Academics: Curriculum for a Major in
Communication & New Media, 2009-11 Catalog
Total hours required for the major: 51
Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. The BA requires 12 hours of a foreign language, but the BS does not. Students take a common core, elective practicum and common capstone sequences and choose one of three concentrations: 1) Digital Filmmaking, 2) New Media, 3) Media Studies.
Required Core Courses: 15 hours
- COMM 203 Communication & New Media
- COMM 222 Voice & Diction
- COMM 302 Narrative Scriptwriting
- COMM 304 History of Film OR COMM 305 History of Television
- COMM 352 Computer-Mediated Communication
Select One of Three Concentrations
Click each concentration to view/hide details
Students who opt for this concentration may choose to develop and create an independent film over a two-year directed study program with the Department’s Digital Filmmaking Coordinator.
Student selects any 18 hours of Digital Filmmaking and New Media courses.
Required Practicum: 3 Hours
One course from the following:
Required Theory, Criticism & Literacy Courses: 9 Hours
Required Capstone Courses: 6 hours
Communication & New Media
While we live in the self-proclaimed age of information, communication, digital media and technology, these phenomena are not always defined, described or discussed in theoretical terms or treated in an academic context. Communication and new media is a course that examines mediation and technology and seeks to bridge theory and practice by using digital media to discuss information-age questions. The course is designed to survey the field and provide students with an introduction to many facets of communication and media production from boardroom presentations to digital videography and internet-communication.
Voice & Diction
This course is designed to improve speaking thorough the understanding and application of principles for proper breathing techniques, projection, articulation, inflection, and pronunciation. Through readings in dramatic literature, poetic and prose, as well as the application of theories in vocal production, the course improves voice quality as it develops the student's reading and speaking abilities.
This course is designed to educate students in the technical and aesthetic practices of fictional narrative screenwriting. Students will become proficient in the analysis of dramatic structure and synthesis of methods and ideas into original student short scripts. Students will learn to develop ideas into stories, to professionally compose a screenplay, and finally, to present creative work favorably to potential producers and contacts through compelling spec scripts, "pitches" and other methods of professional communication. Assessment of progress will be evaluated by active participation in class discussions, written analysis of professional screenplays and feedback of classmates’ work, mastery of story development process (logline, character development, pitching, treatments), and script and revisions.
History of Film
Historical and critical survey of the development of motion pictures as an industry, art form and a distinctive medium of mass communication.
History of Television
Historical and critical survey of U.S. television as an industry, mass medium, and cultural form.
Computer Mediated Communication
This course focuses on the study, practice, and criticism of computer-mediated communication. Students will develop projects using a variety of digital technologies, focusing primarily on the Web. The course is designed to teach students to effectively use these technologies, to study the impact on society, and to think critically about that impact.
Sound provides the depth to "visual" media such as film and television. Sound Design is a course in aural communication and audio production for web, radio, television, theater and cinema. The course examines how sounds communicate ideas, context, and emotion, and students learn how to record and edit voice, music and sound effects.
A course in video production that investigates the theory and practice of single camera projects such as the news piece, the documentary, the teleplay, the commercial, the music video, the industrial video, and the public relations video.
This course outlines the history, significance, and impact of music video as a commercial commodity and aesthetic style. Music video constitutes a style of videography whose presence can be traced across the contemporary scene. It is a form of video (and cultural) production whose surface of sights and sounds, imagery and music has transformed and reorganized the limits of television and music, lm and video, advertising and fashion. We will discuss the cultural impact of music videos and popular culture, and engage in music video production as a form of "writing" and inscribing experience.
Introduction to experimental theory and production practices that radically challenge dominant conventions of representing the body, sexuality, spirituality, gender, family, race, class, language, politics and power in film and video. Students will learn about alternative media by viewing a mix of classic and contemporary work, reading essays that interpret, theorize on, and give the history of this form and, most importantly, students will create video productions that utilize experimental production aesthetics and techniques. Assessment of progress will be evaluated by active participation in class discussions, theoretical response journals, and three short video productions (including treatments, scripts, storyboards and log sheets, as well as group and instructor evaluation of productions).
