Course Description & Info

T461: Advanced Interactive Transmedia Design
Indiana University, Department of Telecommunications
Fall Semester 2008
Tuesday & Thursday (#27015) noon –1:45, TV 250

Norbert Herber 855-1798 or nherber at indiana dot edu

Prerequisites: T361 with a grade of C- or higher, or consent of the instructor

This course will emphasize the creation, production, usability, and delivery of interactive media through channels including the Internet, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and wireless devices. Students are expected to produce professional-quality work that would be considered ready for public distribution and use. This course will also include a significant theoretical component that explores the ever-changing landscape of new media.

Student projects would include but not be limited to: games, interactive narratives, digital portfolios, and other communications applications.

What is transmedia?
Transmedia is media that flows through new technologies and alters and is altered by them. The sound of a flute was initially only obtainable by listening to someone play a flute. Then we had analog recordings of flute playing. Now we have digital recordings of flutes playing or we can digitally generate the sound of a flute playing. Incorporate this into an animated story and send it out over the Internet: transmedia.

How do we create interactive transmedia?
Flash is one tool for building interactive environments which include most kinds of traditional media (images, sound, film, voice, etc.). We take something in one format and move it into another. This makes it different! The goal of this class is to explore these differences and develop interesting, compelling interactive environments.

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 the goals of this class 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.

Student Integrity
You are expected to conduct yourself with decorum in this class. Professionalism and integrity are essential to success in any field. If you haven't started yet, now is a great time to develop these fundamental attitudes and behaviors. 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

All work that you turn in must be your own. In certain situations it may be necessary to borrow from third-party source. Students are allowed to do this only after specific permission has been granted by the instructor. All borrowed work must be cited; no exceptions. Failure to cite borrowed work will be viewed as plagiarism(see above).

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 pagers must be turned off before entering the classroom.

Attendance will be taken for all class periods. To accommodate for scheduling conflicts and other "surprises" that may occur during the semester, all students are allowed 2 absences. Your grade will be reduced 2 points (1%) for every unexcused absence. Unless it is unavoidable, do not schedule medical appointments or interviews during class or discussion section meeting times.

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.

Students observing religious holidays during the semester please see IU's Religious Holidays request form.

All technical questions pertaining to the class should be referred to All students in the class will be automatically subscribed to this list. It will provide a lifeline for help when you need it most. We will discuss this in more detail during class.
All communication with me concerning your progress in the class should be done in office hours, and either before 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.