The 2018-19 academic year once again saw adjustments to the department’s basic course, COMM 1000, The Process of Communication. This year, one of the focuses in tweaking the course curriculum was to bring multimedia production principles into the classroom.
Two new lectures – Visual Communication and Professional Communication – were added to the course, which serves over 600 students per semester in a large lecture format. Each lecture places an emphasis on the principles of using multimedia and effectively reaching audiences. Where the lecture on Professional Communication is more centered on navigating electronic settings, interviews, and public presentations, the lecture on Visual Communication provides a crash-course in the kinds of topics associated with our Fundamentals of Digital Production course: Composition, Lighting, Digital Layout, and the basics of film media.
These lectures join two existing creative assignments in connecting the department’s offerings in multimedia production to the robust curriculum of the introductory course. The assignments include 1000 Words, a photography assignment where students document their experiences as UCONN students, and Brevity, where students form small teams in the creation of simple 15-second films that tell a story. Both assignments have been in existence since 2015, and are credited with inspiring the growth of the department’s production course offerings and ultimately the development of the entire sequence in multimedia production. Now, course lecture content has caught up with the assignments.
“It was time,” said Steve Stifano, who supervises and teaches the basic course while also leading the production sequence. “With all the work we’ve done to develop our production offerings, and the relevance of multimedia creation to our students’ lives, it makes sense to give students who may be interested in this line of work a taste of it in the basic course. For some, it may inspire them to study further with us, and for others headed in different directions in the university, it at least gives them a foundation for the principles of multimedia work, which they’ll likely create in some part of their lives.”