Design and Technology II: Course Syllabus

Course Description

Introduction to Macintosh-based computing using software programs developed for screen-based communication including discussion of the conceptual and technical issues involved in the design and production of interactive documents and environments. Discussion will focus on authoring, user interface, navigation, content development, user experience and visual application.

Prerequisites

You must complete ART 212 and ART 213 with a grade of “C”; or better and complete the Visual Arts Milestone (portfolio review process) before taking this class.

Learning Objectives

Required Texts

There are several books available, but not required, that will expand upon what you learn during the course of the semester. Many, if not all of the A Book Apart collection is available in the library so check them out.

There are quite a few recommended magazines and blogs you should be following if you are serious about web design and development.

If reading isn’t your thing, but you still want to learn more about web design there are quite a few podcasts worth following.

Finally, there are quite a few industry leaders you should follow on twitter.

Supplies/Materials

You will need the following software and supplies.

Policy on Classroom Expectations

When you are in ART 336 you should be working on ART 336 assignments. Working on projects for other art studio courses or studying for quizzes demonstrates that you do not have enough ART 336 assignments to fill up the 2 contact hours for each class period. If I continually see you working on outside projects I will assign additional exercises to help make you better web designers: the goal of the course.

In class assignments are meant to be worked on in class, and screencasts are meant to be worked on outside of class time. However, since there is time given to work in class, some have used that time to work on the screencasts and work on visual design elements at other times. We all work differently, so I’m not opposed to this if you have the visual design work completed and ready for critique at all times. If you are constantly working on the screencasts and don’t have your in class assignments done, your course grade will be adversely affected.

In Class Demos

When I’m conducting a demo you shouldn’t be talking to your neighbor. It’s important that you pay attention during the demos and it’s frustrating to those around you if you’re talking and distracting others. Additionally, you shouldn’t have browser windows open so you can check Facebook, your email or instant message your friends during demos. I see when you aren’t paying attention and it’s annoying try to catch you up and slow the class down because you couldn’t pay attention.

If you miss a step during the demo—it does happen—please let me know! If I’m going to fast let me know! If you didn’t hear what I said let me know! If you can’t see all the code on the screen let me know! I will either make adjustments, take a step back or come to your desk and help you. Asking your neighbor for help usually just ends up getting both of you behind and looks like you are distracted. So please, if you do get behind raise your hand or simply say something and I’ll gladly help or adjust.

Assignment Questions

24 hours prior to a project or exercise being due I will not answer assignment related questions via email or before/during/after class. You should not be starting an assignment 48 hours before it’s due! I will still answer assignment related questions regardless of deadline if you stop by during my office hours.

Workload

5 classes is considered a typical course load 15 credits a semester × 8 semesters = 120 credits. Each class is 4 contact hours 4 hours × 5 classes = 20 hours. Each class also has 4 hours of outside work each week 20 classroom hours + 20 outside work hours = 40 hrs). I will assign projects and readings each week to fit within that formula. If you can’t commit to a minimum of 4 hours of outside work each week you won’t do well in this course.

Finally, read the class blog carefully before asking questions. 99.9% of your questions have already been answered and are on the blog, including your grades, my office hours and contact info! If you email me a question that is already on the blog I’ll remind you to read the blog.

Policy on Grading

Over the course of the semester you will earn points by completing in class assignments and screencasts for homework. Because every in class assignment and screencast is different, each will have it’s own grading rubric describing how I will be assessing the work. Be sure to carefully review each assignment or screencast blog post and it’s grading rubric to ensure you have successfully completed the entire assignment. Assignments and screencasts will range anywhere from 1 to 30 points depending on complexity with clearly identified point values on the specific assignment’s blog post.

The in class assignments and the screencasts you will be doing for homework are weighted evenly, each worth roughly 50% of the final semester grade. This means that you have to complete both the assignments and screencasts to successfully pass the course. Failure to keep up with either will result in a low or failing grade! As a reminder, since ART 336 is a requirement for the Graphic Design major, you will need to earn a letter grade of “C” or higher to have it count towards the major. Anything below a “C” will result in you needing to retake the course. The semester grading scale is as follows:

Policy on Late Work, Incompletes, and Make-Up

Professionalism will be stressed. Treat this class as you would a job. Late arrival to a client meeting or missed deadlines will cost you a job and your ex-employer a client. Therefore, all assignments must be completed on time, and are due at the beginning of class.

An assignment not ready for the start of class will be considered late. Assignments lose 10% each day not class period they are late. Assignments over 7 days late will be given a 0, no exceptions. Turn in your Assignments even if you aren’t finished, it’s better to turn in something. Getting partial points is better than getting a 0.

