COM 202 We will take a design thinking approach to visual form making. We will wear many hats as we try on various creative roles pertaining to artistic production. In other words, we will make things. A lot of things. Throughout the course, we will examine the elements of a visual language whose forms are employed by individuals, institutions, and locales that are increasingly connected in a global society.
COM 472 Digital Storytelling Data-driven storytelling is a powerful and innovative extension of traditional methods of research and dissemination toward new audiences and ends. In this course we will explore ways to creatively interpret data digitally, rendering information more useful, engaging, and accessible. Over the course of the semester students will work with a variety open source platforms and tools for translating data into visual and interactive forms, while discussing principles of narrative, audience and design.
In the classroom I employ both rhetorical inquiry and design research as a lens to examine how audiences make meaning. This approach facilitates a heightened awareness of the message under consideration as well as an appreciation for the ways people employ language, image and more cinematic means for persuasive purposes. Importantly, my approach builds students’ capacities in understanding the diverse potentials for meaning-making within the context of visual and web-based texts. An understanding of how people communicate provides a framework from which students can address a variety of situations—whether they are conducting textual analyses, composing visual arguments or designing digital stories. Strong values in the nature of collaboration also influence my philosophies of teaching and learning. I work to foster ”architectures of participation” — systems that are designed for user contribution and innovative collaboration (whether that be in teams, groups, classrooms, or communities).
Combining my interests in technology and visual communication, I am currently developing new and innovative courses which involve working with embodied sensory forms of communication as tools (my primary research interest). These courses draw from perspectives from the visual arts, the social and natural sciences,and the digital humanities.
COM 200 Communication Theory and Practice This introduction to communication and digital media studies focuses on various ways people employ language, image, and more cinematic means for communicative purposes. Through a series of hands-on projects students learn to research and analyze contemporary issues and trends in the field of communications, with an emphasis on digital media. In doing so, students examine how communication technologies are impacting the relationship between media audiences, producers, and content.
COM 201 Ethics in Communications This course explores ethical issues in the field of communications. Themes include: privacy, civic media, citizen journalism, copyright, intellectual property, cyber bullying, net neutrality, social networking, global ethics, and digital divides. Students develop skills in applied ethical decision-making, democratic dialogue, and civic participation through a range of projects in both online and community settings.
COM 371 Civic Media This course engages students in questions about media, technology, sociality, and society. Students examine both theoretical and experiential foundations in order to understand the relationship between mediated communication and human communities. Those who complete this course will gain hands on experience engaging audiences and developing communities through various social media platforms.
COM 382 Digital Publishing Italy ; New Zealand ; China . In this course students learn about trends in digital publishing. While on location, students experiment with methods in multimedia content creation, including photography, audio, and video. Throughout the course, students will examine how narrative story elements work within digital publications.Through a process of peer-review and revision students have a portfolio of work to submit to online publications at the end of the course.
COM 442 Spring Non-Profit Communications Not-for-profit and community-based organizations rely on strategic digital communication to create social change. Students in this course gain in-depth knowledge of communication theories and practices while conducting research projects with local organizations through the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative. Those who complete this course will know how to apply a variety of social media theories and practices to the social web (including network theory and social network analysis). Students in the course will actively participate as a member of a project team to complete projects with clients in the Greater Philadelphia area. Local travel is required.
COM 441 Fall Applied Social Media Research Join our thinking (and doing) tank by working with the Beautiful Social collaborative. Students in this course will be actively involved in research concerning social media and community engagement with local not-for-profit organizations. Students will examine both theoretical and experiential foundations in order to understand the relationship between mediated communication and social communities. Not only will students learn how to effectively communicate to audiences through a variety of platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Instagram), they will gain hands-on experience in content strategy and community engagement while working with a local organization.