1. Special needs
If you have a learning disability, a physical disadvantage or other special needs, please discuss them with me and your discussion leader early in the semester. We want to work with you to accommodate your situation and help you succeed in C226.
2. Course format
The format of the course is two 75-minute lectures and one 75-minute lab session per week. We encourage you to think about C226 as a theory-and-practice course. The lectures will give you ideas about visual communication and show you examples you can use as models for your own creative work. During labs, we will help you put those ideas into practice with cameras and industry-standard computer software. Your discussion leader will help you master the technical skills necessary to do the assignments. He will also grade your work.
3. Peer support
Our course is based on cooperation, not competition. You will not be graded against each other. The best way to learn something deeply is to teach it to someone else, so we strongly encourage you to help each other. We want you to develop camaraderie with your classmates. To help you achieve that, we ask you to sit with your discussion section in the lectures.
In each lecture, you will be required to submit something to indicate your understanding and progress related to certain skills. Sometimes this will be a quiz, sometimes a short answer to a question or a brief analysis that shows your ability to think critically about key components of visual communication. Sometimes, this will take the form of an in-class creative exercise. In the Friday labs, you will have the chance learn and develop essential skills associated with the creative aspect of this course: still and video photography, as well as graphic design using industry-standard software. With each lab, you will produce a piece of creative work in some form.
One-fourth of your grade for this class will be based on your overall participation score, which you will build over the course of the semester.
The score will be assessed by the quality of your work in the following areas:
- In-class exercises in lectures (most Tuesdays)
- Quizzes (most Tuesdays)
- Short critical essays (assigned for outside class, and will be turned in via Canvas assignments)
- Creative work in Friday labs
Every session this semester will produce one of the above, and they are weighted according to their significance and the amount of work you are expected to do to complete them. For example, participating in a short in-class exercise might be worth just a single point, but the three essays each are worth 10. Quizzes are worth 4 points.
Your AI will track this score throughout the next 15 weeks. It will also provide a means of verifying your attendance in this class. Speaking of which …
Attendance is required because it is essential to your learning. C226 has 30 lectures and 15 labs for a total of 45 sessions.
- Perfect: If you have perfect attendance in all lectures AND labs, we will add two points to your total course grade average. An 89 average in C226 would thus become a 91.
- Deductions: If you miss more than five classes, we will deduct one point from your total course grade average for each lecture or lab missed. (Your participation score will suffer accordingly.) If you have an 89 average but missed ten classes, you would thus earn an 86 in C226.
- Disaster: If you miss 10 or more sessions, you will earn an F for the course. We believe you cannot learn the knowledge and skills at the heart of this course if you miss almost one-quarter of the sessions.
Because beginnings are important, attendance during the first week is mandatory.
Four situations will not count as absences. These absences can be excused:
- Religious holidays
- Personal illness
- A death in your immediate family
- Attendance at an extracurricular event sanctioned by IU. That is, if you are competing on an IU sports team, attending an academic conference, covering an event for student media, etc., your absence will be excused.
In each case, you must provide written documentation to your AI. Typically, this will include a note from a physician, an instructor or coach, or an obituary of the deceased family member.
For religious holidays, go to this URL: http://vpfaa.indiana.edu/forms/… and scroll down to the section on Religious Observances. Click on the Request for Accommodations for Religious Observances link. Please fill out and sign the form, and give it to your AI before the holiday.
Begin to develop your professionalism now:
- If you arrive after class has started, please enter quietly and sit near the back.
- Generally, you will not be given credit for attending class if you leave in the of a lecture. But if you absolutely need to leave before class is over, please let your AI know ahead of time, and sit next to the aisle so you can leave without disrupting the lecture.
- Do not bring food or drink into the classroom.
- Please turn off your cell phone and refrain from texting during class.
- The use of laptop computers or similar devices is not allowed in C226.
- Please treat the School’s cameras and computers with care.
- I expect we’ll generate lively discussions during class sessions. When that happens, please respect your classmates. Feel encouraged to disagree with ideas or question facts, but please don’t exhibit animosity or rudeness to classmates or instructors.
There is no textbook for C226. Support materials, including assignments, handouts, lecture notes, course material, etc. are all available on Canvas. They should supplement, not substitute for your attendance and participation.
If you miss a lecture, please find the lecture notes for that class on Canvas, read through them and then feel welcome to ask your AI or me about what you missed.
