Interactive Multimedia Design  –  CRN ARGD-410  – College Hall 124 (Graphic Design Lab) – Spring 2013 – Tuesday –8:30 am – 11:50 am

Adjunct Assistant Professor Najlah Feanny Hicks,

Course Description

Interactive Multimedia Design. Prerequisites: ARGD 210 or permission of instructor. For Graphic Design (GRDN) majors only. Special fee. This course is an introductory experience in multimedia design on the Macintosh computer. It provides students with a solid foundation and the working knowledge necessary to learn various tools concentrating on different aspects of the technology:  web, mobile, text, graphics, audio, animation, and video.

The focus of the course is on developing the skills, techniques, and creative components needed to create interactive and animated visuals, including the integration and editing of audio and video components. Current predominant software will provide the instructional course platform. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab.

Students will develop an understanding of hypermedia/interactive multimedia, related design principles and will apply them in developing interactive multimedia-based applications. The course simulates the practice in the multimedia industry and the content covered will be primarily interactive and multi-disciplinary.

A large portion of this course will be devoted to hands-on activities and will require 6-8 hours of lab time each week. Projects will begin with short exercises, culminating in final, larger interactive projects that develop students design and programming skills. Students will create media for distribution over the Internet or on mobile devices.

Topics to be Covered:

Introduction to Web Authoring topics covered include website planning and assest creation, usability, user interface design, user experience design, responsive design, design for mobile devices and understanding best practices for working with your web programmer. We’ll also take a look at HTML5 and CSS3.

Web and Mobile App Design topics covered include designing for the iPad/tablet and the iPhone.

Digital Audio topics for multimedia projects include understanding of both the aesthetic and technical aspects of sound and sound design.

Web-based Animation topics include an introduction to animated gifs and animation using HTML5.

Digital Imaging topics covered include prepping images for the web and setting up Photoshop and Illustrator for web and iOS development.

Course Objectives  

  • Introduce students to UX and UI design for interactive and mobile design applications.
  • Introduce students to concepts of communication through digital multimedia.
  • Introduce students to the basics of HTML, XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets, digital imaging, web-based animation, digital audio, and video.
  • Learn the basics of designing effective interactive communication.
  • Gain an understanding of usability and accessibility.
  • Learn design aesthetics specifically geared towards mobile media.
  • Analyze the usability of digital media.
  • Provide a forum for discussion where students can learn from each other through critique.

Course Structure

  • Projects – Projects will be given, covering materials listed in the course objectives
  • Lectures / Demonstrations – The instructor will demonstrate important aspects of Mac OS, Adobe CS, and related software
  • Textbook Tutorials – We will be following through the textbook tutorials at your own pace outside of class and – when time permits – in class
  • Quizzes will test your knowledge of each software package
  • Creation and maintenance of blog

There will be assignments of various lengths and complexity throughout the semester. You must turn in each completed assignment on the given due date to receive full credit for the project. Late assignments will not be accepted unless the lateness is due to an excuses absence (see attendance).

Upon completion of this course you will have successfully completed a sitemap, wire frames, style frames, a website redesign, a responsive website design with layouts for desktop PC, tablets, and mobile devices, animated gifs, digital audio files and digital imaging techniques.

Preparation, Participation and Course Expectations

Specifics on acceptable design practice for this course:

  • You are required to hand code your HTML and CSS using Text Wrangler. The use of Dream Weaver is prohibited. There should not be greater than 25% overlap of HTML or CSS between your work in this class and any third-party web site. If you cannot explain your code, it will be considered plagiarism.
  • All media (including images, animation, video, and audio) must be created by you. Original digital photos (shot by you) are acceptable if they have been optimized for the web.
  • For certain assignments it may be necessary to use third-party media and code resources. This will stipulated on an assignment-by-assignment basis.
  • All assignments must be turned in online.
  • A final print portfolio will be turned in at the end of the semester.

Come to class prepared and ready to participate in class discussions and critiques.

You are responsible for meeting the deadlines given for each assignment. Each project sheet has the deadline for the specific project listed at the bottom. It is your responsibility to keep your track of your deadlines, and you are expected to read your project assignment sheets and come to class prepared. Use a calendar to keep track of due dates.

Assignments are always due at the beginning of class, unless otherwise specified on the assignment sheet. You will not always be given time to print out or upload your work during class. If you do not have your work ready at the time of a critique, the project’s grade will be dropped one letter grade. No late assignments will be accepted.

Please make sure that your cellular phone is TURNED OFF and you are NOT logged into Facebook, Twitter or any other social media sites during class.


Your Montclair State email address ( will be used to communicate with you about all course-related matters. Please check it regularly.


You will need the following materials for the class:

  An external hard drive or Flash drive with at least an 16GB capacity. You are responsible for your files. You should consider the purchase of an external hard drive. I also recommend you back your data up on a second drive on another computer.

Class Exercises

We will be following through the tutorials in our textbook, as well as working together on additional in-class exercises to better understand the functions of each of the software and/or design application. Textbook tutorials will often need to be done outside of class time, so be sure to make use of the open lab hours to complete them.

