Clayton State University logoCMS 3710 Writing for Digital Media (W4DM) is a core class in the Communication and Media Studies program at Clayton State University. Links to other sections of this syllabus can be found in the header menu as well as the “General Class Policies” menu, which both appear on each page of the syllabus. The “General Class Policies”  menu also includes a link to information related to the pandemic.

Additional course materials, including a detailed schedule of the semester’s topics and due dates, are available to enrolled students through Desire2Learn.

This syllabus is still being updated for the Fall 2021 semester. Check this syllabus regularly to make sure that you have the most current information.

Section Information

  • CRN 82900:
  • Class meetings: 93% online, with F2F meetings for exams

First Steps

Students must complete the first week’s assignments, which are listed in the Content section of our D2L course.

Required Software & Media

I recommend a flash drive with your name written on it in indelible marker. This will make it easier to save copies of files created in class.

Class projects will require Adobe Photoshop, which is  installed on the computers in the CMS Design Lab, M144. Adobe also offers discounted subscriptions to the entire Creative Suite for enrolled college students. A subscription is not required for this class, but you may want to consider it if your career goals included media production. Check with the bookstore for details on the discount.

In addition to D2L and Skillsoft, class projects will require that you use Photoshop and that you create a user account with WordPress.com. You will be assigned a pseudonym for your WordPress account; posting your work there is a course requirement.

Lab Time

Please note that the course requirements include substantial work using Adobe Photoshop and WordPress. If you do not have or cannot run these programs at home, your schedule must allow you to spend time in the Design Lab during available hours.

The lab schedule posted outside the door lists times that the lab is available for your homework.

In addition, you will need the following.

Web Browser: Firefox or Chrome
In this media-rich class, using an up-to-date browser is mandatory.
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader)
Students must be able to read PDF files.
Media Player: VLC or equivalent
Students must be able to play mp3 and mp4 files. Many software tools will enable this, including VLC, which is available for free download.
Microsoft Word word processing
Students must be able to compose and read documents saved in the Microsoft Word “docx” format.
Clayton State email
Students must access their CSU email accounts on a regular basis. They must be able to use these accounts to attach and retrieve attached files. They must use only their CSU accounts (not, e.g. a gmail account) to communicate academic information to instructors.

Required Texts

  • Web Style Guide, 4th edition, by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton ISBN 0300211651 (Amazon)
  • A Writer’s Reference, any edition, by Diane Hacker

Contact Information

My contact information including office hours is collected on separate page.

Diversity and disability services

It is my intent that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity along multiple dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

Students with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center, Edgewater Hall, Suite 255; 678-466-5445; disabilityservices@mail.clayton.edu