Course Descriptions

ICM 501 Foundations in Graduate Studies

A sequence of readings, practices, and exercises introduces the students to the “deep work” required of Master’s level study. Through structured discussions, presentations, projects, and readings, students build the knowledge base and critical skills required to formulate methodological research and practice across media. Each student will set up a portfolio site for the collection of research and practice artifacts created throughout the Master’s coursework.

ICM 502 Visual Design

This course covers the principles and practices associated with graphic design as a way to make complex information easier to understand and use. With a primary focus on typography as the fundamental means of conveying content, the course emphasizes the creative process of organizing and visualizing type and images through hierarchy, spatial organization of grid structures, positive and negative space, depth perception, transparency, and color theory. Readings locate design and typography within the larger history of visual art and graphic design and in relation to technology developments.

ICM 504 Motion Across Media

This course covers the concepts of motion design across multiple platforms. Students are challenged to analyze and create effective animations using the entire design process, including research, preproduction, storyboarding, and production techniques. Analysis of navigation, storytelling, visual design, and message delivery inform the application of methods. The focus is on communicating ideas to the audience effectively through motion in its many forms, whether on desktops, smart phones, tablets, or kiosks.

ICM 505 Web Technologies

This course introduces the foundational techniques of creating web-based content. Through a series of exercises, participants learn how interactive networks are organized, where to find the information necessary to create standards-based systems, and gain elementary experience designing and building sites.

ICM 506 Writing for Interactive

Good writing skills are a necessity for professional communication in spite of the changing media landscape. In this course students create, develop and hone a distinct written voice within varied media environments. Much of professional media work involves creating a consistent voice or presence for a person, organization or company. Participants focus on how to accomplish (or enhance) this process using effective compositional techniques.

ICM 508 Audio and Video Design

This course covers the aesthetic and technical principles and practices used to create video and audio content for cross platform and device delivery. Effective storytelling and message delivery concepts are emphasized while exploring various production techniques including storyboarding, script, an introduction to audio production, cinematography, lighting, interviewing, editing, and effective media distribution.

ICM 512 Principles of User Experience Design

This course explores the ever-changing processes and methods of user experience design. The Human Centered Design and Design Thinking process are studied through readings and hands-on projects that cover empathy, the psychology of the user, problem definition, and ideation methods.

ICM 513 Content Strategy

Content is critical in today’s media landscape, but without a strategic plan, it can remain invisible to the audience you wish to reach. In this course, students will learn the best ways to design and implement a content strategy to engage a targeted audience. They will be immersed in the planning for the creation and distribution of engaging stories and information. Students will become content strategy practitioners that know how to use words, pictures, video, and social and mobile media to build an audience and communicate value.

ICM 514 Understanding Your Audience

Usability is the study of discrepancies between expected and actual user behavior. The course introduces students to empirical user research methods such as contextual inquiry, ethnographic studies, card sorting, and cognitive walkthroughs, that provide the foundation for user-centered interaction and communications design. In addition, students conduct effective usability tests, interviews, and surveys.

ICM 517 Ideation, Prototyping and Testing

Ideation, prototyping and testing teaches students how to use low and high-fidelity sketching, information architecture, flowcharts, wireframes, user interface design, and functional prototypes for a variety of design problems. Through a series of creative projects, students learn various methods for each of these steps in the development of design products.

ICM 518 Visual Storytelling

The course provides an introduction to the concept of visual storytelling and immerses students in the theory and practice of creating and delivering visual narratives in digital environments. The course includes both the history of visual storytelling as well as contemporary approaches used in a variety of information related disciplines. Students analyze examples of work and apply that knowledge to create their own visual narratives.

ICM 522 Social Media Practice and Techniques

The widespread use of social media in society has created a communications environment built on platforms that encourage contribution and collaboration through user-created media and interaction. This course explores the underlying concepts, development and management of social media platforms as well as the creation of effective approaches to facilitate a viable social media presence.

ICM 524 Social Media Analytics

This course gives students a working knowledge of the social media analytics process and analytics tools, along with their application to communications objectives within real-world situations.

ICM 528 Content Creation

In this course, we explore the creation of engaging content. Students are guided through the process of planning and creating a suite of related projects in the medium(s) of their choice (writing, video, audio, image making.) The focus is on the conceptual processes and practices used in developing a unique and persuasive body of work to be distributed across mediums. Areas of interest are researched and then developed into a series of related pieces.

ICM 529 Data Visualization

This is a course in finding and telling visual stories from data. Students will explore fundamental principles of data analysis and visual techniques, chart types and when to use them, and how to acquire, process and filter data. Through an understanding of data visualization best practices and audience analysis, students will be able to identify and articulate what makes a successful information design. Industry-standard software tools will be used to create static and interactive graphics including charts, maps, and diagrams, that make information more accessible to their intended audiences.

ICM 552 Media Ethics and Policy

This course addresses topics relating to use, creation and dissemination of media, including ethical issues, business and government policies, intellectual property matters concerning media-based content, international issues and differences between Internet and traditional media. The course also covers appropriate conduct as it relates to contracts and protections in the creation of media.

ICM 530 Independent Study

This is an elective course offered to accommodate students who seek advanced study in an area of the discipline. The topic and scope of the course are developed by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser, subject to approval by the program director and department chair.

ICM 531 Graduate Internship

This elective course provides interactive media students with the opportunity to work in a professional setting to acquire additional skills and insights into their chosen area of study. Students completing this course are required to work in a supervised environment. All internships must be approved by the graduate program director.

ICM 601 Master’s Capstone

Students create a professional quality web portfolio selected from the best work from their courses and experiences in the Master’s program. Each student is facilitated through the process of identifying and packaging works, creating a consistent message and image using the products of their research and practice.