Class Schedule

Based on our progress each week, this course schedule is subject to change. Should alterations to the schedule be needed, notifications will be posted to the class website. 

Final Grade

Your final grade will be comprised of the following: 1000 total points
1. Projects (40%) You will receive three separate grades for every phase of each project: Research and Thumbnail sketches, Preliminary Comps, and Final Designs (adding all three to total one grade). Points per project: 133 – Total points maximum: 400

2. Pop quizzes, tests (15%) will be given to reinforce the understanding of covered material. If you miss a quiz, there will not be a make-up unless you notify me ahead of time and qualify for an EXCUSED absence. Points per quiz/test: 50 – Total points maximum: 150

3. Final portfolio. (5%) Total points maximum: 50

3. Homework (35%) Your grade will involve turning in your written and exercise homework on time, complete and uploaded to your personal blog. Points per week: 25– Total points maximum: 350

4. Attendance and Punctuality/Participation/Meeting ALL deadlines (5%) Note that your grade will involve participation, absences, and tardiness, which will affect grades significantly. Points per week: 5 (14 weeks) – Total points maximum: 70

This class requires homework, which maybe up to 6-8 hours weekly, depending time spent in class for projects. Job, family, supernatural distractions will not be an excuse for late or missing projects. You will have to work in the class (EXCEPT in health related emergencies) Lab Hours will be available for students to work on projects and practice techniques.

* Do not throw anything away. There might be individual critiques on your body of work at the end of the semester.

* Grading Criteria for Projects–You will be graded on your: design, clarity of visual communication, concept, creativity, ability to follow instructions, ability to meet deadlines, computer skills, and your verbal presentation.

Definition of Grades

A           Each of your assignments is completed thoughtfully, appropriately executed, and handed in on time or before. You participate in class work sessions, discussion, and critique. Your work shows above average ability to develop creative solutions to design problems. You demonstrate high efficiency and technical skill in the completion of your projects. In addition, your class participation and projects show that you bring a high level of analysis to your designs, exceptional enthusiasm to your work, and a professional level of competence in final presentations.

B           Each of your assignments is completed thoughtfully, appropriately executed, and turned in on time. You participate in class. Your work shows above average ability to develop creative solutions to design problems and you demonstrate above average efficiency and technical skill.

C           Each of your assignments is completed thoughtfully, appropriately executed, and is turned in on time. You participate in class. You demonstrate average abilities in both design and production. You are doing the proper amount of work for this class and meet all minimum requirements.

D           Your work does not meet the minimum requirements for class attendance and/or participation, the quality of your projects is below average in design and/or execution, or your projects have been consistently late.

F           You have failed to complete the necessary work for this course in design concept, execution, and/or production, or you have had four or more unexcused absences.

Incomplete grades are given only in the case of family emergency or documented illness which interferes with your completion of the course. You must submit the required paperwork to me according to the college’ s deadline. You must also submit to me a written list of work, which is missing, and a timetable of when the work will be completed. Students with a documented disability should contact me to discuss accommodations.

W Withdrawal: This grade can only be assigned by the Registrar’s Office. If a student withdraws from a course during the add/drop period, the course is deleted from his or her permanent record. If a student withdraws between the fourth and seventh weeks and completes an Add/Drop form, obtaining advisor approvals and submitting it to the Registrar’s Office, they will receive a grade of W, assigned by the Registrar. A receipt provided by the Registrar to the student confirms that a withdrawal has been made. This should be kept with other personal records. Check with Registrar’s Office for final withdrawal dates. There is no penalty for a grade of W.

I Incomplete grade: A grade of I (Incomplete), signifying a temporary deferment of a regular grade, may be assigned when coursework has been delayed at the end of the semester for unavoidable and legitimate reasons. Incomplete grades are given only with the written approval of the instructor and the major department Chair

Request for an Incomplete Grade form must be filled out by the student and instructor prior to the end of the semester

Late Work Penalty

A project not ready at the beginning of class or handed in after a critique on the due date will be penalized by ONE (1) grade unit when handed in the following class. No projects will be accepted after the following class. An absence is not an excuse for a late project. Limited lab access is NOT an excuse for a late project. Please plan ahead for lab time. 


Studio/Lab course, such as this, strongly take into consideration the entire learning and work habit process as well as required assignments. The ability to be on time and ready to begin is ALWAYS a key to being a successful student and employee.

Regular class attendance is mandatory. Lectures, instructions, and critiques will not be repeated. Each student is expected to stay the full length of the class from the beginning to the end. Do not miss class just because you did not finish the project. Participation in a critique is still important, even if you do not have your project ready. It is your responsibility to get missed information from a fellow student if you are absent or tardy.

