CSC 180
Electronic Communications

Syllabus/Table of Contents
(Under Constant Revision)

They constitute the textbook for this course!
The tests and assignments are based on them.

Course description,rationale, learning objectives

Posting web homework files to a web server (Picture U)

Electronic Communications Overview (5)
Characteristics of electronic communication, social impact, computer file structures and sizes, bandwidth issues.

2-D Graphics (9)
File types and sizes, digital graphics principles, drawing tools, scanning images, image editing in Photoshop.

Internet Use (5)
e-mail, World Wide Web, YouTube, etc. types of connections.

Midterm Exam

Authoring Web Pages (9) (Picture U)
Authoring web pages in Dreamweaver. Integrating text and graphics. Using tables, mapped graphics, and layers. Posting pages and cross-platform issues. Forms and CGI's.

Digital Video/Sound with Final Cut Pro and Garage Band (6)
Digital Video and sound. Using desktop video editing as well as high-end systems for broadcast quality work and for podcasts. Digitizing media, program production, compression principles and trade-offs. Importing still images. Effects creation and rendering. Exporting multimedia to the web or other authoring systems. Working with sound.

3-D Graphics and Animation (3)
Basic principles of 3-D graphics and animation. Intro to animated GIF's. Anti-aliasing, rendering, rotation, 3-D text, animation principles.

Presentation Software (1)
Using software to prepare and/or give presentations. Projection systems. Integration of multimedia.


Student Work
Student Web Pages (Projects) Area
Web sites created and maintained by the students in CSC 180.


Other Skills needed in this course

CSC 113 (Introduction to Computer Science) is a pre-requisite for this course. It is assumed that students are computer literate, and that understand computer hardware and software. Students must know the Macintosh operating environment, how to get in and out of programs, print, use flash storage cards, and how to shift between multiple programs.

All of the course assignments are sent out by Blackboard and several are such that the students work is submitted by e-mail or Blackboard or by posting to the class web site or to a podcast site. Students will learn to post files (by FTP) to the web site before beginning the formal study of web authoring. Each assignment will specify the electronic method for turning it in.

Storing your work on CD, Portable hard drive, and/or on the net.


Reference materials (and pages):

New Wave of Tools Emerging in Journalism

Envisioning Information, Edward Tufte, Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT. 1983

This is a marvelous book on the subtelties of presenting information. Tufte is a world renowned leader in this field. Click here for a link to reviews and small descriptions of this work and others. See the instructor if you'd like to borrow the book.

Michael Wesch of Kansas Stae's video on Media Literacy (and Web 2.0)

Salary Survey for Business and Technology Workers, etc -- by



Dr. Robert Fry
Office: Founders 109
Phone: 508-767-7300

Hours:  MW 10-11:30 AM, TuTh 1-2:30 PM (Will change through the term.)


Grade based on:

Midterm 15%-30%
Final Exam 20% - 35%
Projects: 50%

The tests in this course stress the basic principles behind electronic communication and multimedia. These principles are critical for long term relevance to you of the material. The principles actually change quite slowly, especially when compared with the specific techniques used to use the programs and hardware covered in the course.

All assignment descriptions and projects will be delivered electronically. Most will be sent via blackboard. Assignments, in turn, will be turned in electronically, primarily via e-mail and e-mail attachments.) Assignments must be turned in by or on the specified due date. Projects form the heart of student work. The student project work will continue through the end of finals.

Do your own work!

On every assignment prior to creating video must be completed individually. It is cheating to do the work with another student or someone else. The intent of these assignments is to have you learn through the exercise of researching the ideas that are central to the topics and to work out hte details to reinforce the ideas in your mind. Any occurance of working with others will be given a grade of 0 and reported to the Dean.

Page maintained by Dr. Robert Fry. Last updated January 2011.