Information Design & Technology

IDT 501          Social Information Theory (3)

Examines the role of theory in effective communication and information design.  Explores theoretical approaches and practices from several disciplines (communication, cognitive science, instructional design).  Applies front-end analysis and information design strategies and practices.  Students work on communication and design problems from instructional environments, business, or government, and present their findings orally, visually, and in writing.


IDT 507          Information Technologies (3)

Assesses the development and social impact of information and communication technologies.  Focuses on emerging technologies of the 21st century and the convergence of traditional with new media.  Examines the technical features and characteristics of information and communication technologies, and assesses the evidence for significant social impact associated with their diffusion.


IDT 510          Social Media (3)

An introduction to various types of social media along with ideological and technological foundations. The emphasis on practical understanding through hand-on exercises and collaboration will help demonstrate the larger concepts of social presence and the use and effectiveness of social media in personal and professional life. Blogs and microblogs (twitter), wikis, social networking sites, including bookmarking, video and image sharing, podcasts and vlogs will be tested and evaluated.


IDT 515          Massive Online Collaboration (3)

Massive Online Collaboration often involves relatively small contributions by many people in order to accomplish large projects or tasks. One example is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), in which participants and course resources are distributed and students collaborate openly for the purpose of learning. In this seminar, students will participate in and analyze several different types of massive online collaborations, depending on the student’s interests.  Connectivism, networked learning, creativity, design challenges and inclusiveness will be addressed as students learn about online activities that include large  numbers of participants.


IDT 516          Critical Perspectives on New Media (3)

An examination of the cultural significance of new media and new media technologies. The course will explore the emergence of new media from two intersecting perspectives. First, we will examine new media within the context of twentieth century analyses of modern (particularly mass) culture. By doing so, we can explore the ways in which emerging mediums of culture expression continue, amplify, and/or break with the social and cultural logics of modern culture. Second, we will look at more recent efforts to theorize and critically assess new media. This will enable us to ask what is new about new media, and what possibilities are inherent in the new characteristics of these emerging cultural technologies. Students will engage in theoretical discussions and analyses of new media through the application of these theoretical perspectives.


IDT 518          Advanced New Media Theory and Digital Culture (3)

Studies the meaning of ‘New Media’ and its influence on culture. Through readings, discussions, analysis of cultural artifacts as well as a longer hands-on project, we will reveal the underlying ideas of our digital historical moment. As we analyze various modes of presentation, we will investigate the impact electronic media have had on society and explore its implications for activities such as online learning and education. Using a series of writings by pioneers in new media theory, we will place our current 21st century culture in a larger framework of established theoretical perspectives.


IDT 519          Gamification (3)

Gamification is the use of frameworks and common design tropes from the video game industry to solve problems and engage audiences. The class will have a number of readings on the subject which will be discussed during online sessions. The course will utilize modding and free Software Development Kits (SDKs) to build projects that demonstrate gamification. Programming experience is not required to take the course. Project topics will range from simple informative serious games (such as “Darfur Is Dying”) to skill acquisition (such as triage training).


IDT 520          Gender and Technology (3)

Examines how gender and technology shape each other.  Some topics include the history of technology, global inequalities related to technology and development, domestic worlds and public worlds, cultural constructions of gender, and gendered social relations on the Internet.  The course will also include special emphasis on gender and information technology.


IDT 521          Global Communications (3)

An exploration of globalization and changing communication processes as they relate to information design and technology.  Topics include economics, trade, human trafficking, technology, poverty, development, immigration, environment, and activism.  The seminar will allow for opportunities to learn about global communication and practice cross-cultural and international communication skills.  Students will also be analyzing key issues using current literature from a variety of fields.


IDT 522          Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (3)

“Computer-supported cooperative work” (CSCW) refers to communication or collaboration technologies and how such technologies mediate social activities including work.  There is a strong focus on the social, ethical, psychological, and other organizational effects, and how these reflect back into technology design.  This online seminar will focus on the CSCW field and currents trends in CSCW, and explore workplace interactions including those using electronic communication, conferencing, and collaborative project management tools.  The course will cover cross-cultural ideas that affect collaboration and understanding in a globalized world, including those that relate to inequality across nations and peoples.  Final projects will include a collaborative dimension involving the choice and use of collaborative work tools and analyzing their effectiveness and social implications.


IDT 523          Digital Narratives (3)

The theory and practice of creating digital narratives across a range of media is the main topic of this course.  The focus will be on different applications of digital narratives that have emerged, and how these applications can be adapted to professional work in a variety of fields.  Students will learn about developing a personal narrative and how it can be implemented with digital media.  Effective digital design will be addressed.  New tools and frameworks for storytelling with digital media will be presented.


IDT 524          Websphere Analysis (3)

Websphere Analysis is a set of emerging methods for assessing social, political and cultural relations between Web producers and users.  The relationships—mediated by Web sites, texts and links—are examined mostly through qualitative techniques.  The course will focus on the completion of a project including the identification of a websphere, archiving the websphere, analyzing it and writing about it.  Other methods for studying and evaluating webpages and websites will be explored.


IDT 530          Research Methods for Information Design and Technology (3)

Explores a range of qualitative research methods that can be used for studying information design and technology topics, including in-depth interviewing, content analysis, focus groups, historical research, visual analysis, participant observation, case study research, and others.  Reviews models and methods of research from fields including information studies, organizational behavior, anthropology, and sociology.  Research methods and tools adapted for studying the Internet will be emphasized.  Students will be exposed to a variety of options for use of qualitative and Quantitative methods for theses papers and projects.