Policy on Attendance

Students must be on time to class, prepared with all the tools and materials necessary for that day’s work and have completed personal conversations so class can begin on time. If a student does not have materials to work with, or is talking away ignoring the start of class, it will be noted. Unless UMBC officially closes, there are no excused absences for weather.

You get two personal days (unexcused absences). On your third absence your final course grade will be lowered by one full letter grade. Your fourth unexcused absence will lower your final course grade by two full letter grades, meaning if you had an A, the highest grade you can receive is a C. Your fifth absence will result in a failing course grade. There are no exceptions to this policy. The only excused absences—illness or participation in UMBC organized mandatory activities—must be accompanied by a note from the UMBC Student Health Center, another health care provider, or UMBC faculty/coach.

Attendance will be taken within the first 10 minutes of class. Students who show up after attendance is taken are already marked absent. Being late disrupts the flow of class for the students who are on time if I have to stop everything to update your attendance from absent to late. To avoid disrupting the class to change your Absent to a Late you will need to use the class blog to submit a late notification. Failure to do this in a timely manner upon arrival to class will result in your late arrival remaining an absence. There are no exception to this policy. Lates will be recorded in twenty minute increments. For every 110 minutes you are late, you will receive an absence. Unlike absences in grade tracker, lates will not be automatically tallied into your final grade, so I will be doing that manually at the end of the semester.

Just as important as being on time is staying for the entire class period. By the latter half of the semester I will give open class time at the end of each period for working on class related projects. You are expected to be working during this time. Leaving early will be treated the same as a late. Two early departures from class will result in one absence.

A grade of Incomplete will only be assigned to students who currently have a passing grade of a “B” or higher who are unable to complete the course due to a serious illness or personal tragedy that is well documented and out of their control.

Policy on Final Exam Attendance

The final exam will be held during the final exam period posted on the UMBC website for our class. The final exam could consist of a critique, a presentation, in class quiz, or simply turning in assignment files. In person attendance for the final exam is mandatory. Failure to attend the final exam will result in lowering your final course grade by one letter grade.

The only excused absences—illness or participation in UMBC organized mandatory activities or a common final exam with an overlapping time—must be accompanied by a note from the UMBC Student Health Center, another health care provider, or UMBC faculty/coach.

Policy on Use of Stock Photography and Other Imagery

Your portfolio is just another word for your reputation, which is just another word for your integrity. @monteiro

There is a very small place in the industry for the use of stock photography, imagery, and code. However, as a designer your are hired on your ability to create visual content, not use content created by others. There aren’t any legitimate design jobs for designers who use the work of others either claiming it as their own, or using it because you don’t want to create your own. If all designers had to do was buy or steal the work from others, why would anybody need a designer?

In this class, this means that all imagery used during the semester must be your own or supplied by me. If I suspect that you have copied the work of others I will ask to see your original sketches and digital files. If you find work that is listed as creative commons, technically you are free to use it if you cite the original author, but again, you are designers and you are the content generators.

UMBC Statement of Values for Academic Integrity

By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC’s scholarly community in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult UMBC policies, or the Faculty Handbook (Section 14.3). For graduate courses, see the Graduate School website.

Access and Accommodations

UMBC is committed to eliminating discriminatory obstacles that disadvantage students based on disability. Student Support / Academic Accommodation is the UMBC department designated to:

Disclosures of Sexual Misconduct and Child Abuse or Neglect

As an instructor, I am considered a Responsible Employee, per UMBC’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Other Related Misconduct. While my goal is for you to be able to share information related to your life experiences through discussion and written work, I want to be transparent that as a Responsible Employee I am required to report disclosures of sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship violence, stalking, and/or gender-based harassment to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

As an instructor, I also have a mandatory obligation to report disclosures of or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect (www.usmh.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionVI/VI150.pdf).

The purpose of these reporting requirements is for the University to inform you of options, supports and resources; you will not be forced to file a report with the police. Further, you are able to receive supports and resources, even if you choose to not want any action taken. Please note that in certain situations, based on the nature of the disclosure, the University may need to take action.

If you need to speak with someone in confidence about an incident, UMBC has the following Confidential Resources available to support you:

Other on-campus supports and resources:

Course Calendar

Week 1

Introductions and Daily Web Habits.

Week 2

Responsive Case Study & Just Enough Research.

Week 3

Content Inventory.

Week 4

User Flow.

Week 5

Style Tiles.

Week 6

Atomic Design.

Weeks 7—8

Element Collages.

Week 9

Wireframing.

Weeks 10—12

Static Website Mockups
November 13th is the last day to withdraw from individual courses with a “W”.

Weeks 13—15

Building Prototypes.

Week 16

Client Presentations.

Anything and everything is subject to change and posts to the class blog supersede the syllabus!*

*The Really Big Disclaimer