JMC460 Syllabus

JMC 460-(77463) Advanced Online Media (Fall 2014)

Instructor: Dave Cornelius                                                         
Class Time: M-W 8-9:50 a.m.
Location:  Cronkite 318
Instructor’s Contact Information:
Office Phone: (602) 496.9710
Mobile and Text: (602) 432-5002
Twitter:  @dac59

Office hours:  7:30-8:a.m. and 10-11:30 a.m. M/W and other times by appointment, Cronkite 402K

Prerequisites and expectations: Students must have completed JMC 305 with a C or better and have at least a 2.5 GPA.  All students are expected to have basic multimedia knowledge and skills as well as proficiency in the basics of journalism.

Course goals:  The Web provides wonderful ways to tell stories but it demands new ways of thinking and new skills.  Thinking in interactive and Web-first multimedia terms is fun and challenging.

This is an advanced course in producing Web-based material (i.e. stories and website components).  To succeed you must bring to it Web-searching skills, journalistic skills and a willingness to work hard.

Online work is demanding but it will pay you back 10-fold in satisfaction.  Prepare to be a short on sleep and high on adrenaline this semester. You’ll be rewarded with an abundance of knowledge, valuable workplace skills and fun creating visual stories and websites.

By the end of the semester you will learn about:

  • Capabilities and tools of the Internet
  • Business and revenue issues such as traffic generation, audience measurement/engagement and how advertising shapes the Web
  • Emerging mobile apps and trends
  • Online journalism trends
  • Copyright, fair use, legal and ethical issues facing online journalists

You will know how to:

  • Critically examine websites and recognize excellence,
  • Design visual stories that engage your audience,
  • Design sites that engage your audience,
  • Produce advanced Web design incorporating industry standard tools.
  • Use these and other tools including those included in the Adobe CC family to produce sites and stories,
  • Work alone and as part of a team to produce original, compelling interactive multimedia stories,
  • Become an innovative thinker and creative collaborative problem solver,
  • Plan, storyboard and design a useable effective site,
  • Shoot, edit and prepare content for the Web,
  • Troubleshoot and upload pages.

This class is not intended to turn you into a Web designer. Rather, it will focus on the Web from the perspective of a journalist and enable you to be conversant with designers and technicians you may encounter.

Text and materials: You do not need to purchase a text for this class. However, you must purchase a portable hard drive. Since your work will be done using Adobe Creative Cloud and our classroom will not be available at all times, the ability to take your project to another lab to edit will be necessary.

  • A portable firewire hard drive at least 500 GB with firewire 800 and USB and with 7200 RPM drives. We recommend the Lacie or G-Drive brands.

A Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter ( or

Recommended readings and resources include:

Word Press: You will create or add to an online portfolio on where you will post your work.  Please keep this site and add to it throughout your Cronkite career so that when you graduate you will enter your job search with a portfolio of your best work!

Classroom etiquette: Cell phones and any other mobile devices must be turned off during class. Food and drink are not allowed in the classroom. Please arrive on time and listen respectfully while the instructor, guest lecturer or other students are speaking. Computers should be used exclusively for classroom work during class time.
Repeated violations of classroom etiquette will result in you being asked to leave the room.

Attendance and Makeup Work: Students are expected to attend every class and to arrive on time. There are no excused absences or tardiness. Makeup work will not be given. If you miss an in-class assignment, quiz or test, you will receive a zero.

Students may miss two classes without additional penalties. Students who miss more than two classes will see their final grade drop by a half a grade (for example, a final B+ grade would become a B-) for each additional class missed.

The dropped grade policy (above) is designed to account for missed assignments due to illness and emergencies.

Deadlines: Since this is a journalism class, deadlines are important, and you are expected to meet them. Assignments submitted even one minute past the deadline are not accepted. They will receive a zero.

This is a class in which you will learn a new technology almost every week. If you leave your assignment to the last minute and are unfamiliar with the technology there is a good chance you will be late.
Allow yourself enough time to seek help from the instructor, attend an open lab or troubleshoot the problem on your own. Remember, things will go wrong!