IDT 531          Evaluating Information Technology (3)

Focuses on editing in the context of rhetorical theory, analyzing the strategies and purposes of editing for various documents and audiences.  Emphasis falls on the editor as supervisor and manager who must understand the design and production process of complete documents.  A major component of the course addresses the skills and issues of editing for on-line communication and publication.  Cross listed with COM 310.


IDT 534          Information Design (3)

Explores the theoretical and practical use of graphics as a form of visual communication.  Topics include visual perception and forms, design theory, chart and graph theory, relationships between formatted text and graphics, and color and design concepts.  Students will apply theory to the design of visuals in communication.


IDT 535          Typographic Design and Communication (3)

Investigates typographic variables and methods of organization.  Verbal, visual and vocal message-making is explored through the marriage of meaning and form.  This facilitates the development of an aesthetic vocabulary combined with an increased sensitivity to language.  Issues of hierarchy, readability, and syntax will be examined through a series of projects.  The assignments range from realistic, client-based problems to highly abstract, heuristic exercises.


IDT 536          Graphic Design (3)

An advanced exploration of the theoretical and practical application of consumer, trade and public service graphic design.  Students will study the contemporary history and evolution of advertising’s use of graphics as a means of visual communication.  Students will create at least seven promotional pieces with emphasis on presentation and professional work.  An introduction to the theory of computer-based imaging and the exploration of a variety of hands-on techniques pertaining to design creation, manipulation, and construction.  Students should have a general understanding of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe In Design.


IDT 541          Instructional Design (3)

Students will learn about the fundamentals of instructional design, its variations and impact on learning outcomes.  Several contemporary ID models will be examined.  Students will ultimately adopt a personal approach to instructional design.


IDT 542          Online Learning – Techniques, Technologies and Opportunities (3)

A look at the key issues, developing technologies, and leading debates in the field of online learning.  This includes a look at online learning’s potential for transforming higher education in a number of fundamental ways including its impact on pedagogical practices, widening access to higher education, government policy initiatives, and access to learning resources.


IDT 545          Information Technology and Organizational Change (3)

Examines the theoretical framework of change theory and research in various fields and issues facing individuals or institutions engaged in change.  Students will discuss the elements of the change process, the roles of participants in the process and implications for change agents or agencies.  Students will apply knowledge of diffusion and diffusion research to a planned, ongoing or past diffusion effort, preparing recommendations or post-mortem analysis of the process.  Desirability and unintended consequences of innovations will also be discussed.  Non-matriculated students need permission of dean to enroll.


IDT 551          Evaluating Technology (3)

Addresses issues that information technology professionals face in selecting technology (both hardware and software) to meet desired goals.  Topics include technology classification, evaluation criteria and software and hardware considerations, including the Internet and intranets.  Will examine how information is shaped and modified by the technologies that are selected.


IDT 553          Principles and Projects in New Media (3)

An advanced consideration of communication theory as it relates to visual language and the ways designers use and readers process such information.  Analyzes the strengths and limits of various media and applies design principles applicable to each medium and to the integration of visuals with language and sound.  Students analyze and evaluate selected readings and examples and use publishing techniques to design and produce new media products.


IDT 554          Advanced Web Development and Design (3)

Considers advanced aspects of web system design and development.  Issues covered include server-site application development, client-side application development, and web graphics.  The user-machine interaction will be considered with a focus on user interface design principles, guidelines and standards.  The advantages and disadvantages of various graphical user interfaces and object-oriented user interfaces will be discussed.


IDT 555          Ethical and Legal Issues of the Information Age (3)

Analyzes ethical and legal issues related to information technologies.  Examines the ways that technology challenges traditional ethical and legal concepts and raises old issues in new ways.  Topics reflect recent patterns and developments, with particular emphasis on how technological developments shape, and are shaped by, the economic and political structure and organization of communication systems.  Examines the role ethical and legal factors play in the day-to-day work of designers, producers and consumers using a series of contemporary issues as case studies.


IDT 575          Designing and Writing Interactive Text (3)

Explores the contemporary practice of writing in digital environments, with an emphasis on hypertext and hypertextuality. Reviews the history of writing, and the notion of interactivity. Techniques for writing digital texts with navigational and semantic elements are presented and practiced. Students design and write wikis featuring words, images, video and audio, and use a variant of Markdown to structure elements and render documents and texts consistent with contemporary standards of design and presentation.


IDT 585          Seminar in Emerging Information Technologies (3)

Takes an in-depth look at emerging technologies including but not limited to multimedia, distance learning, networking and the Internet.  Reviews technical, social, economic and political factors associated with new and emerging information technologies.  Examines trends in the development and diffusion of emerging information technologies.  Explores, through practical application, use of emerging information technologies in educational settings.


IDT 590          Selected Topics in Information Design and Technology (3)

Provides students with the opportunity to investigate selected topics in information and design technology.  Topics will typically illustrate the application of theory and research.  Students may receive credit in a future semester for different topic areas.


IDT 591          Independent Study (1-3)


IDT 592          Internship (3)

Application of theory to real-life situations through placement in an appropriate work-related setting.  Requires completion of assigned projects under the joint supervision of a faculty member and a professional supervisor.  Prerequisite:  Faculty will determine on a case-by-case basis if student is adequately prepared for an internship.  The student will be required to make a proposal for an internship and IDT faculty will review each request.


IDT 599 Thesis/Project (3)