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FIT1035 Digital media authoring - Semester 2, 2012

This unit provides a focus on specialist tools and techniques that are used for developing content-rich interactive multimedia systems using Adobe Flash. This unit will cover fundamental multimedia principles and best practice theory, the application of practical development processes, the integration of mixed-media assets, interactive design and ActionScript programming for digital media and different technologies for product deployment. Students will create content-rich interactive applications and/or web-based products using an industry standard authoring tool, Adobe Flash, and will gain an understanding of the role of digital media within the broader technology environment.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • South Africa (Day)

Contact Hours

3 hrs lab/week, 1 hr seminar/week

Workload

Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit.

This will include:
Tutorial/Lab: 3 hours per week
Seminar: 1 hour per week

and up to an additional 8 hours in some weeks for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

MMS2402, FIT2012, FIT9028

Prerequisites

FIT1002

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Berwick

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

South Africa

Gregory Gregoriou

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Tutors

Berwick

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

William Lay

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

South Africa

Gregory Gregoriou

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Academic Overview

Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -

A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:
  • information technology and the software tools as they relate to (and are used in) multimedia systems, specifically using the Adobe Flash authoring environment for application and web-based systems development;
  • the formal process undertaken for preparing and documenting the various development stages of a multimedia system;
  • techniques associated with digital video, animation, images and sound and the appropriate application of these for use in application and web development using a range of special effects which are commonly required for advanced interactive design in multimedia systems;
  • how to extend fundamental programming techniques and apply this knowledge across multiple languages.

Developed analytical skills that enable them to:
  • outline strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of multimedia systems;
  • formulate constructive criticism within the construct of critical analysis to make informed decisions on the most appropriate blend of tools and technologies to support a given multimedia system requirement;
  • specify an appropriate tool set for developing and supporting advanced features/functionality in a multimedia system.

Developed practical skills that enable them to:
  • apply advanced interactive design techniques to a multimedia system using a time- frame-based authoring environments;
  • further enhance and refine user interface and navigational design and creativity skills in multimedia systems;
  • write code to assist in advanced system interaction with the programming language ActionScript.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 40%; In-semester assessment: 60%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Flash Development Project 45% By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 3, 7 and 12
Assigned Homework 15% In scheduled Tutorial times in weeks 4, 5, 8 and 11
Examination 1 40% To be advised

Teaching Approach

  • Problem-based learning
    This teaching approach allows students to develop practical solutions to problem- or case-based scenarios, in which students are encouraged to take responsibility for organising and directing their learning with support from their tutors and peers.
  • Seminars
    This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated discussion of concepts and issues raised by the students during the tutorial/lab session.

Feedback

Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:
http://www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/directions.html
http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

The most common theme in previous student feedback indicated that many enjoyed the assessment tasks - particularly being able to select a project to develop and given the creative freedom to explore the features of Flash. The unit focuses on using practical activities both in the lecture and in the tutorials to help students understand complex programming principles and practices before working them into their assignments.

Student feedback has also informed improvements to this unit including ensuring a better balance between the design and development aspects of producing a complete interactive/multimedia application. The assignments have been redesigned in order to be better aligned with the concepts taught.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
https://emuapps.monash.edu.au/unitevaluations/index.jsp

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

The software used in this unit consists of:

  • Adobe Flash CS5.5 Professional
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5.5
  • Adobe Illustrator CS5.5

30 Day Trial/Evaluation versions of the named software can be downloaded for personal use if necessary from the following websites:

  • http://www.adobe.com/  

Student-priced full versions of the software can also be purchased through:

  • http://www.edsoft.com.au

Recommended Resources

ActionScript: Your visual blueprint for creating interactive projects in Flash CS4 Professional by Rob Huddleston, Wiley (2009)

Visual learners can get up and running quickly on ActionScript programming skills for Flash CS4+. If you're a programmer who learns best when you see how something is done, this book will have you up and running with ActionScript in no time. Step-by-step, two-page lessons show you the core programming foundations you must master to create rich application and Internet content using the preferred language for working with Flash. The visual approach breaks big topics into bite-sized modules, with high-resolution screen shots to illustrate each task.

Foundation Flash CS5 for Designers by Tom Green and Tiago Dias, Friends of Ed (2010)

This text focuses on the use of the Flash tools and design techniques that can be applied to them. The exercises provide a wide range of interesting tricks, tips and techniques – more than can be covered by this unit, without getting hindered by the technical aspects of Flash’s authoring environment. Working through the exercises of one chapter each week will significantly increase your animation and design skills, and provide you with a solid foundation for the integration of assets with ActionScript 3.0.