Academic Integrity: The school has a zero tolerance policy toward academic dishonesty. It is enforced within every course and educational activity offered or sanctioned by the school.

Any allegation of academic dishonesty will be referred to the school’s Standards Committee for review and recommendation to the dean of the school. If any student is found to have engaged in academic dishonesty in any form – including but not limited to cheating, plagiarizing and fabricating – that student shall receive a grade of XE for the class and will be dismissed from the school. There are no exceptions.

At the beginning of every Cronkite class, each student will be given a copy of the full academic integrity policy, along with accompanying information on plagiarism. Students must sign a pledge that indicates they have read and understood the material and agree to abide by the policy.

Copyright and libel: Your assignments will be posted live on the Internet for the world to see. Because of this, you must follow strict policies to protect yourself from libel or copyright issues. This includes blog posts. You must follow the same standards of journalistic integrity with your blogs as you would for a professional publication.

We will discuss these principles early in the class. But be aware that I will not accept any project that libels someone. It would receive a grade of zero, and if you use copyrighted material without permission (such as images or video), you will receive a failing grade of “E.”

If you have a question about whether you can use material, please discuss it with your instructor.

Use of Outside Work: You may not submit work done for any other class or organization in this class. This includes photos, videos and text stories prepared for other classes, internships, jobs, etc.

Accuracy:  This is one of the most important values for journalists. Inaccuracy destroys the public trust. You are responsible for ensuring the total accuracy of every class assignment and every story regardless of size or scope.

Make sure every fact is correct. Direct quotes must be accurate. This includes people’s opinions, feelings and recollections.

Report what people say fairly and in context.

Any major error of fact – a misspelled proper name, an erroneous phone number, an incorrect address or a misstatement of a major fact – in other words, anything that would require a printed correction if the story were to appear in a newspaper – will result in an E (55 percent) on that assignment.

Misspellings or grammatical errors will bring your grade down. If you are careless, you will lose points fast.

Verifiability: Every fact in every story must be verifiable. Do not guess or deduce unless you make this clear to your audience.

Your audience should be able to evaluate the reliability of all information.

Reporter-source relationship: When you contact sources for an assignment, identify yourself as a Cronkite School student. Explain the purpose of the interview.

It is best to say this is a class assignment intended for publication.

Diversity Principles: The Cronkite practices inclusivity in student, staff and faculty populations in order to create an academic environment that embraces diversity of thought and acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual or physical differences

ACEJMC Values and Competencies: As a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the Cronkite School is committed to classroom learning that achieves ACEJMC professional values and competencies. These include the core areas of freedom of speech, ethics, diversity, critical thinking, research, writing and use of tools and technologies related to the field. For a full list of ACEJMC values and competencies, see

Social Media Guidelines: It’s important that students of journalism and communication know how to use social media ethically and professionally. The Cronkite School has developed standards drawn from the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Society of Professional Journalists. Those guidelines can be found at

Collaborations: All in-class and out-of-class assignments must be your own work – from concept to execution unless collaboration is specified by the instructor. Even in those cases where students are assigned to teams, not all elements of the assignment may be team-based.  For instance an assignment may call for a team discussion of a topic, but the writing assignment based on the discussion must be your individual work.

Extra Credit: You may earn up to 30 points (3 percentage points) extra credit points on your final grade.

This can be earned in 3 increments worth 10 points each for such activities as attending “Must See Mondays” events featuring prominent journalism and public relations professionals each Monday during the semester from 7-8 p.m. in the First Amendment Forum. A schedule for the spring semester will be posted on the Cronkite website at

You must blog on any event you attend (at least 150 words) within 48 hours at and send the comment url for your post to your instructor. To get the url, click on the date and time stamp, then copy the url you’re taken to and send that to your instructor. You may earn one extra credit point for each event attended and blogged on. Extra credit is capped at three percentage points for the semester.

You also can earn extra credit by attending Cronkite Day, an alumni and student event, on Friday, Nov. 13, at the school. You can select individual panels or sessions to attend and blog about them. Register for Cronkite Day and check the schedule at

Students who blog the most over the course of the semester will be invited to the Cronkite Awards Luncheon, featuring a nationally prominent journalism figure.

