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Course Assignments

There will be online homework assignments, one WWW project, and a final exam. Participation in tutorials and small groups will count for 10% of the final mark. Drafts of the WWW Project will due during the semester and will be given partial credit. The final mark on the WWW Project will be based partly on improvement of the project over the semester. Late assignments will be penalized at a rate of 10% a week. Late online homework assignments will not be marked without the appropriate documentation. For an overview of assignments see here.

Homework 10%
There will 5 homework assignments due. They are all online multiple-choice forms that you fill out online. The first one should be completed by Sept. 29.

For Homework 1 click here. Complete it by September 29th. No extensions. Results are here.

For Homework 2 click here. Complete it by October 27th. Note, it will not start working until Thursday. Results are here.

For Homework 3 click here. Complete it by November 19th. Results are here.

For Homework 4-5 click here. Complete it by December 4th.

WWW Project 40%. Due on or before Nov. 24th
The Web project has three phases. First you will choose a topic in your Small Group. Then you will hand in a simple Web page with your research on the topic in the Week of October 13th (in Tutorial). Then you will do an interface design for the project. Finally you will combine them into the complete Web project.

For more on the first part of the Web Assignment, the Topic Web Page, click or scroll here.

For the list of Web Topic Papers with problems click here.

For more on the second part of the Web Assignment, the Site and Page Design, click or scroll here.

For more on the final part of the Web Assignment, click or scroll here.

Final Exam 40%
A final exam that is a combination of short answer questions, short essay questions and one long essay questions will be held in exam week.

Participation 10%
Participation will be assessed based on participation in Tutorials and Small Group work. Exceptional contributions will be recognized.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at: http://www.mcmaster.ca/senate/academic/ac_integrity.htm


Web Assignment

The Web Assignment follows the trajectory of a typical large Web project. The first part, the Topic Web Page, is the research and content development stage. In the second part you will present a graphic design for the pages of the site and a site map. Finally you will bring these together into a fully researched and designed Web Site. Partial credit will be given for the first two parts of the Web Assignment. We will, however, recognize improvement.

Topic Web Page 10%

The first part of the Web Assignment due is the Topic Web Page. This is to be a single HTML page with the content of your full assignment. It is due in tutorial the week of October 13th. It should have the following components:

  1. There should be a title which identifies your topic.
  2. You should sign your Web page and provide your student number and e-mail.
  3. The page should be printed out so that it can be read and comments written on the page(s).
  4. Along with the printout you should submit the HTML file on a floppy disk or CD-ROM. The two (paper and floppy) should be attached so they cannot be separated in the shuffle. Your floppy or CD should also have your name and student number on it, along with information on which file corresponds to the print Topic Web Page.
  5. You should have an introductory paragraph or two that introduces the paper.
  6. You should have a 2 to 5 paragraphs that explain the topic. If it is a person you should give a short biography emphasizing the contribution to multimedia. If it is an event you should provide the historical context. If it is a technology you should explain the technology.
  7. You should have 2 to 5 paragraphs that explain why the topic is important to multimedia and how we use computers to think and express ourselves.
  8. You should have a conclusion that summarizes the topic and its relevance.
  9. You should have a section with your references with live links to Web sites that you consulted or bibliographic citations to journal articles. There should be at least three Web cites or references cited.
  10. Quotations in the text of your Topic Page should be followed by a link to relevant reference in the references section.
Possible Topics

Topics are any person, event, or technology that is significant to the development of multimedia. Good topics are small enough that you can adequately cover them in a 2 to 4 page print paper. Good topics are people, events, or technologies that you can demonstrate to have made a difference to multimedia as we now experience it. Really good topics surprise us and make us rethink our sense of how multimedia developed. Some examples of viable topics:

MP3, Vannevar Bush, Alan Kay, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, QuickTime, The World Wide Web, XML, Doom, Myst, HyperCard, Toolbook, PDF, Desktop Publishing, Virtual Reality ... and many many more (surprise us)

Avoiding Plagiarism

It is important that you properly quote and reference any passages that you take from other resources. Where you use another person's words as they expressed them you need to make it clear that this is a quotation and provide a reference for where this came from. For more on this see How to avoid plagiarism.

