Course Description & Info

Intro to Interactive Media Design
Indiana University, Department of Telecommunications
Spring Semester, 2015
Tuesday (TV245) 9:30–10:45 am (#20059)

Norbert Herber: nherber at indiana dot edu
Office Hours (Radio-TV 344): Monday 1-2 pm; Tuesday 3:30-4:30 pm, or send e-mail to set an appointment

Jess Tompkins: jetompki at indiana dot edu
Office Hours: Friday 10 am - 12 noon in Fine Arts 215, or send e-mail to set an appointment
Labs (Radio-TV 250): Wednesdays at 8:30-11:30 am (#20060) & 11:45 am - 2:25 pm (#20061)

Online syllabus (the URL to this document):

Course Description
Intro to Interactive Media Design is a practical, introductory course to the world of interactive and digital media design. The focus will be on creating interactive experiences that are both functional and engaging. This will be approached from various points-of-view: design, usability, technique, and entertainment. We will discuss not only the specifics on how to make something work, but strategies concerning how to make it work well, while making it easy to understand and fun for your audience. This is a class for beginners and assumes no previous experience or expertise. We will however move at a quick pace. It is absolutely essential that you work hard and stay on top of all the class material if you hope to succeed in this course.

Course Objectives

Role of the Student
This will be a difficult class for many of you. It will be difficult because you will be faced with technically oriented material that you may have never encountered before. Do not be alarmed. One of our goals is not only to teach you the material but to teach you to understand the material so that technical problems are seen as only that: problems.
Problems can be solved. Your best strategy to overcoming technical problems is daily practice. Spend some time every day of the week working with these materials. This does not mean reading and re-reading the chapters of our books (though that can be good...) Think about the topics we've discussed, dig through the source code of a web site you think is interesting, take the time to tweak your web site so that it works perfectly and looks great, and so on. Repeated exposure to the material is the only way that you will be able to learn, understand, and master the material we will cover in this course.

Advanced Students
Some students who enroll in T284 may already be familiar with much or some of the topics that will be covered. Advance knowledge and prior experience allows you to explore subjects that go beyond the usual scope of the course. Students who want to push themselves are welcome (and encouraged) to do so! However, no one should be overly confident in their abilities. It can be easy to fall behind in this course. Expertise in JavaScript does not guarantee expertise in time management; even the most proficient digital artists & designers have to balance all the demands of their schedule. Use your strengths to carry you to new heights—not to procrastinate or to cram for assignments and projects.

Student Integrity
You are expected to conduct yourself with decorum in this class. We have a shared responsibility in learning: me as the facilitator and you as the participant. Learning will only occur if we work together to make this an engaging environment. I will do my best to provide interesting topics and material for our consideration. You will absorb, discuss, and—through lab assignments and projects—integrate this material into a body of knowledge that will be useful to you in the future.

All work turned in must be your own, or must be cited as the work of another. Assuming ownership of something you did not do is seen as plagiarism in this class. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Both are grounds for an Academic Misconduct report and a failing grade. Any questions regarding these policies can be directed to the Code of Student Rights at

In this class it will often be appropriate to "view source" in a web browser to see how a site you admire was created. This is perfectly acceptable; after all nothing is created in a bubble. However, it is unacceptable to copy source code verbatim from a site you did not design. Use the ability to "view source" as a means of learning more about how a certain design was created. Then, use that concept as the point of departure for a unique design of your own. When in doubt where to draw the line, please contact us and we can advise you.

Specifics on acceptable design practice in T284:

The production and discussion of creative work is a large part of this class. Any work or criticism that is offensive or that constitutes harassment of a racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious nature will result in a failing grade.

Mobile phones and other gadgets must be silenced before entering the classroom.

Attendance is essential. Missing a class means missing important information, a quiz, a critique; and sometimes, all of the above. Be in class—on time, every week. All students are allowed 2 absences. Your grade will be reduced 2 points (1%) for every unexcused absence. Do not schedule medical appointments or interviews during class or lab section meetings.

Students who will be absent due to religious holidays that are observed during the semester must fill out IU's Religious Holidays request form and give it to their AI before their holiday observance.

Students who have true emergencies, life-threatening illnesses, or deaths in the family may be granted excused absences. An excused absence must be supported with written documentation when you return to class. You will be responsible to get missed notes and information from a classmate.

Have a question about this class? Chances are the answer is in this syllabus. Be sure to look at the Schedule and Grading page for details on due dates and assignment expectations.

Stuck on a technical problem with an assignment? Office Hours is one of the best ways to work through technical problems. See either of your instructors at the times they are available or send e-mail to schedule an appointment. You can also start a Conversation in Canvas. Everyone in T284 will receive your question and be able to offer help. Participation in Canvas Conversations will reflect positively on a student's participation grade at the end of the semester. If you can help, please do! Your instructors cannot provide 24/7 tech support but we will see any questions that you post online and participate in the discussion that helps you arrive at a solution.

I will also use Canvas to make announcements and send due date reminders.

All communication about your progress in the class should be done with me (Norbert) in office hours. There are simply too many students in this class for me to offer a decent and private answer to questions via e-mail or after class. If you cannot meet during my regularly scheduled office hours, send an e-mail to make an appointment. I am glad to meet with you to discuss class questions and anything else you find interesting. Communication arrangements with lab instructors is at their discretion.

University Services
For assistance with physical, social, or mental health issues which affect learning or testing:
Disabled Student Services
Franklin Hall 096
(812) 855-7578

Adaptive Technology Services
Herman B Wells Library Media Reserve Center
(812) 856-4112

For assistance with tutoring, test anxiety, or non-medical academic issues:
Mathematics Learning Center
Rawles Hall 115
(812) 855-8921

Student Academic Center
316 N. Jordan
(812) 855-7313

Writing Tutorial Services (
For free help at any phase of the writing process—from brainstorming to polishing the final draft—call Writing Tutorial Services (WTS, pronounced “wits”) at 855-6738 for an appointment. When you visit WTS, you’ll find a tutor who is a sympathetic and helpful reader of your prose. To be assured of an appointment with the tutor who will know most about your class, please call in advance.

WTS, in the Information Commons on the first floor of the Wells Library, is open Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walk-in tutorials are available when WTS has an opening, but the appointment book often fills in advance. WTS tutors are also available for walk-in tutorials (only) in the Academic Support Centers in Briscoe, Forest, and Teter residence halls, open Sunday-Thursday 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.