Syllabus: CSC179: Digital Media Foundations

Description: Introduction to foundational concepts, processes, applications, theory and technology behind the digital media industry. Concepts are taught using the software: Processing, Game Maker, Photoshop. Photoshop is the same commercial software system(s) used by professionals in the industry. This course is meant to provide the student with direct hands-on experience and as such will be organized and taught within a studio environment.
Prerequisite: None, Parkland Catalog here

Course Instructor: Derek Dallas
Office Number: B116C
Office Hours: Here
Office Telephone Number: (217)353-2087

Class times: Mon 9-10:50 am

Course Text Book: No text book required.

WEB PAGE: Information regarding the class including instructor, syllabus, schedules, notes, and project information can be accessed from the class web page by either following the CSC 179 link from the instructor's home page at: or directly at We will also be using Parkland’s online system COBRA for grade reporting.

FORMAT: This class is based on a format of lecture, screenings, discussions, studio, and critique. It is expected that additional time, on a weekly basis, will be spent on your assignments and projects. It is also expected that students read, watch, review, and practice topic material according to the class schedule for each session before coming to class. It is important that the group functions as a class, learning from each other as well as the instructor. Therefore, everyone should be working on the same assignments at the same time. Understanding that there might be technical expertise differences, it is expected that more experienced students will be willing to help beginning students with course material. Conversely, more experienced users should elicit creative evaluations from beginning students during their working process.

GRADING: Course work will consist of large-scale project assignments and research presentations, small-scale studies and tutorials, and midterm/final exams.
The final grade will also reflect the student's class attendance and participation.
The student can keep track of his grade progress using COBRA:
PROJECTS (3) = 50%
Total 100%
90 - 100% will receive A
80 - 89% will receive B
70 - 79% will receive C
60 - 69% will receive D
0 - 59% will receive F
The instructor reserves the right to lower these criterion, but will never raise them.

PROJECTS: Large-scale studio projects will be regularly assigned to develop the craft of visual techniques in the course material. Such studio projects form the basis of the student's portfolio work in 2D and 3D imagery.
Given this importance, studio projects will be graded on the use of :
effective design principles,
expressive creativity,
thoughtful concept,
well-executed craftsmanship,
and adherence to project objectives and guidelines.
Large-scale project assignments also include conducting research and delivering class presentations on course topics. Projects are due on the assigned project due date and will be class critiqued on the due date. Project imagery must be complete and stored in the designated location on the due date before class critique begins. Students will not be allowed to complete projects during class critique. Projects not completed by the due date before class critique begins will receive an F for the project grade. If a student anticipates missing class during the due date and class critique, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor beforehand. The absent student must have their project imagery prepared for the class critique in the designated location on the assigned due date. Failure to prepare project imagery by an absent student will also result in an F project grade. Students have the option of continuing to work on and improve each project after the assigned due date and class critique for (possibly) a better grade. Grades for re-worked projects will be no more than one full letter grade higher than the original project grade at the assigned due date (re-worked project grades will never drop in grade). All re-worked projects are due at the end of the semester.

STUDIES: Small-scale studies and tutorials will be given to introduce and develop the student's understanding and proficiency of techniques and skills. Studies will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. No credit will be given on exercises or tutorials for students absent from class. Since unforeseen circumstances may arise preventing a student from attending class, one "no-credit" study will be dropped from the final grade determination. All studies are due on the assigned due date. No credit will be given for work not completed by the assigned due date.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to be present for all class sessions - for the entire period. Peer learning and interaction is highly encouraged. It is expected that all students participate in the learning environment. For this reason, attendance is mandatory. A student’s final grade will be lowered by one full letter grade after three unexcused absences. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each period. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor when they may not be in attendance. The attendance policy in this course is in keeping with the policy stated in the Parkland College Catalog. It says: "Regular and prompt attendance is expected at all classes," expect in cases involving illness or emergency which should be brought to the attention of the instructor. "Regular attendance and consistent study habits are considered necessary for academic success in college. Faculty members have prerogative of lowering grades for excessive absence." Please be careful of the language you use in your emails and during class.

Finally, the student should remember that the person in charge of his/her academic success is the student himself/herself. If you would rather play video games, text message, use Facebook, chat, or simply use the web while the instructor is lecturing please leave the classroom and do it at home. You are enrolled in a higher educational institution and nobody is forcing you to attend classes.

DROPS: On the seventh day after the start of class, I am required to assess your attendance. If you have not attended regularly to that point, you will be dropped with no refund of tuition or fees. After the seventh-day roster, you should not plan on an instructor to drop you. Non-attendance after the Seventh-day roster will result in an F if you don't withdraw.