Files for the exercises can be downloaded from: http://www.friendsofed.com/download.html?isbn=1430229942

Flash CS5.5 The Missing Manual available from http://fbooks.ueuo.com/digital-media/flash-cs5-5-the-missing-manual/

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Overview of the unit Assignment overview Development projects  
2 Project decomposition Using Flash Symbols Flash animation basics  
3 Classes and class diagrams, functions and variables, and navigation structures Assessment Task 1: Project Design - Submit completed Interface Design Specification due 4pm Friday
4 Introducing pseudo-code, the document class, using the API doc and debugging Assessment Task 2: Demonstrate Homework 01 in scheduled tutorial time
5 Multiple classes, inheritance, keyboard input, decisions (if/switch) Assessment Task 2: Demonstrate Homework 02 in scheduled tutorial time
6 Movie clips states, drag-drop interactions, collision detection  
7 Loops, strings & arrays, data objects, loading text & XML data Assessment Task 1: Project - Design Submit Navigation/GUI Prototype with Splash Animation and Development Strategy Documentation due 4pm Friday
8 Modular development, loading external swf and image files, data objects & SharedObjects Assessment Task 2: Demonstrate Homework 03 OR 04 in scheduled tutorial time
9 Exploring dispatch events â built-in and custom events, timers & scripted animation  
10 Using sound and video in flash  
11 Integrating other APIs in Flash (Google Maps), Utility Classes Assessment Task 2: Demonstrate Homework 05 in scheduled tutorial time
12 Flash tricks and tips Project wrap-up Exam Preparation Assessment Task 1: Project Implementation - Submit Final Flash Development Project due 4pm Friday
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken during SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/
academic/education/assessment/
assessment-in-coursework-policy.html

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks

Participation

Students are expected to participate in and contribute to the discussion and activities conducted in at least 80% of the weekly seminars. These activities are designed to help you understand the various aspects covered in the unit and will help you successfully complete your assignment tasks.

  • Assessment task 1
    Title:
    Flash Development Project
    Description:
    The development of this project will be over the semester with 3 major development milestones – the Interface Specification Document, a Navigation / GUI Prototype with Development Strategy Documentation and the Final Project. Full details are available in the Unit Overview document available on Moodle.

    Integrated Flash Project
    The outcome of this project is for you to create either an interactive game "Halma-style" for 2 players or an interactive fiction "puzzle quest-style" game with a suitable Splash animation and navigation system.

    For your project, you will need to create a visual theme /environment in which the game is played (demonstrated in the Navigation and GUI Prototype – Week 7), which includes your own background story  that provides an appropriate “rules / how to play” section with appropriate player and game assets and animations related to your visual look-and-feel or theme.

    You will also be required to demonstrate basic program design (demonstrated in the Final Project – Week 12) using appropriate document and custom classes. Each project has five core elements that must be included in the final submission, demonstrating you understanding of both the Flash environment and the programming principle and practices covered throughout the semester.
    Weighting:
    45%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The practical game project will be developed in the Flash CS5.5 authoring environment and worth 40% of the final grade. The marks for the assigned game development project are as follows:

    Project Design (25)

    10      Interface Design Specification Document submitted in Week 3.The criteria for this component will include:

    • structuring the specification document correctly covering the required sections
    • well-designed storyboards including appropriate notes for development

    15      Navigation/Graphic Prototype with Splash Animation and Development Strategy Documentation submitted in Week 7. The criteria for this component will include:

    • demonstration of an appropriate navigation structure for the project with the navigational elements
    • a completed “splash” animation demonstrating various animation techiques
    • appropriate interface design and theme development of the project's graphic assets
    • documentation that includes class diagrams and an outline of the approach intended when developing the project 

    Project Implementation (20)

    20      A functional project (developed to at least an Alpha standard) to be submitted in Week 12. The criteria for this component will include:

    • General Flash Environment Development Criteria (5)
      • a fully functional Flash movie structure using appropriate timeline structures and navigational functionality
      • all internal and external assets must be organised in a logical structure (eg: using folders, naming, etc.)
      • successfully integrate and demonstrate various Flash features including animation, appropriate use of different symbol types, application and use of different types of media (eg: text, images, audio), etc.
    • Broad Programming Criteria (15)
      • the project working without error demonstrating logical and efficient coding with all extraneous code eliminated
      • the use of both document and custom classes, demonstrating the appropriate integration of 3 or more types of interactions
      • the appropriate application of good programming practices including the use of commenting, appropriate naming conventions, meaningful variable and function names, code re-usability, etc.
      • the quality of the project solutions including the effective use of classes, functions, decisions, loops, arrays and object-oriented principles
    Due date:
    By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 3, 7 and 12
  • Assessment task 2
    Title:
    Assigned Homework
    Description:
    The Homework tasks are designed to help students consolidate their understanding of the content delivered in the lectures and tutorials each week. There are 4 assigned Homework tasks worth a total of 15% (3x4 and 1x3 marks each). Students are expected to show their completed homework to their tutor the following week (eg: Week 3 homework shown in Week 4, etc.) in order to earn the assigned marks.
    Weighting:
    15%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The marking criteria used to assess your work is:

    • meeting all the functional requirements of the task,
    • using a methodical approach to development of the task solution and
    • completing bonus challenge tasks.
    Due date:
    In scheduled Tutorial times in weeks 4, 5, 8 and 11

Examinations

  • Examination 1
    Weighting:
    40%
    Length:
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    None
    Remarks:
    The examination has 3 parts:
    1. Various Multiple Choice / Definitions / Short Answer question formats drawn from textbooks, lecture / lab notes (36% of total)
    2. Code Sequencing / Fill in the Blanks / Pseudo-code / Coding question formats scenarios drawn from lab demonstrations and discussions (40% of total)
    3. Scenario Design and Development questions drawn from principles and practices covered in lectures (24% of total)
    Examples of these question formats will be provided in the final lecture in Week 12 and as quizzes on Moodle throughout the semester.

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information

Policies

Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway

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