About This Course

MMC 4341L Advanced Online Media Production
Spring 2015 | Section 099F
Monday periods 8, 9, 10 (3 – 6 p.m.), 3024 Weimer Hall
Students are required to have individual meetings with the professor each week. These will be scheduled at a time to suit your individual class schedule.

PREREQUISITE: MMC 3260

Instructor Information

Instructor: Mindy McAdams, Professor, Department of Journalism
E-mail: See this page for my UF e-mail address
Office: 3049 Weimer Hall
Office hours: Monday 11:45 a.m.–12:35 p.m. | Tuesday 3–4 p.m. | and by appointment | Spring 2015
Office phone: (352) 392-8456 (NOTE: E-mail is better. Much better.)
Bio: On this page

What Do Students Learn in This Course?

(Updated Jan. 3, 2015)

This course has changed along with the journalism business. From about 2003 until 2011, this course was known unofficially as “the Flash class.” Journalism students with no previous experience using Adobe Flash learned how to create multimedia news packages (like this) with Flash. The course included programming in ActionScript (which is very similar to JavaScript) and intermediate Web design with HTML and CSS.

The Web is always evolving, and the technologies that were most used a few years ago are no longer preferred in newsrooms and other workplaces where people make things for online audiences. So, naturally, this course must change to keep up with the industry.

Nowadays, multimedia packages look like this and this and this. Check out this collection too.

As in the past, students in this course are not expected to have any knowledge of programming. The only prerequisite is MMC 3260, and the knowledge of HTML and CSS from that course.

A variety of technologies are now used instead of Flash — including jQuery, which will be taught in this course. Students will learn the basics of programming in a supportive environment, with the full understanding that many journalism students feel a lot of apprehension about code.

Read this: Want to be a reporter? Learn to code (Sept. 5, 2012)

Teaching computer programming skills in j-schools has been a big topic of discussion since about 2010. The consensus: It’s not for everyone. This course recognizes that many journalism students will not love coding — but every student owes it to him- or herself to find out. This course and its professor DO NOT expect you to become a coding rock star.

How Can You Learn This Stuff?

No one learns how to code by listening to a lecture. Learning to code is like solving a puzzle (think Rubik’s Cube). There are lots of ways to get help, and tips, and hints, but in the end, the person who learns how to code is a person who stays with a problem and experiments with different ways to solve it until, finally, success is achieved!

This course offers journalism students an extraordinary opportunity to learn how to make things for the digital information universe we all use every day. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to require an investment — without your time and your attention, there’s no way you can learn this.

But what if you made a commitment to try — really try — for about one hour a day, every day, for one semester? What if you told yourself this: “If I give it one hour, maybe two, every day for 15 weeks, I can really learn this”?

Do you accept the challenge?

If your answer is yes, please sign up for MMC 4341.

Note About Who May Register

This course is taught on the campus of the University of Florida. Only students who are enrolled at the University of Florida and physically present on the campus in Gainesville, Florida, will be admitted to this course. This course is not taught online.

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