Skip to the content | Change text size
PDF unit guide

FIT1035 Digital media authoring - Semester 2, 2014

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)
  • Malaysia (Day)
  • South Africa (Day)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • One 3-hour tutorial
  • One 1-hour seminar

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours of personal study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

MMS2402, FIT2012, FIT9028

Prerequisites

FIT1002 or FIT1040

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

South Africa

To be announced

Malaysia

Judy Gilbert Fernandez

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Tutors

Caulfield

Cheryl Howard

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

William Lay

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Matthew Kairys

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

Malaysia

Judy Gilbert Fernandez

Consultation hours: By Appointment only

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 the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. 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, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

The lectures are still a "bone of contention" with the students, with attendance being less than ideal. So, in consultation with the other lecturers delivering this unit, the previous version of the lectures have been removed and a new interactive approach has been implemented. In the lecture, students engage with interactive activities to consolidate the weekly concepts/topic covered working through collaborative discussion and practical examples, before attending the labs. In the labs, the application of these concepts is easier when working through the practical and project-related material.

The most common theme in previous student feedback indicated that many enjoyed the assessment tasks - particularly being 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

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
  • identify and apply the formal processes undertaken for preparing and documenting the design specification and prototype development stages of a multimedia application;
  • construct a functional interactive project given a specific brief using a graphical authoring environment (eg: Adobe Flash CS6);
  • identify, design and develop appropriate assets for the creation of a functional user interface using an appropriate navigational structure;
  • execute a range of special effects which are commonly required for interactive design in multimedia applications (eg: animation, visual and audio feedback, etc.);
  • demonstrate intermediate programming techniques using the required authoring language (eg: ActionScript 3.0) using an object-oriented approach to programming development;
  • identify and interpret the nature of technical issues that are encountered during the development and testing of a multimedia application;
  • modify or adapt learned programming techniques to extend these skills across multiple languages.

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 Using Flash Symbols and Flash Animation Basics Demonstrated tasks during Weeks 2-11 in scheduled labs
3 Project Decomposition, Navigation Structures, Classes and Pseudo-code  
4 Programming Basics, the document class, using the API doc and debugging Project Interface Design Specification due Friday 4pm
5 Custom Classes and Events, Broadcast Messaging, Tracking User Interactions  
6 Loops, strings, arrays, data objects, loading text/XML data  
7 Building Dynamic Interfaces, Movie Clips States, Scripted Animation and Keyboard Interactions  
8 Collision Detection, Advanced Custom Events, Alternative Feedback Displays and Timers Navigation/GUI Prototype with Splash Animation and Class Diagrams due Friday 4pm
9 Using Components, Data Objects, Loading and Saving Data  
10 Loading External Files (SWF) and Project Construction Techniques  
11 Using Sound Objects in Flash  
12 Flash tricks and tips Project wrap-up Exam Preparation Completed Functional Project due Friday 4pm
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in 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 learning system.

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.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Flash Development Project 60% By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 4, 8 and 12. Demonstrated tasks during Weeks 2-11 in scheduled labs.
Examination 1 40% To be advised

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

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 practical project will be developed using the Flash CS5+ authoring environment. The development of this project will be over the semester with 3 major development milestones – the Interface Design Specification Document, a Navigation and GUI Prototype with a Development Strategies document and the Final Project. Full details are available in the individual Project Brief documents available on Moodle.

    The Project Interface Design Specification documentation is designed to outline the interface and interactive design of the project. Part of your final assessment will include how well you develop your project in accordance to what you stipulate in this document.

    The Navigation/GUI Prototype will demonstrate how you have structured your project and show the majority of your interface design. The prototype should include a clearly defined internal structure on the time line (as demonstrated in tutorials), clearly show the main screen elements of the project, and an example of each major screen of the project. The Development Strategies document should outline how you plan to develop your project including a breakdown of each screen and the assets required.

    The Completed Functional Project, developed according to the project specification documents submitted in Week 4. Each scenario requires that you successfully integrate the 2 or more project enhancements as described under the individual project scenarios.
    Weighting:
    60%
    Criteria for assessment:

    The practical game project will be developed in the Flash CS5+ authoring environment and worth 60% 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 4.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 Class Diagrams submitted in Week 8. 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 including the overall look-and-feel of the project's graphics/interface
    • documentation that includes class diagrams and an outline of the approach intended when developing the project 

    Project Implementation (35%)

    20%     Successful completition of in-class project related tasks to be demonstrated during Weeks 2-11 in scheduled labs

    15%     Successful integration of selected scenario enhancements submitted in Weeks 12.The criteria for this component will include:

    • a fully functional Flash movie structure using appropriate timeline structures
    • 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 interaction using a variety of Flash features
    • the quality of the project solutions including the effective use of classes, functions, decisions, loops, arrays and object-oriented principles
    • the appropriate application of good programming practices including the use of commenting, appropriate naming conventions, meaningful variable and function names, code re-usability, etc.
    • all internal and external assets must be organised in a logical structure demonstrating project organisation skills
    Due date:
    By 4pm Friday of the specified weeks 4, 8 and 12. Demonstrated tasks during Weeks 2-11 in scheduled labs.

Examinations

  • Examination 1
    Weighting:
    40%
    Length:
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Hurdle requirements:
    Students must achieve at least 40% in the examination.
    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 the designated learning system throughout the semester.

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List (if applicable to the unit)
http://readinglists.lib.monash.edu/index.html

Faculty of Information Technology Style Guide

Feedback to you

Examination/other end-of-semester assessment feedback may take the form of feedback classes, provision of sample answers or other group feedback after official results have been published. Please check with your lecturer on the feedback provided and take advantage of this prior to requesting individual consultations with staff. If your unit has an examination, you may request to view your examination script booklet, see http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/procedures/request-to-view-exam-scripts.html

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-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). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

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

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+ Professional (version CS6 in in the Labs)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5+
  • Adobe Illustrator CS5+

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 (Flash CS6 Professional)
  • http://success.adobe-education.com/en/au/students.html (Adobe Creative Cloud subscription)

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/

The first 2 books are also in the Library as a limited number of copies are available for borrowing.

Other Information

Policies

Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Key educational policies include:

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.