You may also earn extra credit points for getting an original story, slide show or video published in the ASU Web Devil or State Press Magazine.

Content published in The State Press (newspaper) then shoveled onto the class site does NOT count. Original Web content does.

Building Hours:  The Cronkite building is open from 7 a.m. to midnight, Mondays through Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays; and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Equipment Checkout: You will be able to check out digital cameras, audio recorders, video cameras, microphones and tripods from the Cronkite School. Equipment can be checked out for a maximum of 24 hours from Room 608 on the sixth floor.

You may check out equipment during the weekend for the same 24-hour time period. If you are one minute late in returning equipment, your check-out privileges will be revoked. It is strongly encouraged that you reserve equipment well before you need it.

Hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Weekend checkout hours begin: August 28-29.

All equipment, and all content captured by the equipment, is the sole property of ASU and the Cronkite School. The content captured is intended for the sole purpose of meeting the goals and objectives of this course and may not be used, distributed or sold for any other purpose without the express consent of the instructor or authorized administrator.

Any violation of the video usage guidelines or the Cronkite School Equipment Checkout Agreement is subject to referral to the school’s Standards Committee for possible disciplinary action.

Computers and Labs: You may use computers in labs and editing bays any time the building is open. Computers also are available in the student resource area on the second floor of the building adjacent to the First Amendment Forum.

All computers in the building have the same software you will find in your classroom. Edit bays can be found on the sixth floor of the building as well as in the rear of the radio newsroom on the third floor.

Quizzes: There will be no tests (and no final), but there may be occasional quizzes on material covered in class and your assigned readings.

Assignments: You will be given in-class assignments and exercises as well as assignments to be completed outside of class. You will have to complete some of the work on your personal computer or in one of the school’s computer labs.

Save all of your homework on a flash or hard drive and on your Word Press account. At least once a year, a student’s computer crashes and he or she loses work. Flash drives are often misplaced. In the online world, it is imperative that you back up your work.

All students will work on a final project that will pull together the skills they learn in this class. The instructor will divide the class into teams to work on their final projects. Students will be graded on the quality of their final project as well as their participation in and contribution to the team.

Assignments are listed on the day they are due. It is your responsibility to look ahead to the next class period to determine what should be read for that day’s class. Some readings will be provided in the form of handouts or links.

A+ 97-100; A 94-96; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 76-79; C 70-75; D 69-60; E 59 and below.


Class participation: 40 points

Class participation is important. You are encouraged to express your thoughts and contribute to every discussion.

Respect for each other’s feelings, beliefs and values is essential to the success of the class. Please be considerate of your classmates’ diverse backgrounds and experiences.

I welcome honest feedback and will respond as best as I can. A positive attitude, extra effort and constructive criticism will help your grade. Whining won’t.

In-class exercises & quizzes: 80 points

In-class exercises include such things as creativity and team building exercises and presentations. Being able to present your ideas and finished projects in an organized, clear and concise manor is a staple of the workplace environment.

Graphic designs (Design for personal sites and visual story telling projects: 50 points

Logos impact branding on a site. You will develop a series of 3 logos to brand your own site and visual products.

Developing graphics for stories and websites are essential for multimedia production. You will create a basic graphic element that illustrates information presented in your site.

SEO: 25 points

You will take an existing site employ Search Engine Optimization so it appears near the top or first page of search results about that subject.

Personal Branding Exercise (50 points)

Knowing who and what you are is critical in how you present yourself and are perceived by others. Complete the branding tool complete with a name choice, tagline and video mission statement.

Multimedia Mobile Project: 50 points

You will prepare a multimedia piece for your final project material with all content acquired via mobile devices. Must include text, interview(s), photo’s, video, audio etc.

Audio Assignment: Podcast story 50 points

Three ways of seeing: 25 points

You will show the same situation/ person/scene from three different perspectives: wide, medium, tight, detail, high and low. Find one subject that interests you.

Work the situation! Shoot a lot more photos than you’ll need.