Overview of the functioning of the studio production system, production equipment, and the functions of production personnel.
Advanced principles and practice of short film production including digital cinematography, sound, lighting, and editing.
Once the domain of sticky-fingered kids clutching nickels and dimes, comics have grown up and are establishing themselves as a fast-growing and respected literary genre. Even The New York Times has recognized the power of the art form by including a regular section devoted to graphic novels in its Sunday magazine. Students enrolled in COMM 399-2C The Graphic Novel will explore this cultural phenomenon by analyzing works like Neil Gaiman's Sandman series and Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan. Students will also write and design their own graphic novels . And contrary to common belief, you don't have to draw to create. Even non-artists can produce compelling content using imaging and animation software provided in class.
This course focuses on the structure/ theory of game design, and the analysis of games' role in modern society. Using readings, playing of games and in-class exercises students will explore what makes meaningful play. Rule systems, game culture and history will be covered. Students will learn game design by creating their own games. No programming knowledge is needed for this class.
Animation & Communication
Computer-generated animation has become standard fare in TV, film, advertising, forensics/court-room reenactment, education/training, gaming, web design and on-line media. This course explores the history and craft of computer animation via animation production with an emphasis on the discourses of animation as art and entertainment. Topics include Key-framing, story-telling, story-boarding, lighting, compositing, movie-making as well as working with motion capture, particle effects, dynamic simulation and sound design.
In today's digital environment, savvy communicators exploit the synergy of the written word in combination with sound and the moving image. This course will focus on the study and creation of motion graphics in fine art, film and advertising. How do motion graphics differ from other modes of communication? How does the introduction of text affect audience experience? While seeking answers to questions like these, students will explore groundbreaking work by visionaries like Saul Bass while learning software that allows them to express their own messages in a professional manner.
Advanced Internet Media
This course expands on the study, practice, and criticism of computer-mediated communication. Students will build upon skills developed in COMM 352, advancing their knowledge of Internet-based technologies.
Students learn about radio and television journalism and news production by preparing news for Shepherd University media outlets such as WSHC-FM. May be taken three times.
Students assist with the development and organization of the Department of Communication’s media resources and facilities. May be taken three times.
A course in which students work with the campus radio station, WSHC-FM, staff to produce our broadcast schedule for airwave and internet broadcasting. May be taken three times.
Media, Law & Ethics
Examination of legal and ethical issues in the media. Emphasis on freedom of the press, censorship, libel, privacy, information access, copyright, media regulation and ethical standards.
A course that investigates the significance of contemporary media, cultural ideals, beliefs, and values. The course considers the significance and impact of media on our experience of self, community, culture, society, and world. The course will engage students in the critical practices of reading, decoding, and interpreting cultural texts and practices.
Advertising & Imagery
This course explores the significance and influence of advertising, public relations, and public opinion on contemporary culture . The history, institutional practice, and aesthetics of advertising, public relations, and public opinion will be studied. The course will consider the social, political, cultural, and personal dimensions of interpreting advertising, public relations, and public opinion.
A capstone course in experiential learning. The student engages in writing a resume, interviewing, and participating in an intensive internship, externship, or cooperative with an appropriate agency. Students may elect to intern in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Washington Gateway program.
A capstone course involving all that the student has learned during enrollment in the program. Working through the Office of Cooperative Education and coordinating plans with the communications faculty, the student engages in an intensive co-op with an appropriate agency.
A senior year alternative to COMM 450, this course focuses upon topics faculty believe are of interest to those who intend to continue advanced study in the field. Topics for the seminar are announced during early registration.
A required course for all communication seniors that brings together communication theory and practical experience into a final project and presentation. Original projects may include, but are not limited to, videos, audio tapes, papers, web pages, and multimedia presentations. Projects will be presented before the communications faculty and students. Two faculty members, selected by the student, will serve as advisors for the project. The course will serve as a final assessment of communications skills.