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Twin Cities Campus

Digital Media Studies Minor

School of Journalism & Mass Communication
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2022
  • Required credits in this minor: 15
Digital media are a part of and shape our everyday lives. The Digital Media Studies minor helps students understand the continually evolving digital media environment by investigating the role of digital media in society from different perspectives. With this minor, students will better understand how humans interact with technology and how digital technology shapes our social and political lives, and learn to apply this knowledge to professional and personal pursuits. The Digital Media Studies minor complements many majors by illuminating the connections, practices, contexts, and interactions found in the digital world and applying this knowledge to their area of study.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
No more than two courses for a maximum of 6 credits can be earned from a single course designator.
Core Courses
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 6 credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 1501 - Digital Games and Society [AH, TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3551 - The Business of Digital Media: Innovation, Disruption, and Adaptation [TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3552 - Technology, Communication & Global Society [GP] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3553 - Mobile Communication [TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture [AH, TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 4272 - Digital Advertising: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media (3.0 cr)
Electives
Take exactly 3 course(s) totaling 9 - 12 credit(s) from the following:
· ARTS 3730 - Intermediate Digital Photography (4.0 cr)
· ARTS 5710 - Advanced Photography and Moving Image Projects (4.0 cr)
· COMM 3211 - Introduction to Media Studies (3.0 cr)
· COMM 3625W - Communication Ethics [WI] (3.0 cr)
· COMM 4291 - New Telecommunication Media (3.0 cr)
· COMM 5231 - Media Outlaws (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 3921W - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· DES 3131 - User Experience in Design (4.0 cr)
· DES 3141 - Technology, Design, and Society [TS] (3.0 cr)
· ENGL 4722 - Alphabet to Internet: History of Writing Technologies (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3371W - Technology, Self, and Society [TS, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3381W - Writing and Modern Cultural Movements [AH, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 3577W - Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet [TS, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
· ARTS 3750 - Narrative Digital Filmmaking (4.0 cr)
or ARTS 5750 - Advanced Narrative Digital Filmmaking (4.0 cr)
· ARTS 3760 - Experimental Film and Video (4.0 cr)
or ARTS 5760 - Experimental Film and Video (4.0 cr)
· ARTS 3770 - Animation (4.0 cr)
or ARTS 5770 - Animation (4.0 cr)
· CSCI 4921 - History of Computing [TS, HIS] (3.0 cr)
or HSCI 4321 - History of Computing [TS, HIS] (3.0 cr)
· CSCL 1202W - Media: Word, Image, Sound [AH, TS, WI] (4.0 cr)
or SCMC 1202W - Media: Word, Image, Sound [AH, TS, WI] (4.0 cr)
· CSCL 3220W - Screen Cultures [AH, TS, WI] (3.0 cr)
or SCMC 3220W - Screen Cultures [AH, TS, WI] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4662W - Writing With Digital Technologies [WI] (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 5662 - Writing With Digital Technologies (3.0 cr)
 
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JOUR 1501 - Digital Games and Society (AH, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Digital games have a wide-ranging impact on our culture and society and are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entertainment media industry, generating enormous profits for the game companies. In this course, you will: (1) be introduced to the academic study of video games; (2) examine digital games as forms of communication and interactive storytelling, as well as games of entertainment, commerce, social activism, professional training, and education; (3) consider the impact of mobile media, particularly for games and gameplay; (4) discuss next-generation virtual reality technology that may change the way we think about immersive media experiences; and (5) study the history, ethics, and socio-cultural impact of digital games and related technologies.
JOUR 3551 - The Business of Digital Media: Innovation, Disruption, and Adaptation (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Digital media enterprises have uprooted many established industries and continue to be among the most important factors shaping our economy and society today. Where do these innovations come from? Why do some startups prosper while others fail? How do legacy firms respond to disruptions to their business models? What makes adaptations possible? What makes them risky? Learn to analyze and evaluate the economic strategies of existing digital media firms across various sectors of society including news, entertainment, social media, mobile, and retail. Assess their impacts on cultural and civic life for better and for worse. Use these skills to incubate your own ideas for the next great media innovations of the future.
