MAT-120 Syllabus

MAT-120 Onsite, Media Design 1: Production

Syllabus Contents

To jump to a section of this syllabus, select from the links below. Note: These links are only for convenience; students are required to read the entire syllabus.

The Basics
Meeting Times + Places  |  PrerequisitesAdministrative Deadlines and Drops |  Pass/No-Pass Grading Status HolidaysCourse ObjectivesStudent Learning OutcomesTechnical HelpStudents with Disabilities

Course Requirements
Required Textbooks and SoftwareCompletion of WorkCourse TimelineOnline (Asynchronous) Hour | Critiques

Grading and Assignments
Grading PolicyClass Participation Grading Breakdown + Assignments

The Basics

Meeting Times and Place

  • Course section #1939
  • Spring 2019 semester : 1/22/19 – 5/24/19
  • Class Meeting Place: OC4622
  • Class Sessions: Tuesdays, 5:30pm – 8:20pm + 1 hour online activities weekly
  • Office Hours: Room OC4621 (4600 building) ->Mondays 1pm – 2pm, Tuesdays 4pm – 5pm, and by appointment


Leigh Cotnoir,



IMPORTANT Administrative Deadlines!

The following dates apply to this class’ deadline schedule! These are not necessarily for other courses you are taking, as some classes start later than others!

  • 2/3 : Last day to drop without W and to receive a full refund
  • 2/4 : Class Census (non-participating students will be dropped)
  • 2/22 : Last day to switch to Pass/No-Pass grading status
  • 4/25 : Last day to drop the class and still receive a “W” on transcript
  • 5/21 – 5/24 : Final Exam Week

NOTE: the instructor of this class WILL NOT agree to a late appeal for a grade change, removal of a W, or to help get a refund if the student fails to abide by the above deadlines. You have been warned.


  • 1/21 : Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 2/15 : Lincoln Day (Observance)
  • 2/18 : Washington Day
  • 3/18 – 3/23 : Spring Break ***affects this class

Regarding Administrative Drops

While students are not graded on attendance in this class, participation is included in the grade. If a student is not regularly attending, participating, and turning in assignments, s/he will be subject to an administrative drop by the instructor for lack of participation. If the instructor deems that a student’s lack of participation will so severely impact the student’s ability to pass the course, she reserves the right to drop you within the acceptable instructor drop period. Please know that a student’s financial aid status has no bearing on the instructor’s decision. Students receiving aid based on number of enrolled units can potentially lose their that aid if an instructor drop puts them below their stated aid threshold.

Pass/No-Pass Grading Status

All students have the have the right to switch your grading status to Pass/No-Pass before the stated deadline above. That means that your grade point average will not be affected, and it will not have a negative impact on your transcript should changing circumstances prevent you from doing as well as you wanted. This option might be good for people who are on the fence about taking the course because they already have a heavy school and/or employment workload, and are worried about their GPA being negatively affected. You can still take the course without the fear/stress of falling behind and needing to drop later.

While Miracosta’s Media Arts & Technologies department accepts “Pass” grading outcomes toward their degrees/certificates, some other institutions and degree plans might not allow P/NP electives as transfer units. If you are counting on receiving credit for the class in another degree/certificate program, it is imperative that you check with your advisor to be sure it will count. You also need to ensure that P/NP status will not affect your aid package if you receive a form of financial aid.

IMPORTANT: It is the student’s responsibility to change this grading status with the enrollment office BEFORE the stated deadline above. The instructor cannot do this for students.

Course Description

This course covers the fundamental skills required to create and develop media content and design interactive programs. You will learn professional techniques to capture, digitize and edit video and audio. You’ll also learn how to acquire and manipulate still images, and you’ll also get an introduction to 3D modeling and animation. Finally, you’ll learn the fundamental functions of interactive program design and development, then author your project onto CD or DVD. Concept development and project management are stressed throughout the class.

Software Tools: Adobe Audition, Animate CC, Photoshop, Premiere Pro; Audacity Sound Editor, and others.