If you miss a lab, please find the lab lecture PDF for that class on Canvas, and read any handouts for skills needed to complete the lab exercise. You can (and should) make up the participation point, though any unexcused absence would still be counted that way.
8. External drive
You must have an external drive to store and transport your work. This is especially important during the video unit; you will find file management much, much easier if you store your work on this drive, and video files tend to be quite large. As well, you can use this drive for not only this class but in all your current and future classes at IU.
We require a minimum 250GB drive. Drives this small have become hard to find, so this is more for people who already possess such a drive.
We recommend a more robust 1 or 2 Terabyte drive. While this has far more storage space than you will need for this class, you will find such a device very useful in other classes, especially if you plan to produce other visual work such as photography and video. You can buy such a drive for about $50. A 5TB drive can be had for about $130.
Flash drives have become more robust, but we recommend against even large ones for this class, as they are easy to lose, among other differences.
Visit Canvas regularly to get lecture and lab notes, check your grades, etc. We will use Canvas to provide you with course material for some of the lab exercises and essays. To access Canvas:
Two-Step Login (Duo) is now required for all IU students. Be sure to bring your primary device (like a cellphone or tablet) to labs, so you can log in to secure IU systems. Make sure you have a backup device, like a hardware token or Google Voice. If you get stuck without a working device, the UITS Support Center can give you a bypass code, but it takes up to 20 minutes (not great for time-sensitive class activities).
If you need to set up Duo, get started at:
Learn more about recommended devices at:
For help resources, see:
Outside of class, we will communicate primarily through Canvas and e-mail, so check your e-mail regularly.
10. Learning vs. grades
Learning and grades do not always coincide. Learning is a life-long process, and you alone are responsible for your own education. In courses such as C226 that involve creative work, grades can be counterproductive to learning. Students who are overly concerned with grades typically play it safe and give the teacher what they think he or she wants. Real learning, the kind that will stay with you long after a course ends, requires you to take risks — and make mistakes.
In C226, when you are faced with a choice between playing it safe for a grade and experimenting—with the possibility that you will make a mistake you can learn from—take the risk! Choose what will contribute to your long-term learning, not what you think might enhance your grade.
Grades are a hollow reward compared to the satisfaction of learning something that’s fun, challenging and meaningful. They are also an imperfect attempt to quantify judgments about quality.
We will do our best to correlate grading to your learning, but you may not feel the match is perfect. Please remember we are grading your work—not you. Moreover, at this stage of your education, your process is more important than any product you generate. Use our feedback to improve your process of telling visual stories.
Nonetheless, you have a legitimate right to be concerned about your grade in C226, and you are always welcome to discuss it with your AI and me. If grades are important to you, the best way to get a good grade is to invest significant time, effort and care on your assignments, essays and quizzes—in other words, to master the course’s knowledge and skills. The surest way to get a poor grade is to knock out your assignments at the last minute.
Because of the large enrollment, you must take the initiative to seek help from us on concepts you do not understand or skills you are having trouble mastering. Please don’t be reluctant; we welcome the chance to work with you, one to one.
11. Self evaluation
Self reflection is one of the best ways to improve rapidly in any endeavor. For the three major projects, we will ask you to write a short essay evaluating your product and learning process. This relates directly to the ACEJMC competency that says you should be able to “evaluate your own work … critically.”
We will give you the space to make mistakes without being punished by a grade—if you show us you are trying and if you tell us in your self-analysis essay how you learned from your mistakes.
12. Course work
There are no exams in C226. Lectures and labs will prepare you for three major graded assignments, which are hands-on projects. Each is worth one-fourth of your overall grade.
The remaining 25 percent will be determined from your participation score:
- Three short essays are intended to make you more attuned to the form and content of the slideshow and video formats as well as to magazine design, using published examples of the kind of work you are producing as projects.
- Weekly quizzes will cover recent lectures and labs. We plan to give 13 of them, but will drop the three lowest scores for a total of ten. Quizzes will usually be on Mondays, at the beginning of the lecture. Sorry, no make-ups for missed quizzes, even for excused absences (which is why we are dropping three). Quizzes will be scored out of 100.
- Non-quiz lecture days (most Tuesdays) will involve such activities as short written answers to represent your critical thinking, or in-class discussions and creative exercises.
