Course Grading and Policies

Your grade for the course will be based on evaluation of the following assignments. You can find further descriptions of each project by going to the Assignments link of this web site.

  • Photoshop Ad Re-Design Assignment (5% of final grade)
  • Express Line Observation and Meta-Analysis (15% combined of final grade)
  • Outside Client Project- (6 parts combined for 60% of final grade)
  • Reading and In-Class Assignments (10% of final grade)
  • Participation and Attendance (10% of final grade)

You must complete all six parts of the Client Project to pass this course

To do well in this course you will need to:

  • be in class and be on time (more than four absences will lower your grade; more than six absences may result in automatic failure of the course)
  • be a generous and enthusiastic collaborator during class activities, discussions, and group projects
  • be thoughtful, critical, and timely in your approach to projects and revisions

A note on revision:  I see the creation of any type of communication as a process in which the overall message of a text improves through collaboration, attention to thoughtful critique, and work on multiple drafts.  I encourage revision on all major course projects, even after a grade has been given.  You may re-submit course projects once for a higher grade as long as it represents a serious effort on your part to re-see or re-envision your approach to an assignment’s design and communication.

A note on late work: The course schedule is arranged so that assignments build upon one another.  This means it is important for you to turn in work when it is due.  However, we all know that disruptive situations sometimes arise.  With the exception of presentations or in-class activities (which cannot be made-up), I will accept late work only if prior arrangements have been made. To get an extension, you must email me asking for an extension AND proposing a reasonable deadline for completing work (which you then must keep).

The major project of this course requires you to work with at least two other classmates.  I have done this not only because it reflects working conditions you are likely to encounter in professional environments, but also because it is an important way of learning.  Each of you has different strengths, talents, and experiences which you bring to class.  By working with others, you can pool these resources and hopefully create documents that are more effective and sophisticated than you might otherwise be able to do on your own.  Although collaborative work can bring with it additional challenges, I believe that learning to negotiate these with others is a valuable part of your experience.

I tend to think of digital technology as seductive in the sense that it is extremely easy to get so wrapped up in the software and hardware that all attention to the communication concerns disappears. While we will spend some time in class working with graphic, page layout, and web-editing applications, this is not a course on software.  You should keep in mind that you will likely need to spend several hours per week (4-6 hours on average) outside of class time learning and using various applications and technologies.  Knowledge of and experience with a range of technologies will benefit you both in this course and in your future profession. There is no shortcut to becoming adept at utilizing technology to create effective communication, but the more effort you put into it, the more return you will see in the success of your documents.

Additionally, we will be using WebCT for some activities, including online discussions and the use of downloadable PDF readings. You should get logged in as soon as possible. If you have not used WebCT before, short interactive tutorials are available at

As computers and the web have made it increasingly easy to read, see, and borrow the work of others, what constitutes plagiarism has also become more difficult to define.  This is even more problematic when it comes to issues of design and visual elements.  However, any attempt to knowingly copy the work, ideas, or designs of someone else without giving appropriate credit to the source is plagiarism.  Plagiarism is not only a serious academic offense, but it also cheats you out of learning, the prime reason you are here in the first place.

If you have or believe you have a disability and need reasonable accommodation for equal access to activities or resources in this course, you can contact the Office for Services with Disabilities located at Garcia Annex (646-6840).  You may also want to discuss this in confidence with the instructor and/or the Director of Disabled Student Programs.  All inquiries and notifications will remain confidential.  For more information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you can call 646-3635.