Grading Policies
I have constructed this course to provide you with a rich resource of perspectives and ideas, as well as to give you multiple opportunities to develop your strategies through practice in creating a variety of multimodal communications. Be assured that I do not expect you to be an expert with either design or technology use, but I do expect evidence of significant growth in both areas over the course of the semester. I view reading assignments, class activities, and course projects as occasions for you to explore and apply various approaches to design and communication. It is therefore critical that you not only complete all assignments, but that you come to class prepared and ready to participate.

Similar to writing, I see multimedia production as a process in which the overall message of a text improves through collaboration, attention to thoughtful critique, and multiple drafts. I encourage revision on all major course projects, even after a grade has been given. You may re-submit work for a higher grade as long as it represents a serious effort on your part to re-see or re-envision your approach to a document’s design and communication. You will also need to turn in a short memo with any revision that explains what changes have been made and how this addresses previous feedback.

In addition to writing and production assignments, part of your final grade will be determined by your level of class and group participation. To do well in this course you will need to:

  • be actively engaged in exploring a wide range of digital, multimodal designs
  • be a generous and enthusiastic collaborator during class activities, discussions, and group projects
  • be willing to spend significant time and effort learning new technologies
  • be thoughtful, critical, and timely in your approach to projects and revisions
  • be in class and be on time (more than three absences may result in failure of the course)

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).

All of the course production projects require you to work with at least one other classmate. 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, proficiencies, and experiences which you bring to class. By working with others, you can pool these resources and create multimedia projects 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.


Although we will spend a good deal of time in class working with audio, video, and animation applications, this is not, primarily, a how-to course on software. You should keep in mind that you will likely need to spend several hours per week (3-4 hours on average) outside of class time learning and using various applications and technologies. To succeed in this course, it is imperative that you are self-motivated to find solutions for roadblocks and that you are willing to experiment with the tools we will use. I have gathered a significant number of electronic resources and how-to manuals (available for check out in the Design Center) to support your learning and working process. However, there is no shortcut to becoming adept at utilizing technology to create effective communication. The more initiative and effort you put into this, the more return you will see in the success of your projects. At the same time, I also recognize that most of you are likely not to have extensive experience with many of these technologies. While I have realistic expectations and will take into consideration everyone’s technological starting point, I still expect to see everyone improve their comfort and facility with software and hardware over the course of the semester.


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 me and/or the Director of Disable Students Programs. All inquiries and notifications will remain confidential. For more information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you can call 646-3635.