Creative Photo Expression Project: 25 points

You will show the same situation/ person/scene in two different ways EXCEPT wide, medium or tight detail. Select one subject that interests you.

Work the situation! Shoot at least 50 photos.

Live Mobile Streaming: 50 points Live stream an event or activity via Periscope or Meerkat. Archive and utilize the footage in as part of a video package or multimedia. Reflect on the experience and email instructor your reflections.

Data Visualization Infographic: 35 points

You will create an infographic project that will visualize data. It will include the source of your material.

Text: 30 points

Write a short article that will define what type of multimedia you will be creating. No more than 250 words.

This short piece can be on a topic of your choosing. Remember the story must be able to be expressed visually. The text will be the springboard for your video, pictures and sidebars that accompany the story. All regular rules apply.

Video 1 (Visual Story Telling Assignment): 80 points

Shoot, edit and prepare video for a visual story-telling project. This will be discussed in depth in class.

Multimedia Assignment: 100 points

You will shoot, edit and prepare video, photos, text, titles and audio for your final project story. This will be discussed in depth in class. Your final multimedia assignment will be evaluated on technical aspects including shot composition, shot selection, lighting, audio clarity/levels, use of B-roll. It will also be evaluated on quality of story telling.  Is it engaging? Is it complete and appropriate? Does it reach your target audience?

Website Final Project:  150 points Due for grading the first day of finals Dec. 7.

You will design and create  “home and inside pages” for your final project. Your site will include logo, navigation, sidebar or slider, text styling and element placement. The site will include a home page, contact info, bio page, an infographic, a poll and each article will include a visual element. Your prose will exhibit a command of AP style, good grammar and active voice.

Self Reviews:  50 points

You will evaluate your own personal progress and effort during this semester. This honest introspection should help you realize what transpired and evaluate where you are in your career path.

Peer Review: 50 points You will be asked to review selected members of your project team. This will occur twice: once at mid-term and once during the final week of production. The reviews will be conducted as if they were confidential peer/job performance reviews.

Content Aggregation: 60 points

The ability to aggregate and curate content from multiple vetted sources is a critical skill for today’s journalist. You will explore a number of content aggregation and curation tools such as Storify, Paper Li, Scoop it etc. and integrate at least one of them into your story posts. This assignment will be discussed and developed in depth during class.

Total points: 1000

                                    Class Schedule

Note: This schedule may change as the semester progresses to accommodate the needs of the class. Also, articles and other sources of reading material may be added to the syllabus as required reading as the semester progresses.


You, me and the syllabus: survey of student skills and background; discussion of expectations for the class, academic integrity policy, equipment checkout forms, multimedia examples.

Monday: Course outline, timetable, expectations, end goals

  • Equipment Overview
    • What is available to you?
    • What do you have?
    • Survey: What do you know? What more do you want to know?
    • Organization
      • File Naming
      • Subfolders
        • Music
        • Text
        • Images
        • File types, File management, proper saving and sizes for:
          • Audio
            • Aiff, wav
            • How to import mp3 in iTunes
  • Images
    • Web ready
    • Video (import and export) 480p (720×480)
  • Visual Storytelling
    • Conducting an audio interview
    • Collection, microphone placement and usage
    • In-class exercise

Wednesday: Examine alternate story forms, CMS platforms and begin selection of class topic. (Storify, Atavist, Wix, Weebly, Site builder, Square space, Adobe DPS) Research and recommend three alternate story forms and three alternate CMS platforms. Describe their strengths and weaknesses and why and how you would choose them to deliver your content. Email your analysis to by Midnight Friday Aug. 28


Select a topic and organize corporate workflow/hierarchy.

WEEK 3: STORY AND AUDIO Sept. 7, 9 (No class Sept. 7 Labor Day)

Editing Sound- Adobe Audition overview, tools and interface.