- You will produce something of creative value at each of our 15 Friday labs.
- Both the Tuesday and Friday participation scores will be awarded on a single-point basis, though occasional bonus points are possible.
13. Academic integrity
Regarding academic integrity, use basic common sense. We encourage you to help each other, but all assignments must be your own work. You operate the cameras, you perform the software editing. If academic dishonesty occurs, we will follow the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct, located at this URL:
Academic misconduct is defined as any activity that tends to undermine the academic integrity of the institution. Violations include: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, violation of course rules and facilitating academic dishonesty. When you submit an assignment with your name on it, you are signifying that the work contained therein is yours, unless otherwise cited or referenced. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged. All suspected violations of the Code will be reported to the Dean of Students and handled according to University policies. Sanctions for academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the assignment, reduction in your final course grade, and a failing grade in the course, among other possibilities. If you are unsure about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or exam, be sure to seek clarification beforehand.
Note Selling: Several commercial services have approached students regarding selling class notes/study guides to their classmates. Selling the instructor’s notes/study guides in this course is not permitted. Violations of this policy will be reported to the Dean of Students as academic misconduct (violation of course rules). Sanctions for academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the assignment for which the notes/study guides are being sold, a reduction in your final course grade, or a failing grade in the course, among other possibilities.
Additionally, you should know that selling a faculty member’s notes/study guides individually or on behalf of one of these services using IU email, or via Canvas may also constitute a violation of IU information technology and IU intellectual property policies and additional consequences may result.
Deadlines are important, but we are aware that university life demands you juggle many competing priorities. We have formulated a deadline policy that accommodates an occasional late assignment but discourages chronic lateness.
The essays and first two projects may be submitted up to five calendar days late, at a penalty of five points per day. Assignments will not be accepted more than five days late. Because the graphic design project is due during finals week, there can be no extension on this deadline.
If you are having problems meeting a deadline, we want to help you get back on track, but please see us as early as possible — before, not after, the deadline. Negotiating with supervisors is an important professional skill. Start building it in C226.
A course grade of incomplete will be permitted only for serious illness documented by a physician. A time-table for completing the course work must be negotiated before the incomplete is granted.
For more on IUB’s policy regarding incompletes:
The School will provide all the equipment you need to do the assignments. You may sign out digital cameras and tripods from the equipment checkout in Franklin Hall. You must first reserve your equipment at
Be aware that if you are off campus, you will need to first connect to the VPN (virtual private network) via Pulse, which is software you download (from IU, it’s free) and install on your computer. Once the VPN is running, you will be able to access the Media School checkout to make your reservation. For information on how this works, and how to install Pulse, see
You need to use Duo log-in for Pulse as well; when prompted for a secondary password, enter either the six-digit number generated by your token (if you have one) or enter "push" to have a notification sent to your registered device. Please keep in mind this is only necessary if you are off campus; if you are connected to the IU Secure network on campus, you will not need the VPN and can go directly to the Media School checkout to reserve your equipment.
You are permitted to check out only equipment related to classes you are taking; in C226 this means the Canon 80D cameras, which we will use for photography and video, and tripods. If you prefer to use your own equipment, you may do so — as long as your equipment is of similar (or better) quality (i.e., not iPhones).
We will work extensively on computers during labs, and you will need computers for all your projects. Franklin Hall’s Media Lab offers Macintosh computers with the latest software. Be aware, however, that some software may not be available at other campus locations.
Getting and learning software
Being a student at Indiana University has many advantages and benefits. Two that you will find especially useful in this class involve the software we will use and comprehensive video tutorials to help you learn to use it. And you can take advantage of both at no cost.
The latest Adobe Creative Cloud software is available as a FREE download via
Your IU log-in will give you access to all of Adobe’s CC programs — almost three dozen in all, including InDesign, Photoshop and Bridge, which we will use in this class, as well as Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere and Audition.
Final Cut Pro
The program we will use for editing video is not an Adobe program, and cannot be downloaded for free like Creative Cloud. But you can download a 30-day trial version, which will work just like the full version of the program, and will not watermark your work, from
(If you would like to actually purchase this program, it costs one penny less than $300.)
The website lynda.com is a peerless resource for learning software. You can get FREE access to these materials IF you have a Monroe County Public Library card. Once you do, you can access Lynda through the library’s website. Go to:
… and click the Services tab to get to Lynda.