MCom 63 – New Media Technologies

Sections TBD

Instructor: Cynthia Fernald
Office: Dwight Bentel Hall, Room 125
Telephone: (408) 924-3266
Office Hours:
Class Days/Time:
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Hands-on instruction in multimedia and emerging new media technologies. Web Hosting, Print and web page design, blogging, podcasting, RSS, and creation of multimedia presentations by combining still photos, graphics, and video with music and/or other audio.

Class Blog

Course materials, including the syllabus, class schedule and information on assignments, are available on this blog. You are responsible for regularly checking this blog, as well as your email, for information about assignments, class resources and any updates to the class schedule.

Required Media, Readings/Audio Presentations

No textbooks or website subscriptions are required for this course. However, I will post links to a variety of websites where you can find supplemental instruction in specific software and/or platform applications throughout the semester.

Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives

To pass this course, you must demonstrate that you can:

  • Use new technologies to present images and information.
  • Design print media (e.g., magazine, newspaper, newsletter, and advertisements), and simple web pages, and use new media to tell a story.
  • Create an audio podcast as well as a multimedia web presentation.
  • Think critically, creatively, and independently about how new media technologies are changing traditional media.
  • Analyze how laws of freedom of speech and press — including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power and to petition for redress of grievances — apply to the emerging fronts of new media.

Overview of Class Format and Projects and Assignments

This class combines brief lectures, readings, guest speakers and in-class discussion with “how to” demonstrations and hands-on labs. In-class exercise and individual projects and assignments include demonstrating your skills in blogging, Photoshop and InDesign, audio podcasting, video casting, and multimedia (e.g., combining still pictures, graphics and video with music and/or audio to create a multimedia project/presentation). We will also cover RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Web 2.X technologies, and social media

Course Requirements

You will create a web site and  page designs for both print and the web using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. You will create and regularly contribute to a topical blog, develop a simple Dreamweaver web page project to showcase your topic, record and post an audio podcast, develop a multimedia project, and learn how to use other Web 2.0 technologies.

In addition to the Adobe Creative Premium Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat Pro and Dreamweaver), you will also learn to use Audacity and/or Apple’s iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband). Your final multimedia project will focus on one or more of the areas noted above.

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each hour of class time, a minimum of two hours on preparation, studying or other course-related activity.

Equipment and Software Requirements

You should have a laptop with the software listed above so you can work on projects outside of class. If your laptop does not meet these requirements, plan to spend a few extra hours on campus at one of the SJSU’s computer labs to complete these projects.


Regular class attendance is important to your success in this class. You should plan to attend all class meetings so you can contribute to in-class discussions and take advantage of lectures, demonstrations, guest speakers and lab sessions. Missed in-class discussions, exercises, and lab sessions cannot be made up, so repeated absences and/or lateness and missed in-class exercises will hurt your grade.

If you must miss a class, please arrange to get notes and any assignment-related materials from a classmate. Whenever possible, please let me know before class (by email or text message) if you must miss a class meeting. If you know you are going to miss two or more classes because of illness, accident or other emergency, please let me know ASAP so I can help you keep current.

Rules and Policies

The following policies are designed to help you develop the skills needed for success in a mass media career as well as to ensure fair treatment for all students:

Complete all reading assignments (including web-based materials) as scheduled and be prepared to discuss and apply them in class.

All assignments must be emailed to the instructor or uploaded to the D2L drop box (as specified for that assignment) by 8 p.m. on the due date. Late assignments will not be accepted. The only exception will be for serious illness or emergency reported to the instructor before the start of class.

All assignments submitted in this class must be original work, created by you for this class. (See academic dishonesty policy below.)

Errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling and AP style will reduce your grade. Please use spell-check and proofread.

There will be no make-ups for missed labs or in-class exercises. The only exception to this policy will be for an excused absence (e.g., serious illness, accident, family emergency) that is reported to me before the start of class.

Classroom Policies for MCOM 63

To avoid disruptions in the classroom and to foster an atmosphere for learning, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications has established the following classroom policies:

  • All cell phones must be turned off (or set to “stun” or “vibrate”) in the classroom.
  • Latecomers must NOT disrupt the classroom activities. Similarly, do not disrupt the class by leaving early. Do not schedule work, personal appointments (routine doctor visits), etc., so that there will be a conflict with the time the class meets.
  • When in the classroom, please use laptops for classroom-related activities only. Students seen using laptops for non-class related activities may be asked to close or shut down their computers.
  • Remove your personal belongings and trash from the classroom after each class.
  • No food allowed in classrooms or labs unless you share it with your instructor.

University Policies

Student Responsibility for Adds, Drops, Etc.

You are responsible for understanding university policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. Information on late adds is available at Information on late drops is available at

You are also responsible for understanding SJSU policies and procedures about academic renewal, withdrawals, incompletes, classroom behavior, and other policies.

Campus policy in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please let me know as soon as possible. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to establish a record of their disability.

The DRC’s web site is You can also call the DRC at 924-5990.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity Statement: Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University and the University, Integrity Policy, require you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at:

You should be advised that I take the issue of academic integrity seriously. I flunk students who cheat, fabricate and/or plagiarize. If you fear you may be unintentionally “crossing the line” into plagiarism, please check with me before submitting in your project/assignment.

Plagiarism can be defined as turning in someone else’s work as your own, or using someone else’s words or ideas without giving them appropriate credit. Plagiarism also includes “cutting and pasting” paragraphs, sentences, phrases and/or images from the web without full attribution and/or, where needed, without getting appropriate permission.

You can avoid plagiarism by making clear which ideas are yours and which are someone else’s, and by citing your sources properly. Avoid using words or images (including material found online) in a way that violates the creator’s rights to them.

Fabrication also violates the ethical standards of the journalism profession. You are fabricating if you:

  • Make up sources or quotes.
  • Attribute information to non-existent people or printed matter.

Both plagiarism and fabrication are considered to be violations of the academic dishonesty policy of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. For a complete definition of what constitutes plagiarism and cheating, please review the King Library’s web page on plagiarism, or take SJSU’s online plagiarism tutorial.

If you would like to include in an assignment any material you have previously submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU’s Academic Policy F06-1 requires approval of instructors.

Student Technology Resources

Computer labs for student use are available in the Academic Success Center located on the 1st floor of Clark Hall and on the 2nd floor of the Student Union. Most of the software needed for the projects in this class is available in these computer labs. Computers are also available in the Martin Luther King Library, and a variety of A/V equipment is available for student checkout from Media Services located in IRC 112.

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