For on-line syllabus go to and follow the Courses link.


Memory map by Eric Thake


PROFESSOR:           John (Craig) Freeman


PHONE:                     (617) 824-8862

OFFICE HOURS:    180 Tremont Street, room 1111.

                                    Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11:00-11:50 a.m. or by appointment.


CLASS MEETS:      Mondays and Wednesdays: 12:00 - 1:45 p.m.

                                    at 180 Tremont Street, Room T 809, Digital Production Lab.


PREREQUISITE:    VM101 And VM120; Cannot Have Taken MA315; New Media, Interactive Media, and Animation majors only until 4/15/08.


DESCRIPTION:      This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of digital media production. It stresses the conceptual, aesthetic, and technical concerns of digital media, emphasizing creativity and familiarity with the material. Areas include introductions to Web design and development, animation, interactivity, graphics and imaging, as well as project management, interface design, and user experience. Students produce creative works based on instruction in the technical aspects of the material, completing the production stages from concept development to design, prototyping, and publishing.


                                    The emphasis in the course is on the creation of meaningful works using the materials. While there is instruction in the technical aspects of new media, the major areas of concern are concept, content, critique, and aesthetic decisions.


OBJECTIVES:         To enhance conceptual, aesthetic, and technical knowledge of digital media

                                    To understand historical, theoretical and critical issues in digital media

                                    To acquire digital production skills in the areas of digital imaging, web design, and 2D animation, and apply them creatively to produce projects

                                    To complete the steps of digital media production from planning to completion including: information analysis and design; site mapping and storyboarding; visual design; production; testing; and publishing for the internet

                                    To further develop aesthetic and interactive sensibilities and improve critique and discussion skills

                                    To understand audience and community interaction with online media, and implement strategies to enhance the user experience.


REQUIREMENTS: Over the course of the semester, students will be required to:

                                    Attend every class meeting

                                    Come to class prepared to work

                                    Complete all required reading

                                    Complete required online software training

                                    Complete projects one and two

                                    Propose, develop, and produce an original final project

                                    Present final project during scheduled exam


SOFTWARE TRAINING: Students are required to complete the following software training titles at

                                                Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

                                                Photoshop CS3 for the Web Essential Training

                                                Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

                                                Flash CS3 Professional Essential Training

                                                Flash CS3 Professional Fundamentals

                                    Please see the calendar below for the specific software training schedule.


                                    Brows to

                                    Enter Class Code: 942008C3747

                                    Enter your Emerson College email address.


ASSIGNMENTS:     Presentation: Research and prepare a five minute presentation and be prepared to lead a discussion of a digital media art project from or Presentations of independent work or work from other organizations is acceptable, however, students must make the case as to why the work should be considered art and why it is significant.


                                    Project One, Memory Map: Using all technologies and techniques covered in class and software training to create an interactive map of your most formative memories and experiences.

                                    Home Page: The project must include a home page at with working links to all other parts of your work.

                                    Blog: The blog is to be used for developing the narrative aspects of your memory map. Entries must be short stories based on specific memories. Avoid explaining the memory and the role it played in your identity formation. Instead write of each incident in descriptive detail. The blog is also to be used to develop your avatar, or online persona, be it fiction or nonfiction. The banner image must be a self-portrait based on this persona. The idea is to project this avatar out onto the Internet giving your memory map a performative component.

                                    Image Map: You must include multi-media, multi-dimensional interactive map made up of drawings, images, video and audio.


                                    Project Two, Memory Map Upgrade: Update the memory map created in Project One to include additional technologies and techniques covered in the interim.


                                    Final Project: Create an original, portfolio ready digital media art project based on all of the research, reading, lessons and software training to date. You will be evaluated based on the projects originality and creative expressiveness. It can be narrative or abstract but should be rich in interpretive possibility.


                                    All finished work must be accessible from your blog.

                                    Projects that do not conform to these specifications will result in a lower grade.

                                    Late final projects will not be accepted.


SUPPLIES:               Mobile FireWire or Hi-Speed USB 2.0 removable hard drive. I recommend LaCie. Minimum requirement is 40GB of storage space. 7200 (RPM) speed is preferable. Thumb/flash drives are not recommended for this course. Options can be found at:

                                    CD-R or DVD-Rs as needed.


