Q: Are there any prerequisites for ENG/IMS 407/507?
Not formally, no. However, the course is an advanced course intended for seniors, graduate students, and working professionals who have strong content knowledge in their professional field and who have experience producing real-world professional writing and communication. For ENG/IMS 407, the expectations are (1) that students have completed their first-year composition requirement (Foundation I in the Miami Plan), and (2) that students are fairly strong writers who have done some advanced, upper-level academic research writing and/or business writing in other courses or in a professional work environment. For ENG/IMS 507, the expectations are (1) that students have successfully completed an undergraduate degree program (BA, BS, or the equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0; and (2) that students have done some advanced, upper-level academic research writing as part of their undergraduate degree program and/or have done business writing writing in a professional work environment.
Q: Does the course count toward any degree programs?
Yes. ENG/IMS 407 is an elective option in two undergraduate majors at Miami University — the BA in Professional Writing and the proposed BA in Interactive Media Studies. ENG/IMS 507 is a required foundation course in the proposed new Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media Studies and may be applied toward that program (program approval pending).
Q: Will attendance be required for online synchronous class sessions?
Yes, there will regular required synchronous class sessions — probably one per week — to be held in Adobe Connect meeting room. Tentatively I am planning these for Wednesday evenings in the 6:00-7:15 pm time slot, but that time could be adjusted depending on students’ schedules. It might be that we set up two different synchronous meeting times for two different subgroups. I will try to be as flexible as possible in scheduling synchronous class meeting times to accommodate people’s schedules. During Week #1 of the course, we’ll schedule the synchronous class sessions for the entire term so that students will know what to expect for the semester.
Q: If I am not currently a Miami student, how do I register for the course?
First you need to apply for admission to Miami as a nondegree-seeking student. For ENG/AIMS 407, you need to apply to Admissions for Nondegree Student status. For further information, contact the Office of Admissions at 513-529-2531. For ENG/IMS 507, you will first need to apply to the Graduate School as a Continuing Nondegree Student. Once you are admitted to the Graduate School, you can then register for the course. For further information, contact the Graduate School at 513-529-3734.
Q: What level of technology skill is required for the course?
You do not need to be a high-end interaction designer or technology geek to take this class. (The instructor isn’t.) You do need to have basic Internet and web literacy and an awareness of some basic tools, applications, and media (e.g., blogs, wikis). Here are some of the key tools and apps we’ll be using in the class.
- Niikha (Miami’s Sakai-based LMS) for course readings, lectures, discussion forums
- Adobe Connect Pro for synchronous classes (including synchronous chat) and instructor conferences
- MS Word for written documents*
- Excel and other applications for data charts*
- Prezi and PowerPoint for presentations*
- WordPress for blogs and web sites*
- Twitter for tweeting
- LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media for networking
- ScreenFlow for video screen capture (presentations)*
- GoogleDocs wiki for collaborative authoring
- Skype for audio connection, instructor conferences
- Online search tools for research (various kinds)
* Or whatever compatible equivalent you’d prefer to use
Q: What are the technology requirements for the course?
You’ll need a computer with a robust Internet connection that can access and efficiently run the applications mentioned above (particularly bandwidth-heavy applications like Skype and Adobe Connect Pro). You should have a camera for video and built-in microphone/recorder for audio. It would help if you had the Microsoft Office suite (or comparable package). Most of the other applications mentioned above are free, web-based apps.