Skip to main content

Class-by-Class Schedule

Assignments are listed (as HW) on the day they are assigned, and are due at 9pm the night before[1] the following class meeting, unless otherwise specified. You should in general also have access to all your work in class, so we can discuss and/or revise. Possible methods include GitHub (recommended), Box (next best thing), Dropbox, or flash drive.

Follow the links to individual class days for more information, including class notes and more complete homework instructions. NB: This schedule is subject to revision based on our needs.


Unit I What Makes Digital Media New? (weeks 1-2)
Unit II Soundscapes and Soundwriting (weeks 2-5)
Unit III Visual Rhetorics and Argument (weeks 5-8)
Unit IV Webslinging with Markup (weeks 8-11)
Unit V Collaborative Composing Putting it Together (weeks 11-13)
Unit VI Reflection and Revision (weeks 13-14)

Unit I: What Makes Digital Media New?

Lesson 1, Tuesday 1/7 – Introductions

HW for next time:

Lesson 2, Thursday 1/9 – What Can We Do With Digital?

HW for next time:

  • Watch Git and GitHub for Poets, starting at least with the Introduction and going as far as your interest and time allow.
  • Practice following the steps in the video
  • Download any software you’ll need to use Git at the command line, possibly including Homebrew (on Mac) and GitBash (on Windows)
  • Optional but highly recommended: Also download the GitHub Desktop application, available for MacOS or Windows.

Lesson 3, Tuesday 1/14 – Building a Repository

For next time:

Unit II: Soundscapes and Soundwriting

Lesson 4, Thursday 1/16 – Sound, Space, and Audacity

For next time:

  • Read Writer/Designer excerpt (scanned file)
  • Read Stanford’s Fair Use overview (optional);
  • Write a proposal for your sound narrative, including a prospective asset list (as per W/D); post to the Issues page.
  • Skim the audio resources on the site, and read more deeply in anything that seems like it would help you.
  • Begin recording the sounds you’ll need
  • Bring headphones so you can work in class

Lesson 5, Tuesday 1/21 – Sound Ethics, Sound Studio

For next time:

  • Fork the assignment repository on GitHub if you haven’t yet
  • Work toward your soundscape narrative
  • Push a soundscape preview, including
    • the layered Audacity file (.aup)
    • one screenshot of your work in progress (.png)
    • one exported playable sound file (.mp3)
    • a brief description of what you’ve included (.txt or .md)

Lesson 6, Thursday 1/23 – Sound criteria and stretch goals

For next time:

  • Work to bring in a full draft of your soundscape narrative
  • Continue taking screenshots and posting meaningful commits to GH
  • Push a full draft, with the same four parts as the preview plus a file crediting your sources and permissions/license to use them
  • Bring headphones

Lesson 7, Tuesday 1/28 – Sound Workshop

For next time:

  • Write a blog post of possible collaborative / integrative projects for the end of term. What more might you want to explore?
  • Bring headphones so you can work in class

Lesson 8, Thursday 1/30 – Sound Studio

For next time:

  • By 11:59pm on Sunday, complete – at least for now – your soundscape narrative.
  • By Tuesday’s class, write a prose reflection that incorporates images from your feedback and screenshots of your Audacity project.

Unit III: Visual Rhetorics and Argument

In this unit, you will make a claim through the juxtaposition of images and text. As with the sound project, the context for your argument is open: you could be making a social commentary, calling for action, constructing a parody, riffing on a pun, explaining a concept, and so on. Whatever you choose, you should consider your audience and what they would find persuasive or interesting, and how you therefore wish to attract and direct their attention.