GRADING:               Attendance and punctuality is required at all class meetings and will be reflected in the final grade. According to College policy, unexcused absences beyond five will result in a failing grade. Everyone must come to class prepared and engaged and everyone must participate in discussions and critiques. Your undivided attention is required during all discussions and critiques. No email, web browsing or other computer work will be allowed during these times. Students are responsible for meeting all project deadlines and completing all reading assignments. Late work will suffer a drop in letter grade. No late work will be accepted after the final meeting. I will meet with each student individually at mid-semester to evaluate performance up to that point.


                                    The final grade will be determined by:

                                    Project One: 10%.

                                    Project Two: 10%.

                                    Proposal: 10%

                                    Presentation: 10%

                                    Final project: 40%

                                    Participation in discussions and critiques: 10%.

                                    Attendance, punctuality and preparedness: 10%.


                                    An Incomplete will only be issued if there are extenuating circumstances related to illness or critical personal emergency and only after administrative notice has been received.


POLICIES:               Students should be aware of the College policies regarding creative and academic dishonesty and the penalties for plagiarism and software piracy. While it is accepted that there may be occasion for stylistic or historical inspiration, influence and reference, the student will be asked to produce original work from ones own study and investigation.


                                    If you have a disability that warrants accommodations in this course, please register with the Disability Service Coordinator at 216 Tremont Street, 5th Floor, (617) 824-8415.




COURSE CALENDAR: Subject to changes as necessary.


Mon. 09/08/08            Introductions



                                    Assignment: Get book and supplies, register for software training

                                    Software Training: Photoshop


Wed. 09/10/08             Course Wiki

                                    Lesson 01:

                                    Software Training

                                    Presentation Schedule

                                    New Media Server Accounts

                                    Create a Blog

                                    Memory Map Discussion

                                    Assignment: Project One, Memory Map

                                    Reading: Map, Cognitive Map

                                    Software Training: Photoshop


Mon. 09/15/08            Lesson 02:

                                    Courses Networked Server

                                    Color Depth and Resolution

                                    Basic HTML

                                    Reading: Avatar , Memory Palace

                                    Software Training: Photoshop


Wed. 09/17/08             Lesson 03

                                    Basic HTML continued

                                    Open Lab: Work on Project One

                                    Software Training: Photoshop


Mon. 09/22/08            Presentation

                                    Lesson 04


                                    Image Map

                                    Reading: Electracy

                                    Viewing: Everything is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger

                                    Software Training: Dreamweaver


Wed. 09/24/08             Presentation

                                    Lesson 05


                                    Software Training: Dreamweaver


Mon. 09/29/08            Presentation

                                    Open Lab: Work on Project One

                                    Software Training: Dreamweaver


Web. 10/01/08             Presentation

                                    Open Lab: Work on Project One

                                    Software Training


Mon. 10/06/08            Due: Project One

                                    Critique: Project One

                                    Assignment: Project Two, Memory Map Upgrade

                                    Software Training: Flash


Wed. 10/08/08             Critique: Project One

                                    Software Training: Flash


Mon. 10/13/08            Columbus Day observed (no classes)


Wed. 10/15/08             Presentation

                                    Lesson 06:

                                    2D Animation

                                    Reading: Fredrick Jameson, Postmodernism

                                    Software Training: Flash


Mon. 10/20/08            Presentation

                                    Assignment: Sign up for a Second Life Account and Complete Orientaton Island


Wed. 10/22/08             Mid-semester Evaluations: Individual Meetings

                                    Open Lab: Work on Project Proposals


Mon. 10/27/08            Lesson 07:

                                    Virtual Worlds


Wed. 10/29/08             Open Lab: Work on Project Two


Mon. 11/03/08            Presentation

                                    Due: Project Two

                                    Critique: Project Two


Wed. 11/05/08             Presentation

                                    Critique: Project Two

WEEK #10

Mon. 11/10/08            Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects


Wed. 11/12/08             Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects

WEEK #11

Mon. 11/17/08            Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects


Wed. 11/19/08             Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects

WEEK #12

Mon. 11/24/08            Presentation

                                    Reading: The Video-Game Programmer Saving Our 21st-Century Souls

                                    Studio: Work on final projects


Wed. 11/26/07             Thanksgiving Vacation (no classes held)

WEEK #13

Mon. 12/01/08            Presentation

                                    Reading: Toward Electracy: a conversation with Gregory Ulmer

                                    Studio: Work on final projects


Wed. 10/03/08             Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects

WEEK #14

Mon. 12/08/08            Presentation

                                    Studio: Work on final projects


Wed. 12/10/08             Studio: Work on final projects

                                    Due: All late work must be turned in or it will not count on final grades


Monday, 12/15/08       12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

                                    Due: Final Projects

                                    Final Exam Schedule