  • Noise Reduction, Using room tone to create space, adjust cadence, remove problem noise, etc.
  • Transcription the radio cut interview (transcript due)
  • In-class: dissect interview
    • Story brainstorming

DUE: Audio interview transcript and interview (Bring to class Wednesday September 9)



  • B-roll
  • Shot variety

Overview Adobe Premier interface and tools

  • Mini project: Conduct second interview with audio and shot variety

DUE: Audio interview final radio cut uploaded to Sound Cloud (Midnight Friday Sept. 18)


In-class editing with given material

  • Tips and tricks
  • Titles
  • Round tripping

Video material due


DUE: Video Component and video Mini Project (URL emailed to instructor by midnight Friday Sept. 25)



Photoshop Overview

  • Photo editing for the web and video
  • Batching, color correction, layers, masks
  • Bridge, camera raw
  • Compositing Photos for graphics and headers
  • Creating stills for video

Due: Video 1 (80 points) Midnight Friday Sept. 25. Deadline. (Must include video interview, lower thirds, B-roll, VO elements, nat sound at least one still picture. Time limit between 90 sec and two min.)


Day 1

Bring in photos for: Day in the life, three ways of seeing: 15 points

You will show the same situation/ person/scene from three different perspectives: wide, medium, tight, detail, high and low. Find one subject that interests you.

Work the situation! Shoot a lot more photos than you’ll need.

Day 2:

Bring in photos for:

Creative Photo Expression Project: 25 points

You will show the same situation/ person/scene in two different ways EXCEPT wide, medium, tight detail, high and low. Find one subject that interests you.

Work the situation! Shoot at least 50 photos.

DUE Midnight Sunday October 4 Your 3 best WMT photos and your 3 best “artistic” non WMT photos.


Building and design for the Web

  • Basics of graphic design
  • Organizing layers for the Web
  • Creating visual design for Web

Interactive Overview, timeline, Map and Data work

DUE:  Midnight Sunday October 11 Graphic designs (3 logos suitable for your use as logo, avatar or lower third: 50 points

Logos impact branding on a site. You will develop a series of 3 logos to brand your own site and visual products. Developing graphics for stories and websites are essential for multimedia production.

WEEK 8: Content Aggregation and Curation Oct. 12, 14 (No class Oct. 12 Fall Break)

Explore methods, tools, techniques and applications for content aggregation and curation.

WEEK 9: Analytics and SEO(Who is your target audience and Who are you reaching?) Oct. 19, 21

Using built in analytics on your CMS. What are Google Analytics and how to use them. Exploring SEO.

DUE:(Sunday October 25@ midnight) SEO your WordPress portfolio site (work on it in class) Read the SEO tutorial then email me a short description of what you have done to make your site more searchable and accessible.

DUE: Sunday October 25@ midnight Live Mobile streaming experience using Periscope or Meerkat

WEEK 10: Infographics and interactivity. Creating engaging content. Oct. 26, 28

Due midnight Sunday November 1: infographic that illustrates data pertinent to your stories.

DUE: (Midnight Sunday November 1): Text: 30 points>Write a short article and describe what type of multimedia you will be creating to support your article. No more than 250 words.

This short piece will be suitable for inclusion on your group site.  Remember the story must contain visual elements. The text will be the springboard for your video, infographic, pictures or sidebars that accompany the story. All regular rules apply.

WEEK 11: Personal Branding Nov. 2, 4

Due midnight Sunday Nov. 8: Complete the branding tool complete with a name choice, tagline and video mission statement.

WEEK 12:  Production and reporting labs Nov. 9, (Nov. 11 no class Veteran’s Day)

Due Midnight Sunday Nov. 15 Mobile story. All content must be captured using your mobile device.

WEEK 13:  Production and reporting labs Nov. 16, 18

Due Midnight Sunday Nov 22 Multimedia story.

WEEK 14:  Final Project presentation and evaluation. Nov. 23-25 (Thanksgiving Nov. 26,27)

WEEK 15:  FINAL PROJECT LAB Nov. 30, Dec. 2 Final project due for grading on the first day of finals Dec. 7.

Lab to continue and finish development

Make changes suggested by reviewers.

Semester at a glance:

Aug. 20         Classes Begin

Sept. 7         Labor Day

Oct. 10-13     Fall Break

Nov. 11         Veteran’s Day

Nov. 26-27   Thanksgiving

4 Dec.           Last Day of classes

7-11 Dec.     Finals Week

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