JOUR 3552 - Technology, Communication & Global Society (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course examines the various ways in which technology continues to evolve, and to have a role in ongoing societal changes. The course focuses on unpacking the specific ways in which technology are evolving, and connecting those changes to impacts on communication and media A variety of theories or perspectives relevant or related to technology use and global communication will be considered to help make sense of the interplay between the technology use and societies in a global setting. The course is divided into three main parts: first, understanding of the specifics of relevant technology; second, connecting the technical features to theoretical views of technology; third, examining global patterns of technology use in media and communication. The readings and discussions place special emphasis on specific forms of technology, including mobile phones, Web, and social media. Grounded in a global context, we will investigate the political, cultural, social, technological, and economic conditions that shape and are shaped by the presence of the Internet at the national and cross-national levels; the effects of technology use on the form and content of mass communication at the global level; and the implications of technology use for human and social relations across national borders.
JOUR 3553 - Mobile Communication (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
In the past 20 years, mobile communication has emerged as a rapidly-growing, popular, and economically and socially significant mode of communication around the world. First as voice-only devices intended for business use, mobile devices have proliferated and gained new functionalities. Smartphones are now the most common means of internet access in many countries, and mobile devices have brought together the capabilities of watches, computers, GPS trackers, and many other specialized tools. Today, two-thirds of the world?s population has reliable mobile phone access, and there are more mobile devices in existence than there are people on earth. In light of these rapid developments, this course introduces students to scholarly analysis of mass mobile phone communication in the United States and globally. Beginning with a set of foundational discussions about mobile communication, the course moves through a series of thematic units examining mobile crowdsourcing, social movements, social life, development, media, and the future of mobile communication. Throughout, the course explores how mobile devices have been put to use and what new possibilities and risks lie ahead.
JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture (AH, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
How have digital media innovations like social media, mobile phones, artificial intelligence, drones and games shaped and been shaped by a culture and society globally? Learn to critically examine the function of digital media in your life. Take away a socio-historical understanding of digital media innovation, and the social, political, and economical impact of new media in creativity, industry, and culture from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Topics range from the concept of branding in an online context, to the varied uses of digital media in the context of journalism, social mobilization, law and privacy, business, globalization, content creation, and beyond. You will read, discuss, and debate cutting edge material from documentaries, podcasts, popular press, and academic literature. This course balances local contexts with global perspectives, and provides details into the practicalities of working and living in a new media environment.
JOUR 4272 - Digital Advertising: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course introduces you to the fascinating and ever-changing world of digital advertising and marketing. Learn its history and evolution, current trends, future possibilities, and legal/ethical issues. We'll study the innovative research and theories explaining the practice and effects of various forms, including social media, search marketing, gaming, native, viral, online video advertising, online behavioral advertising, and mobile. Through a combination of lectures, in-class discussions, and guest presentations by industry professionals, you'll learn the basic theories for developing effective and socially-responsible digital advertising campaigns in the increasingly diverse and global media environment.
JOUR 5501 - Communication, Public Opinion, and Social Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Sharpen your understanding of public opinion and its role in political and civic life: What does it mean? Where does it come from? How is it measured? What impact does it have? How are the public's preferences shaped by the larger communications environment and the strategic messages of politicians, interest groups, and other actors in society? What are polls really measuring, and why do they seem so unreliable sometimes? How are social media technologies giving voice to new segments and dimensions of public opinion? But how are they vulnerable to manipulation from bots and other efforts designed to alter perceptions of collective opinions? Examine the theories of communication, psychology, political science, and sociology that underlie these dynamic questions. We?ll consider cutting edge approaches used by market researchers, political analysts, and data scientists to harness new forms of data about what the public thinks. We investigate theories that explain how people form their opinions, deliberate with others, change their minds, and reveal their preferences, and we apply these frameworks to understand contemporary public opinion issues and campaigns.
ARTS 3730 - Intermediate Digital Photography
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Photographic digital imaging in fine arts. Manipulation, computer applications. Editing in photo imaging software. prereq: 1701
ARTS 5710 - Advanced Photography and Moving Image Projects
Credits: 4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Design/implementation of individual advanced projects. Demonstrations, lectures, critique. Reading, writing, discussion of related articles/exhibitions. prereq: previously completed a 3XXX course in Photography or Moving Images and Art major
COMM 3211 - Introduction to Media Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Historical development and current issues in electronic media technologies and programming. Effects of governmental, industrial, and public organizations on message content. Problem areas of electronic media.
COMM 3625W - Communication Ethics (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Applying concepts/theories from philosophy and social science to ethical issues in interpersonal, group, organizational, intercultural, and media communication.