Lesson 9, Tuesday 2/4 – Can You Picture It? Visual Rhetorics and Argument

For next time:

  • Read a quick introduction to graphic design principles
  • Find an example of a rhetorical visual design
  • Write a blog post about your example, using the analytical language from the reading

Lesson 10, Thursday 2/6 – Generating Visual Ideas

For next time:

Lesson 11, Tuesday 2/11 – Visual Unit Studio

For next time:

  • Read about fonts, optionally playing a font-matching game
  • Compose and push a visual rhetoric preview

Lesson 12, Thursday 2/13 – Visual Unit Criteria and Stretch Goals

For next time:

  • Compose and push a visual rhetoric draft

Lesson 13, Tuesday 2/18 – Visual Unit Workshop

For next time:

  • Write a blog post with more ideas toward the collaborative / integrative project unit. What further possibilities might you want to explore?
  • Bring headphones for sonic isolation, if you’d like

Lesson 14, Thursday 2/20 – Studio

For next time:

  • By 11:59pm on Sunday, complete – at least for now – your visual argument.
  • By Tuesday’s class, write a prose reflection that incorporates images from your feedback and screenshots of your GIMP project.

Unit IV: Webslinging (HTML + CSS markup)

In this unit, you will build a multi-page website from scratch, beginning with html and css files.

Lesson 15, Tuesday 2/25 – Midterm Reflections and Intro to Markup

For next time:

  • Do as much of the Interneting is Hard (but it doesn’t have to be) tutorial as you can – but at least parts 1-4 (from “Introduction” through “Hello, CSS”)
  • Show your work by pushing your tutorial code to a repository
  • Optionally bring headphones for sonic isolation during studio time

Lesson 16, Thursday 2/27 – Intro to Web Design and Generative Studio

For next time:

  • Do more of the HTML and CSS tutorial, including at least The Box Model (5) and CSS Selectors (6), if you haven’t yet.
  • Read more about how CSS selectors work
  • Write a website proposal, including at least one hand-drawn design sketch, types of pages, a prospective asset list, and a link to your repo. Post to the issue queue.

Lesson 17, Tuesday 3/3 – Web Unit Studio / Deployment

For next time:

  • Do more of the tutorial, including at least Flexbox (8) and Responsive Design (10), if you haven’t yet.
  • Separately, also read about Grid Layout (and optionally the followup post on responsive grid).
  • Compose and push a website preview: a beginning.

Lesson 18, Thursday 3/5 – Web Unit Criteria and Stretch Goals

For next time:

  • Finish the tutorial, if you haven’t yet – or revisit the sections that are still confusing. I especially encourage you to look at sections 12 (Semantic HTML) and 14 (Web Typography), and if you’re having trouble with positioning even after working through Flexbox (section 8) and Grid (on Medium), try section 9 (Advanced Positioning).
    • Email me with any questions, noting that I can help fastest if you include a screenshot and a link.
  • Save and push as you go! A full draft of your website project is due by the Thursday after break.
Spring break is the week of Tu 3/10 and Th 3/12; our only classes will be CSS classes.

Well! This COVID19 thing is going to be an adventure, isn't it! Classes are canceled outright for Tu 3/17 and Th 3/19, and moving online for the four weeks remaining beyond that. The schedule below is now updated, accordingly, and I'll adjust the lesson plans for a distant-learning format. (Mostly, they'll be plans for self-timed composing, but still set for the same calendar day.)

I'm also shifting my office hours online, and reserving class-time as additional office hours; see for the Zoom link and advanced reservations (which aren't required).

Lesson 19, Tuesday 3/173/24 – Studio and Final Unit Planning

For next time:

  • Compose and push a full draft of your website project no later than Thursday morning (let’s say 10am Eastern).
  • To test that it’s fully on GitHub, clone it again to a new location on your computer: if you can successfully open your pages in a local browser from that second location, you should be good to get feedback in Thursday’s asynchronous workshop! (And you should then also be good to delete that extra copy, before you get confused as to where you’re pushing from.)

