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Technological Communications

TCOM 101 INTRODUCTION TO TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATIONS

Fall, 3 credit hours

This course offers students a first step into the study and practice of Technological Communications, the craft of getting their ideas across in the Digital Era. Students construct information architecture, writing, editing, user experience design, and instructional planning while gaining a working knowledge of a range of tools available to help them create and share their work. Students also start a portfolio of projects designed to explore the boundaries of communication in the 21st century.

TCOM 200 NARRATIVE IN VIDEO GAMES

Spring, 3 credit hours GER 7

Students explore the evolution of narrative, from basic concepts to interactive fiction and interactive storytelling to early text-based adventures and recent open-world storytelling. Students review several philosophies on interactive narrative. Students also experience and discuss interactive fiction and storytelling through game case studies, including required playthroughs and subsequent discussion. As a course capstone, students will develop interactive fiction or storytelling through ADRIFT or other available programs.

Prerequisites: ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word

TCOM 290 MOBILE MEDIA STORIES AND GAMES

Spring, 3 credit hours

Students explore the emerging practices and transformative potential of mobile media storytelling and games. The site-specificity of mobile media through GPS capabilities allows us to connect media to location; stories become part of the spaces in which they unfold and are created. In this course students examine the ways that written and visual narratives, maps, and interactive digital experiences structure knowledge in physical and virtual space. The first half of the course is spent reading, interacting with, and assessing existing location-based texts and games such as interactive webstories, electronic performance theater, and augmented reality games. Students examine these works through a literary framework as well as through two design frameworks: CAT (conceptual, aesthetic, technical) and UX (user experience, experience design, information architecture, and information design). In the second half of the course, students apply the conceptual and aesthetic principles learned in the first half of the course in order to build experimental GPS-based locative games and stories. The course consists of weekly discussion classes, workshops, and demo studios. Students design original mobile works in various software platforms such as Google Earth, ARIS, and Siftr. Through literary and locational analysis, peer critique, and iterative thinking/practice, students learn to create original mobile stories and games. Projects may include: critical hacktivist games, graphic narrative maps in Google Earth, and mobile stories in ARIS and Siftr.

Prerequisites: ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word and TCOM 101 Intro to Technological Communications, or permission of instructor.

TCOM 310 IDENTITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Fall, 3 credit hours

Students explore theories of identity and their evolution in the digital era, noting how self-presentation has changed through the use of multi-media communication, and how social interaction in digital spaces has changed. In the course, students read and interpret multi-media texts, noting how image, sound, and language affect self- presentation. The course closes with an applied learning unit in which students employ ethnographic methodologies to explore identity in digital spaces.

Prerequisites: ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word and TCOM 101 Intro to Technological Communications

TCOM 330 DIGITAL NARRATIVE WORKSHOP

Spring, 3 credit hours

This course is a writing intensive digital workshop where students hone the knowledge and skills they have developed in previous Technological Communications courses. As an advanced workshop this course is intended for students already producing solid work and is meant to provide a disciplined, creative environment ,;vherestudents focus on the craft of writing alongside technology. Students read and discuss notable digital writing projects while also providing constructive oral and written feedback on the projects of their peers in a workshop setting. Students produce multiple projects over the course of the semester which are revised and submitted into their professional portfolio. At the end of the course, students seek publication for their work.

Prerequisites: In Technological Communication Program; AND ENGL 221 Creative Writing, or ENGL 315 Short Fiction: Art of the Tale, or ENGL 350 Flash Fiction; OR received permission from the instructor.

TCOM 350 ELECTRONIC LITERATURE: FROM CYBERTEXT TO VIDEO GAMES

Spring, 3 credit hours

In this course students explores the practices and theories of screen-based literature by tracing the transformation of electronic literature from hypertext fiction to augmented reality stories to massive online games (MMOGs). Students examine the ways that these interactive digital experiences structure knowledge in physical and virtual spaces. The first half of the course is spent reading, interacting with, and assessing existing hypertext fiction and early indie computer games. The second half of the course allows students to experience more immersive stories such as augmented reality documentaries, interactive fiction, hacktivist narrative games, and cooperative MMOGs. Students examine these works through literary frameworks (symbols, imagery, setting, metaphor and so forth) as well as through design frameworks (user experience, experience design, information architecture, and information design). Students apply these conceptual and aesthetic principles to build experimental stories and games in various platforms.

Prerequisites: ENGL 101 Composition and the Spoken Word and TCOM 101 Intro to Technological Communications, or permission of instructor.

TCOM 360 ONLINE MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE

Spring, 3 credit hours

Students explore new forms of online media and their interaction with various types of popular culture, including television, news, literature, film, and politics. Pfatforms like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are discussed, as well as tools like podcasts, RSS feeds, and push notifications. Transformative works and implications for copyright law are also examined. Students learn online skills while analyzing the content of popular culture and its dissemination to the wider public.

Prerequisites: Junior status in TCOM Program or permission of instructor

TCOM 400 INTERNSHIP IN TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION I

Fall, 3 credit hours

Students develop technological communications skills in a professional environment. Students work closely in technological communications with an organization, building their portfolio and gaining important community experience. Students also attend a weekly seminar and provide regular updates of their progress.

Prerequisites: Senior status in TCOM program

TCOM 410 INTERNSHIP IN TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION II

Spring, 3 credit hours

This course provides students with the opportunity to build on experiences in TCOM 400 and further develop practical communications skills in a real-world setting. Students work closely with an organization to assess its needs, and build a project designed to address these needs. Students also have a weekly seminar and provide regular updates of their progress.

Prerequisites: TCOM 400 Internship in TCOM I and Senior status in TCOM program

TCOM 420 SENIOR SEMINAR IN TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION

Spring, 3 credit hours

This class offers students the opportunity to look towards their professional future as they synthesize their Technological Communications coursework by completing and enhancing their professional portfolio, designing, and constructing a semester-long capstone project, and completing preparations for career opportunities.

Prerequisites: Senior status in TCOM program