Student Learning Outcomes

The MiraCosta faculty believe that students who complete one or more certificates or degrees are systematic, critical, creative thinkers and clear communicators who are intellectually curious, technically proficient, aesthetically literate, and professional. To that end, the faculty has identified seven Program-Level Outcomes that apply directly to the high-level skills you are expected to possess in the workforce:

  • Technical Skills
  • Application of Discipline Skills
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Professional Behavior
  • Aesthetic Literacy and Appreciation
  • Global Awareness and Responsible Citizenship

To achieve this goal, you are expected to achieve competency in the following course-level Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s), each of which help you achieve one or more of the above program-level outcomes:

  • Define, plan and schedule the structure and implementation of a multimedia project.
  • Collect and/or compose various media assets and organize them into logical sequences.
  • Arrange, assemble and construct an interactive multimedia project and deliver in appropriate format.

Specifically, when you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Conceive, plan and execute a simple interactive multimedia project.
  • Acquire and edit still images through scanning, digital cameras and software.
  • Digitize and edit a simple digital audio project including music loops.
  • Digitize, edit and render a simple digital video project with audio soundtrack.
  • Model, animate and render a simple 3-Dimensional project.
  • Create a simple interactive program incorporating navigation and the above media.
  • Execute fundamental design principles used in creating user interface designs.
  • Execute fundamental skills in file management and server procedures.

Need Technical Help or Advice?
While I will do my best to help students out in all areas, I will not be acting as technician during this course. Your system is your responsibility. I cannot troubleshoot your system problems.

Students With Disabilities

If you have specific physical, psychological or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will also need to provide documentation of your disability to Disabled Students Programs & Services at 760-795-6658.

Other Important Student Resource Links:

Course Requirements

Recommended Textbooks:

Adobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book (2018 release)
Free! via library Safari Books Online. Click title and use SURF login credentials to access.)
  • Author: Maxim Jago
  • Publisher: Adobe Press
  • Pub. Date: 01/25/2018
  • ISBN-13: 9780134872308
  • Pages in Print Edition: 480
Multimedia: Making It Work (9th Edition)
  • Author(s): Tay Vaugn
  • ISBN: 978-0-07-183288-5

Software, Computer, Equipment, and Media

Although it is not a requirement that students in this class have their own computers, it is helpful for students who do have computers to install the software that we are using in the class on their personal machines. This will allow those students to do homework at home. Some of the software we use in this class is free, with the main exception of Adobe titles, which are available on all library and MAT lab computers for student use. Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions are free for a 30-day trial, but you will be subject to a student rated subscription fee after that (if you want to use the software on your own computer).

Software that we will be using is as follows:
The Free Software
The Software You Can Buy for Home Use If You Can Swing It
Where To Buy Adobe Software

The best deal to buy Adobe software is through the following link:

As a MiraCosta student using the link above, you can get the full Creative Cloud annual subscription for a price even lower than Adobe’s student pricing. To buy, you need to go to the link above, scroll down and click the “Shop Now” button under “For Students.”

If you cannot afford to buy the entire annual Creative Cloud subscription as a one-time purchase, you can check out Adobe’s month-to-month pricing here:

You will need the FULL subscription package for this course. You can always start a free 30-day trial and commit to a plan in a month.

Required Equipment Purchases
    • USB Headset with earphones (and mic preferable…Logitech is recommended for quality and durability). NOTES ON HEADSETS:
      • You will likely be using this for recording your voice, so the headset is important for eliminating ambient noise.
      • Be aware that expensive gaming headsets often have only basic features available on Mac.
      • Buy something you don’t mind bringing to class is you need to record your voice at school. If you plan on recording at home, have an alternate inexpensive set of earphones/buds, and don’t want to bring your headset to class, you can elect to bring whichever pair you want.
      • Remember that if you buy a wireless set that it will likely come with an easy-to-lose usb adapter that you have to plug into the class computers. Wired is just fine.
    • Flash Media or other storage technology for moving and storing your in-progress work (recommend 16GB or higher)
Optional Equipment Purchases

Some students like having access to their own equipment without having to coordinate checkouts. There will be a range of things that you might want to purchase during the semester, but you will not be required to do so.  Some examples might be inexpensive smart phone or DSLR mics (~$40-$60), smart phone tripod clips (~$10-15), tripods, etc. If you know that you want to buy equipment to keep and use in future projects/classes, you can ask the professor for advice.