COMM 4291 - New Telecommunication Media
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Development and current status of new telecommunication media such as cable TV, satellites, DBS, MDS, and video disk/cassettes. Technology, historical development, regulation, and programming of these media and their influence on individuals, organizations, and society. prereq: 3211 or instr consent
COMM 5231 - Media Outlaws
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
People working outside of mainstream media institutions who find creative/provocative ways to use media as space for cultural, political, or economic critique/resistance.
CSCI 3921W - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Impact of computers on society. Computer science perspective of ethical, legal, social, philosophical, political, and economic aspects of computing. prereq: At least soph or instr consent
DES 3131 - User Experience in Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to theories/principles of human interaction with designed objects. Focuses on affect/emotional quality of designs. Objects, interfaces, environments. Digitally mediated experiences.
DES 3141 - Technology, Design, and Society (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explore/evaluate impact of technology/design on humans, societies. How design innovation shapes cultures. How people use technology to shape design, adoption, use of designed products/environments through consumerism/ethical values.
ENGL 4722 - Alphabet to Internet: History of Writing Technologies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Equivocal relation of memory and writing. Literacy, power, control. Secrecy and publicity. Alphabetization and other ways of ordering world. Material bases of writing. Typographical design/expression. Theories of technological determinism.
WRIT 3371W - Technology, Self, and Society (TS, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Cultural history of American technology. Social values that technology represents in shifts from handicraft to mass production/consumption, in modern transportation, communication, bioengineering. Ethical issues in power, work, identity, our relation to nature.
WRIT 3381W - Writing and Modern Cultural Movements (AH, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course explores how written texts help to shape modern art and cultural movements. Writ 3381 first develops an understanding of the manifesto form by reading primary examples written by artists from such movements as Cubism and Expressionism. Students study the complex written and visual strategies of those texts and how they contributed to social and political change in the modern world. Out of those attempts to change culture, students will be challenged to consider how particular writing strategies developed in the U.S. aimed at bringing about change in 1960s culture in areas such as the women's movement, the move toward racial equality, and the environmental movement. Toward the end of the course, the writings of current movements are taken up as building on and departing from past writing and rhetorical strategies. Students both read about and practice writing strategies studied in the course.
WRIT 3577W - Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet (TS, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course examines the rich and complex ways people are seeking to inform and persuade others via the internet. Western rhetorical theories have adapted to address spoken, written, visual, and digital communication. The internet incorporates aspects of all of these modes of communication, but it also requires us to revisit how we have understood them. Students in Rhetoric, Technology, and the Internet will reinforce their understandings of rhetorical theories and the internet as a technology. The class will also ask students to read current scholarly work about the internet, and develop the critical tools needed to complement, extend, or challenge that work.
WRIT 4501 - Usability and Human Factors in Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Writ 4501/Writ 5501
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Usability is concerned with how people interact with design and technology; usability is commonly known as the "ease of use" of products and technologies by a range of users. This course emphasizes usability and user research and will explore the intersection of usability and technical communication. We will investigate definitions of usability and user-centered design principles, and we will explore a variety of usability research methods including heuristic evaluation, personas, and usability testing. The course will focus heavily on usability testing of web sites, a common technical communication task that involves observation and interviews of human participants interacting with a web site.
ARTS 3750 - Narrative Digital Filmmaking
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3750/ArtS 5750
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Narrative forms of video. Documentary, live action, memoir, experimental forms. Digital video production and editing. Personal aesthetic and conceptual directions. Theory, critical readings about historical and contemporary works in video. prereq: [1704 or instr consent]
ARTS 5750 - Advanced Narrative Digital Filmmaking
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3750/ArtS 5750
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Narrative forms of video. Documentary, live action, memoir, experimental forms. Digital video production and editing. Personal aesthetic and conceptual directions. Theory, critical readings about historical and contemporary works in video. prereq: 3750
ARTS 3760 - Experimental Film and Video
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3760/ArtS 5760
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Experimental approaches in producing digital video within a contemporary art context. Using digital media technologies in installation, performance, and interactive video art. Emphasizes expanding personal artistic development. Theoretical issues, critical/historical readings/writings in media arts. prereq: ARTS 1704
ARTS 5760 - Experimental Film and Video
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3760/ArtS 5760
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Experimental approaches in producing digital video within a contemporary art context. Using digital media technologies in installation, performance, and interactive video art. Emphasizes expanding personal artistic development. Theoretical issues, critical/historical readings/writings in media arts. prereq: ARTS major, ARTS 1704
ARTS 3770 - Animation
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3770/ArtS 5770
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Creating ideas visually with 2- and 3-dimensional animation technologies. Vector- and layer-based raster animation. Modeling objects and spaces, creating textures, lighting, movement, sound track. prereq: ARTS 1704
ARTS 5770 - Animation
Credits: 4.0 [max 12.0]
Course Equivalencies: ArtS 3770/ArtS 5770
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Creating ideas visually with 2- and 3-dimensional animation technologies. Vector- and layer-based raster animation. Modeling objects and spaces, creating textures, lighting, movement, sound track. prereq: Art major
CSCI 4921 - History of Computing (TS, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSci 4921/HSci 4321
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Developments in last 150 years; evolution of hardware and software; growth of computer and semiconductor industries and their relation to other businesses; changing relationships resulting from new data-gathering and analysis techniques; automation; social and ethical issues.
