absence as soon as possible. Students should plan to spend 3 hours a week in class as well as 3–6 hours a
week preparing for class meetings.

Occasionally, students may be given in-class and homework assignments as well as short quizzes on the material
covered in class.
Weekly Blogs (20%): Students will create blogs which they will update weekly. Occasionally, specific prompts will
be provided for these weekly posts, but, in most instances, students will be free to reflect on in-class discussions,
technology assignments, or other topics related to the course. These posts should be substantive, exploring new
ideas, continuing conversations begun in class or in our readings, and/or, in general, be the result of the student's
active engagement with the content and themes of the course. Students should plan on spending at least one hour a
week on these posts.

Expert Report (10%): Students will choose one topic from the course schedule and, on the day that topic is
covered in class, they will give a 10–12 minute presentation to the class in which they outline an advanced use of the
technology in question. I will provide more details about this project as it approaches. Students should plan to spend
6–8 hours researching and preparing this presentation.

Personal Website (40%): The capstone project for the course will be a personal website that can serve as a hub for
the student's online presence. The site should present the student's professional identity and demonstrate his or her
mastery of the technologies covered in the course by integrating those technologies into the structure of the site in an
appropriate manner. This site can either be hosted on the student's own domain or by using one of the hosting
technologies covered in class. I will provide more information about the requirements for this project in the middle
of the semester. Students should plan on devoting 20–25 hours to this project over the course of the semester.

Website Presentation (10%): Students will present a 7–8 minute reflection on building their personal website,
focusing on the problems encountered while doing so, and how the site could be used in the future. Basically,
students will explain what they did, how they did it, and why. This project will take 6–8 hours to complete.

Late work
If a student cannot attend class on the date an assignment is due, he or she should discuss a make-up date with me
before the absence. If the student does not contact me before the time an assignment is due, the assignment will be
considered late. I am generally flexible when I am kept informed of absences, but I am generally not flexible when a
student skips multiple classes without contacting me, then shows up wanting to make up missed work.

Blog posts, homework, and in-class assignments will not be accepted late. If a student fails to attend class on the day
he or she is scheduled to lead a class discussion or give a presentation, that student should expect to receive a zero
for the assignment. Any other projects or assignments that are turned in late will be reduced 5% for each day that
they are late, beginning with the first. I will not accept any project or assignment that is more than a week late unless
the student makes an appointment with me to discuss his or her reason for turning in the work after the deadline.

Research and scholastic honesty


If a student turns in work that is not her or his own, in whole or in part, without adequate attribution to the original
author, or if he or she any commits any other form of scholastic dishonesty, these actions will result in either a major
course penalty or, depending on the severity of the violation, failure for the course. If a students have any questions
about the use they are making of sources for an assignment, they should see me before the assignment is turned in.
See the UT Dallas Syllabus Policies and Procedures for a more detailed description of what constitutes scholastic
dishonesty.

Technology policy
We will use technology frequently in this class. Occasionally, students will be introduced to new technologies that
they may be unfamiliar with. When this happens, these new technologies will be explained in class. If students are
confused by something presented in the course or don't understand how to use a particular technology, they should
ask for help. However, if students are familiar with the technology being taught, they should be patient with others
and lend a helping hand to their classmates when possible.

Classroom technology use


Students are welcome to use the lab computers during class for note-taking and relevant research or to bring laptops
or other portable computing devices for that purpose. In general, most technology is welcome in class as long as it is
used to aid student learning; technology that doesn't serve this purpose—or actively distracts from the student's own
or others' learning—is not welcome.

UT Dallas Syllabus Policies and Procedures


Carefully review the policies described at http://provost.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies/

Miscellaneous notes
Please keep the following in mind:
• Bring all materials to each session. This includes all course texts as well as printouts of any additional
reading, assignment drafts and research sources, lecture notes, and a writing implement.
• Make an effort to check the online schedule often. Any updates to the course schedule, additional
assignment information, or new reading material will be posted on this site. Students are responsible for all
assignments posted on the schedule, so they should be sure to check for updated assignments before each
class meeting.

Schedule
Week 1: Introduction, Sharing Media
Aug. 23
Course introduction

Aug. 25
Intro. to blogging and free blogging software

Week 2: Sharing Media, cont.


Aug. 30
Finding content for your blog: Fair use and Creative Commons

Sep. 1
Sharing photos, video, and audio

Week 3: Basic HTML


Sep. 6
No Class - Labor Day

Sep. 8
HTML syntax; pages and links

Week 4: Search
Sep. 13
Comparing search engines; searching and quality control

Sep. 15
Advanced search features

Week 5: Information Management


Sep. 20
RSS feeds and readers

Sep. 22
News aggregators

Week 6: Twitter and Microblogs


Sep. 27
Intro to Twitter and microblogs

Sep. 29
URL shortening and best practices

Week 7: Wikis
Oct. 4
Media Wiki

Oct. 6
Wikipedia

Week 8: Life Hacking & Productivity


Oct. 11
Life-hacking sites

Oct. 13
Productivity software

Week 9: Privacy & Security


Oct. 18
Understanding privacy settings and user agreements

Oct. 20
How not to be seen

Week 10: How to Deliver Presentations


Oct. 25
Presentation best practices

Oct. 27
Presentation software

Week 11: Create Your Own Website


Nov. 1
Using third-party hosts

Nov. 3
Domain name registration

Week 12: Using the Cloud & Compatibility


Nov. 8
Web cloud services

Nov. 10
File transfers and file formats

Week 13: Jedi Master Stuff


Nov. 15
APIs, DNS, and other alphabet soup

Nov. 17
WHOis, etc.

Week 14: Presentations


Nov. 22
Presentations

Nov. 24
Presentations

Week 15: Presentations, cont.


Nov. 29
Presentations

Dec. 1
Presentations

Week 16: Presentations, cont.


Dec. 6
Presentations; course evaluations