Completion of Work

You are required to keep up with work during the semester based on the schedule and due dates on the instructor’s course schedule page. Weekly agenda sections will be made available at the start of each week if not sooner. Most assignments will be much easier if you do your readings and lectures first (or concurrently)!

You will be expected to complete ALL assignments. Incomplete assignments will be evaluated as-is when turned in. Late work can only be turned in up to one full week late after the original due date (with a grade reduction). As the course progresses, students can expect to spend, at a minimum, approximately 6-8 hours a week working on this course’s content to be successful.

Course Timeline

Students can look at the instructor’s teaching website at any time for this information about what you are responsible for (and what we are doing in class) at any given time. There will be links in Canvas to this page, as well

  • Chronological Timeline
    • This is an at-a-glance chronological course timetable organized by weeks. Each week outlines what activities students should be doing to keep up, as well as listing dues dates for both assignments and progressive deadlines.

You can visit the online course schedule page now.

Asynchronous Online Hour

This is a hybridized course that meets in person on the Oceanside campus for the majority of its time. There is an additional hour of online work, though, that students are responsible for. This online hour each week will be primarily comprised of online instructional tutorials and video lectures that the student can engage with at his/her own pace. This class will not require real-time synchronous online interaction.

Critiques (For Credit)

It is imperative that each student contributes to each critique. A dialogue of constructive criticism is what helps artists and designers find weaknesses and strengths in their work. These sessions are important tools in refining your own self-critiquing and design processes. We will have online and in-class critique sessions for different assignments. Critiques will be assigned during the semester.

Drawings, Artwork, Comps

With some projects, you might be required to create either hand sketches or computer drawings of storyboard ideas before embarking on the full-scale project. You will need to create these precursory drawings with a pencil and paper to avoid getting bogged down by technology. You can can then digitize your hand sketches on a flatbed scanner. All materials turned into the instructor must be in digital format.

Grading Policy

You may turn in a project late up to one full week after the original due/critique date. Any work later than one week overdue will be subject to receive an “F” without consent from the instructor . If you know you will be unable to complete work on time, please discuss it with the instructor in advance! Please note that your grade will automatically drop by 10 points for late work. This means that if work is up to a week late, your highest possible grade begins at a 90.

The final project is the exception! ******NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED FOR THE FINAL.******

Class Participation

This is an onsite course, so class participation simply cannot happen when a student fails to attend class. While there is not a specific “Participation” evaluation value in your final grade, your level of participation will often help determine borderline grades, flexibility in missed work, etc. Participation is monitored through the following outlets:

  • meeting progressive deadlines for samples, preliminary sketches, etc.
  • contributing to classroom discussion and Q&A
  • critique participation
  • clear communication with the instructor and peers

Grading Breakdown and Assignments:

MAT-120 Grading Pie Chart
MAT-120 Grading Pie Chart


Letter Grade Assignments

Letter Value Numerical Value
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
F 0-59

Completed projects will be graded on the following criteria (OVERVIEW):

  1. Instructions (did you follow technical instructions for the assignment?)
  2. Craftsmanship (is the finished piece and presentation clean and well-crafted?)
  3. Overall Composition and Creativity (did you understand and successfully execute the problems presented?)

For detailed grading criteria, you will need to refer to each project outline page. Grading rubrics for specific assignments are available via Canvas.

Grading Definitions

  • A = Outstanding achievement: available only for the highest accomplishment
  • B = Praiseworthy performance: definitely above average
  • C = Average: award for satisfactory performance, most common undergraduate grade.
  • D = Minimally passing: less than the typical achievement.
  • F = Failing.

**No incompletes will be given without EXTENUATING circumstances.


Digital Art, Design, and Communication Education