Backups

Despite our best efforts, assignments occaisionally get lost. Make sure you have a backup that you can copy and hand in if we misplace your assignment.


Site and Page Design 10%

The second part of the Web Assignment due is the Topic Web Page. This is to be three or more pages that describe and show the design of a typical page and of the site. It is due in tutorial the week of November 3rd. It should have the following components:

  1. There should be a printed page that describes the topic briefly and describes the thinking behind the page and site design.
  2. You should sign your this printed page and provide your student number and e-mail.
  3. There should be one or more pages showing how a typical page(s) will look. These should be printed preferably in colour if colour matters to your design. The components should be annotated. (This can be done with clear and legible handwritten notes with arrows indicating what the notes are about.)
  4. You can submit the typical page design also as a web page on a floppy or mounted on a web server. (If it is on a web server please provide the URL.)
  5. There should be one page that shows the structure of the site. It should show what web pages will be in the full site and how they will be connected. The map of the site can be hand drawn and it should have annotations explaining what content will be in which page.
  6. Make sure you keep a copy of all the materials handed in should they get lost.
  7. Make sure your pages are attached and that your name and student number are on all three (or more) pages.

Final Project 20%

The final part of the Web Assignment due is the complete Web Site. This is like the first Web Topic Page. You will hand in a print out of the site and the html pages on a floppy or CD-ROM. In this assignment you will combine the content from the topic page assignment and the design from the design assignment. It is due in tutorial the week of November 17th. It should have the following components:

  1. There should be a printed copy of your site as it displays (or as close as you can get). This is so we can provide comments. Do not print out the html.
  2. You should sign your this printed page and provide your student number and e-mail.
  3. The site should also be provided to us on an attached floppy or CD- ROM. If you have access to a Web server you can provide us with the URL.
  4. Make sure you keep a copy of all the materials handed in should they get lost.
  5. Make sure your pages are attached and that your name and student number are on the printout and the disk.
  6. If you have made significant improvements on the design or the content since the earlier assignments you should provide us with the earlier assignment(s) and note the changes in your credits page or on a separate sheet. Where there has been significant improvement we will recognize that.

Final Exam

The final exam will have three parts. There will be a section with short questions that can be answered with a date, word, phrase, or name. There will be three short essay questions, and the final part will be a long essay question. The short essay questions will be adapted from the long essay questions below. For the long essay, you will be given a choice of three of the questions below.

Essay Questions

  1. What is a multimedia work? Define multimedia and defend your definition. Provide examples of types of works that fit and examples that do not. Discuss how multimedia is different from other types of information, art and literature.
  2. What makes for good multimedia design? Discuss both interface and architecture design for multimedia. Provide illustrations if needed.
  3. How has the way we interact with computers changed over time? Discuss one or two different paradigms for human computer interaction. How do you think we will interact with computers in the future?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital media over traditional media? What do we lose when we digitize information and what do we gain? Illustrate your answer by describing how we digitize either text, images, sound or video. In your discussion you should cover sampling and quantization.
  5. What are some of the key cultural issues in computing today and for the future? Discuss issues like access, gender, privacy, and intellectual property that you think are important. Provide background information about the issues you raise and what solutions you recommend.
  6. What are the important events in the history of multimedia computing? What are some of the key developments that made modern multimedia computing possible on personal computers? Explain why the events you choose are important and weave them into a coherent history of multimedia computing.
  7. What is the Internet and how has it changed how we communicate? Make sure you discuss the World Wide Web and other services in your answer.
  8. What is interactivity? Is interactivity important to multimedia? How would you assess the interactivity of a digital work?
  9. What is a hypertext? How is a hypertext different from or similar to other types of texts? What are some of the uses of hypertexts? Are hypertexts multimedia works?
  10. How can computers enhance teaching and learning, if at all? What do critics of computers in education say? In particular, discuss the possibilities and limitations of multimedia works.

Site created by Geoffrey Rockwell, 2003