One unexcused absence is permitted in this course. More than one unexcused absence will result in lowering your final grade by one letter grade per absence. For example, with two absences, an A becomes B. With three absences it would become C. Four unexcused absences will be grounds for a failing grade, regardless of the amount or quality of work completed. An attendance sign-in sheet will be circulated during the first 15 minutes of class. If you do not sign the sheet, you will be considered late. If your name is not on the sheet at the end of class, you will be counted as absent. The sheet will be kept on the front counter. It is your responsibility to find and sign it each week. Coming in late three times equals one absence. You are late if you arrive to class fifteen or more minutes after class start lime. Excused absences are emergency room visits, hospitalization, car accidents, or a death in your family. If you are going to be late or will not be attending class and know this ahead of time, ALWAYS call or e-mail to give me notice. Depending on the circumstances, notifying me will not necessary count as an excused absence, however.

Make-up / Late Work

Make-up work will only be allowed for excused absences. A doctor’s note or other verification will be necessary to excuse an absence. As you have time to work in the lab outside of class during open lab hours, an absence will not necessarily be considered as an excuse for a late project.

Policy on Academic Integrity

Students are expected to read and understand Montclair State University’s Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found in the MSU Catalog. Members of the MSU community are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors. Students who are suspected of violating this policy will be referred to the Office of the Provost.

What is Plagiarism and Why is it Important?

In college courses, we are continually engaged with other people’s ideas: we read them in texts, hear them in lectures, discuss them in class, and incorporate them into our own work. As a result, it is very important that we give credit where it is due. Plagiarism is using others’ ideas, words, concepts, or images without clearly acknowledging source of that information.

How Can You Avoid Plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use another person’s idea, opinion, or theory; any facts, statistics, photos, drawings – any pieces of information – that are not common knowledge; quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words; or paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words.

Using someone else’s designs or artwork and representing it as your own is plagiarism. If you are caught cheating, stealing, or plagiarizing, you will be brought before the university academic disciplinary action committee. You will fail the project and possibly fail the course. Further information on plagiarism can be found in the MSU Student Handbook.

Students with Disabilities

A student with any verified disability that may require special accommodation should make an appointment to discuss this during office hours. In accordance with Disabilities Act, students with bona fide disabilities will be afforded reasonable accommodation. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) will certify a disability and advise faculty members of reasonable accommodations. The Disability Resource Center is located in the Morehead Hall, Suite 305, their phone number is x5431.

Cleanliness / Lab Rules

Always thoroughly clean up your work area in the Graphic Design Studio (College Hall 124) before you leave. Especially be sure to clean up any cut paper scraps from your desk or in the production areas. Using spray mount is prohibited in

any quantity inside the building. You are responsible for knowing and following all computer lab rules, both verbal and posted.

The Computer / Lab Time

As you already may be aware, the Macintosh computer and its software are primary tools for the production of graphic design. You will be expected to spend time outside of class in the lab gaining familiarity and practicing your skills with

the software programs, as well as completing your assignments. Although you may have a computer, scanner, and printer at home, it is to your advantage to work in the lab during open lab hours. Assistants are on duty to help you with questions and you will be able to get opinions of other students on your work, helping to make it better than if you are working alone. The majority of the work in this class will be completed on the computer, but be aware that while the computer is a great tool, it is fundamentals and concepts that we are emphasizing in this course.

It is also your responsibility to always keep your files backed up and organized.

To Access MacLab File Server

  1. In The Finder Desktop, Place Cursor on the “Go” Pull-Down Menu.
  2. Slide Mouse Down to “Connect to Server.”
  3. When the “Connect to Server” Dialog box opens, make sure that the “At: Menus” has the proper IP address of the server. IP address will be posted on the white board in the front of the room.
  4. Select “Connect.”
  5. When the “Connect” dialog box opens, enter your name and password you were given.
  6. The “Server Volumes” dialog box will open. Select the volume you will be using for your file storage. Enter OK. (Other volume access will be identified by the instructor if required).
  7. The server icon will appear on the desktop. The student folders are arranged alphabetically.
  8. Scroll down to your individual folder, double click on your user ID name, and make sure you can access all of the sub folders in your main folder.

General Server Rules

  1. Do not open files and work on them from the file server. Rather, drag the files on to your computer and work on them from there. Working from the server slows down the network.
  2. No files can be printed from the server. They must be moved from the server to your computer in order for printing to take place.
  3. When you are finished working, please drag the server icon from the desktop in to the trash. This clears the computer for the next person to log on to the server.

Change in Course Requirements

Since not all classes progress at the same rate, the class schedule may be adjusted during the semester. For example, the instructor may wish to change the number and frequency of exams or the number and sequence of assignments. If any changes are required, you will be given adequate notification.

Lab Use

Anyone not enrolled in this class attempting to use the lab during this class time will be asked to leave. Please report anyone who is unfamiliar to you to a lab assistant or your instructor. The lab is only for use by MSU Art & Design majors and those enrolled in courses scheduled to meet in the lab.

Reporting Emergencies

Dial x5222 on the telephone in CO124 to report an emergency to Campus Police.

***Students will be emailed a link to the syllabus and the document below. Using, please electronically fill out and sign the document below to confirm that you have read this syllabus and agree to its terms.

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