New course teaches students about digital media development

The Highlighter and Laureate, Winter 2002

While the Electronic Critique program focuses heavily on a theoretical and critical understanding of electronic media, an equally important component is technical development. One course in particular, CST/ENL 215 - Multimedia I, was developed this fall to teach E-Crit students about multimedia design. The course is also recommended for Communication Studies and English students.

Marcel O’Gorman, assistant professor of English and director of the Electronic Critique program, says that until now, there had not been a course at UDM that concentrates on video and animation from a strictly digital perspective.

“Students in my class use MiniDV cameras, edit video on Mac G4s with FinalCut Pro, and create web sites in Macromedia Flash (an animation program),” says O’Gorman, who is also the activity director of the Title III grant, the iLevel Project, which was awarded in 1999 to UDM to help fund the University’s technology enhancements.

The course was made possible in part through a grant from Title III. The grant paid for a new multimedia lab in Briggs 110—that includes 25 Macintosh G4s, miniDV cameras, tripods, lenses, lights, microphones—that is dedicated to the creation of digital content.

O’Gorman says the hands-on course is important for increasing students’ creative development.

“I felt that E-Crit majors (and liberal arts majors in general) are not exposed to enough hands-on courses in aesthetics. I would like to see more courses that require students to engage in artistic creation on various levels,” he says.

Currently, students in CST/ENL 215 are shooting and editing movie trailers (for movies that don’t actually exist). According to O’Gorman, the students come up with a concept for a movie, shoot some scenes, and integrate them into a full-blown trailer with credits, voiceover, etc. They will integrate this into a Flash-based movie website at the end of the term.

To follow the students’ progress, and see the movie trailers in December, visit the course website.