Lesson 20, Thursday 3/193/26 – Web Unit Workshop

Our class WILL NOT MEET on Thursday, 3/26: I will be out of town for the Conference on College Composition and Communication. With my out-of-town conference and most other travel plans canceled, and with two classes vaporized, I'm hoping many of you will be available to "meet" on Thursday, 3/26, even though we weren't originally going to. This will allow us to keep our workshop in its original place in the workflow. If you won't be able to clone and comment on peers' websites-in-progress, please let me know asap so we can make other arrangements for feedback!

For next time:

  • By 11:59pm on Tuesday, complete – at least for now – your website project.
  • By Thursday write a prose reflection that incorporates images from your feedback and screenshots of your work in progress.

Lesson 21, Tuesday 3/243/31 – Studio

For next time:

  • By 11:59pm tonight, complete – at least for now – your website project.
  • By Thursday, write a prose reflection that incorporates images from your feedback and screenshots of your work in progress.
  • Then take the weekend to read through the proposals so far for group projects: what seems both exciting and achievable?

Unit V: Collaborative Composing Putting it Together (Bit by Bit)*

I'm getting the sense that enforced collaboration is not the best way forward when we can't reliably meet and look at things together. Instead, in this unit I'll ask you to build on what you've already made: a revision, an extension, or a combination, of the modes and media you used in earlier units. If you have a team that can collaborate effectively via online formats (via Zoom, Discord, Slack, what-have-you), that's up to you!

If you're feeling especially aspirational, might I suggest that a game or interactive story built in Twine might serve that combinatory goal quite well? I'll see what I'm able to screen-record by way of introduction / guidance.

Lesson 22, Tuesday 3/31 – Intro to Collaborative Unit: Charting a Course Forward

Lesson 22, Thursday 4/2 – Intro to Consolidation Unit: Charting a Course Forward

For next time:

  • Make a new repository (GH, Box, or Drive) containing a task list for your project – along with proposed roles for your team members, if you have a team of more than one.
    • If you’re updating an existing project, do this in a new branch of the old repository, instead.
  • Post a link to this repository on the Issue Queue.
  • Decide (together, if applicable) what would constitute a minimum deliverable project, and what series of stretch goals you’ll try for beyond that minimum. Push these updated goals to the repo.

Lesson 23, Thursday 4/2 Tuesday 4/7 – Consolidation Unit Studio

For next time:

  • Push a project preview (i.e. get something started) to your repository.
  • Continue updating and following your group plan.
  • Document your progress as you go! Screenshot, save, commit (or otherwise log changes), push.

Lesson 24, Tuesday 4/7 Thursday 4/9 – Consolidation Unit Criteria, Intro to Final Portfolio (But Mostly Studio)

For next time:

  • Full-as-possible draft of consolidation project

Lesson 25, Thursday 4/9 Tuesday 4/14 – Workshop

For next time:

  • Set yourself some deadlines: what are you trying to finish by the last class (in two days!)? Will you continue beyond that for Sunday, knowing the final portfolio is due on Tuesday 4/21?
  • Read Paul Ford’s “Letter of Recommendation: Bug Fixes” from The New York Times Magazine (June 11, 2019). (Pitt Library link)
  • Ford writes, “I read the change logs, and I think: Humans can do things.Read back through your own change logs, i.e. the commit histories of your projects; skim through the lesson plans. What things have you done this semester?
  • Choose something from the course that you want to remember beyond this semester: a thing you or someone else made, or said, that struck a chord with you.

Unit VI: Reflection and Revision

Before the semester ends, I’d wanted to set aside time to work on drafting a reflective introduction to your final portfolio. With the lost week, that ends up being… one day. Sigh. Given self-pacing, some of you may end up here sooner…?

Lesson 26, Tuesday 4/14 Thursday 4/16 – Last day of class! Looking back and looking forward

For next time:

  • Finish consolidation project by Sunday, if you haven’t yet
  • Work to complete your final portfolio (due Tuesday)



Final portfolios will be due by the end of the final exam slot, which we now know will be Tuesday, April 21 at 1:50pm. Grades are due eight days later, so if you want to turn it in earlier (but not before 4/14, I would expect), feel free to do so.