WITHDRAWAL PROCEDURE: It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her progress in this course. If after consulting with the instructor, the student feels it becomes necessary to withdraw from this course, it is the responsibility of the student to do so. Please check with the office of admission to find out the final day for withdrawal with “W” grade from courses ending at midterm. If you have questions about the withdrawal procedure, see your Parkland College catalog or student policy and procedures manual. It is your responsibility to withdraw yourself from the class. Please do not assume that by stop not attending the class you will be withdrawn from it. As the one responsible for your academic progress, it is your responsibility, not the instructors, to keep track of it. If you want to withdraw from the course, you are required to obtain the signature of your instructor, the Dept. Chair or a Dean before your withdrawal with be processed.

CORE VALUES: We believe strongly in the Core Values espoused by Parkland College: Honesty and Integrity, Fairness and Just Treatment, Responsibility, Multiculturalism, Education, and Public Trust. Essentially, these values set guidelines for how we should treat you and how you should treat each other (and us). Failure to be respectful of one another or to maintain ethical behavior will not be tolerated.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: Unethical conduct during examinations of in preparation of assignments designated by the instructor will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action. All material handed in with your name on it is to be your work. If it is not you will fail that assignment and will be faced with disciplinary action.

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY WEBSITE: You can find information about the Computer Science and Information Technology Department courses and programs by visiting our website:

STUDENT E-MAIL: Students should access their Parkland e-mail accounts at at least weekly to obtain information about courses or college announcements. Students can go to the information desk or call 217-351-2561 for help with their student e-mail accounts. There is someone available at this number to answer questions from 2-4pm M, T, W, F. Please use the Parkland email to contact the instructor. Gmail, hotmail, and any other email domains might be filtered by the anti-spam program used by Parkland. Contact the instructor using your account and also read emails from there. Angel is used by the instructor to communicate with the students and you can set up Angel to forward emails to any other account you want to.

DISABILITY STATEMENT: If you believe you have a disability for which you may need an academic accommodation (e.g. an alternate testing environment, use of assistive technology or other classroom assistance), please contact: James Albrecht, Room U260, 217-353-2082,

CENTER FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS: The Center for Academic Success provides a wide range of academic support services to enable you learn well, grow as a student, succeed in your classes, and excel at what you do. These services include the following: 1. Tutoring and Learning Assistance: Make use of walk-in tutoring services provided by faculty, staff and trained peer tutors, Monday through Friday. Many students come to get help in study skills, reading, writing, math (all levels), and many other subjects. 2. For-credit Modules and Tutorials: Enroll in one-credit hour Tutorials to supplement classroom instruction in reading, writing, ESL, math, chemistry, and study skills. Modules are available for eligible students to complete certain developmental coursework requirements. 3. Advising and Advocacy: Work with our team of advocates and academic advisor to plan a semester schedule, understand transfer requirements, or manage issues that stand in the way of school.
For more information, please contact Anita Taylor Room: D120 Phone: 353-2005, Sue Schreiber Room: D120 Phone: 351-2441 You may also email the CAS at

TRIO: The TRIO program assists qualified students in building the academic skills necessary to transfer to a 4-year university.
The TRiO/SSS Program assists qualified students in building the academic skills necessary to transfer to a 4-year university. The services for program participants are FREE! In addition they sponsor cultural activities, and have a multipurpose studying and tutoring area with computers, and free printing (quantities limited). If you have any questions please stop by A244 or call 217/353-2267.
Who is Eligible to be a Participant? Students must meet one or more of the following criteria: Meeting income guidelines established by the Department of Education. If you are receiving the Pell Grant, you are likely to fit this requirement. (or) Being a first generation college student This means that your parents cannot have a bachelor’s degree but can have attended college and/or received an associate’s degree (or) Being a student with a documented disability Additional criteria include: - Students who are a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States - Students who show a need for academic services - Students who are enrolled in 12 hours or more of coursework - Students who are degree seeking and are planning to transfer to a 4 year college or university.

MASS NOTIFICATION SYSTEM: In the event of a significant campus emergency, Parkland College will activate its mass notification system. We encourage you to sign up for this free service and select how you would like to be notified: text message, audio message, or email message. Sign up at

COMPUTER RELATED TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE FOR STUDENTS: Parkland College offers help with technical questions and issues regarding Email, Angel, My.Parkland and Wi-Fi access. Visit the STAR (Student Technical Assistance & Resources) office in D-248, contact the STAR Hotline at 217-353-3333, or email for technical assistance.

D.M. COMPUTER LAB. INFO: Computer Lab. Schedule: Digital Media has two dedicated computer labs in D207 & D-227.
During regularly scheduled class time the computers are reserved for the student, However, if empty computers near the back of the room are open you may use them.
However, any behavior that disrupts the class or that offends instructors, classmates, and other students that also use the lab will not be tolerated.

General College Syllabus: General College Syllabus More information can be found in the general college Syllabus.

Student Policies and Procedures Manual: Student Policies and Procedures manual More information can be found in the Student Policies and Procedures manual.