HSCI 4321 - History of Computing (TS, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSci 4921/HSci 4321
Typically offered: Fall Even, Spring Odd Year
Developments in the last 150 years; evolution of hardware and software; growth of computer and semiconductor industries and their relation to other business areas; changing relationships resulting from new data-gathering and analysis techniques; automation; social and ethical issues.
CSCL 1202W - Media: Word, Image, Sound (AH, TS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSCL 1202W/SCMC 1202W
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the critical and theoretical study of media and technology from Aristotle to the modern world. The first half of the course emphasizes theoretical readings in dialogue with historical apparatuses (printing press, photography, radio, cinema, television) and various expressive objects (the bible, early film, ethnographic sound recordings). The second half turns to the modern culture industry since World War II, and introduces students to the critical study of mass culture, the concept of ideology, and of the relationship between corporate power and media conglomerates.
SCMC 1202W - Media: Word, Image, Sound (AH, TS, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSCL 1202W/SCMC 1202W
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to the critical and theoretical study of media and technology from Aristotle to the modern world. The first half of the course emphasizes theoretical readings in dialogue with historical apparatuses (printing press, photography, radio, cinema, television) and various expressive objects (the bible, early film, ethnographic sound recordings). The second half turns to the modern culture industry since World War II, and introduces students to the critical study of mass culture, the concept of ideology, and of the relationship between corporate power and media conglomerates.
CSCL 3220W - Screen Cultures (AH, TS, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSCL 3220W/SCMC 3220W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Screens increasingly define the ways that we communicate with one another and how we encounter the world. This course will offer a critical, historical approach to the emergence of ?screen cultures? from the beginning of photography and cinema to our own age of ubiquitous touch screen displays. We will pay a great deal of attention to the ways that such technologies drive our patterns of consumption and production as well as how they create and define our social environments.
SCMC 3220W - Screen Cultures (AH, TS, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: CSCL 3220W/SCMC 3220W
Typically offered: Every Spring
Screens increasingly define the ways that we communicate with one another and how we encounter the world. This course will offer a critical, historical approach to the emergence of ?screen cultures? from the beginning of photography and cinema to our own age of ubiquitous touch screen displays. We will pay a great deal of attention to the ways that such technologies drive our patterns of consumption and production as well as how they create and define our social environments.
WRIT 4662W - Writing With Digital Technologies (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Writ 4662W/Writ 5662
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
WRIT 4662W is an advanced level Writing Studies course that explores various digital writing technologies and provides multiple opportunities to assess writing situations and make appropriate decisions about digital form and production. Students will learn the basic building blocks of writing in Internet environments (text, sound, images, video) as well as the vocabularies, functionalities, and organizing structures of Web 2.0 environments, how these impact understanding and use of information, and how to produce these environments (i.e., multimedia internet documents) for interactivity and use. This course includes design projects and practice with apps, markup language, content management systems, video, and social media. prereq: Jr or sr or instr consent
WRIT 5662 - Writing With Digital Technologies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Writ 4662W/Writ 5662
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course explores current and emerging digital writing technologies and teaches students to assess writing situations and make appropriate decisions about digital form, production, and scholarship. Students learn the basic building blocks of writing in Internet environments (text, sound, images, video, interactivity); the vocabularies, functionalities, and organizing structures of Web 2.0 environments and how each impacts understanding and use of information; and how to produce Web 2.0 environments (i.e., multimedia internet documents) that facilitate interactivity and use. This course includes design projects and practice with apps, markup language (html and xml), and content management systems.