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Writing and Digital Communication Courses

WDC 600 Digital Portfolio Design
Working with a faculty adviser and in workshops with other students in the course, each student will create a digital portfolio to house graduate work and special projects. The course will cover navigation of backend directory structures of web platforms, as well as analysis of frontend user interfaces. Following the course, the portfolio continues to be an important part of the student’s graduate experience. It will be revised and updated over the course of the program. A completed, professional quality portfolio is a requirement for the master’s degree, to be submitted for evaluation in the final semester following guidelines established by the program.

WDC 610 Writing and Digital Communication I: Web Writing and Editing
This course covers principles of writing and editing for the Internet and creates opportunities to put them into practice. Students will learn the vocabulary and technology of the Internet, features of user-centered text, and how to articulate optimal technical platforms for specific uses and audiences. They will learn to analyze web design and content, employ analytics to evaluate content, explore pathways of innovation, follow the law regarding intellectual property and fair use, and create effective web-based content, and develop oral presentation skills to present their work.

WDC 612 Creative Writing in the Digital Age
This course explores traditional genres of creative writing—poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and dramatic writing—as well as cross genre, multigenre, and experimental forms—as they are embodied in or augmented by digital media. Students will seek an expanded understanding of text and of genre as they analyze and practice creative writing. The course emphasizes deep revision, line-editing, oral interpretation, and multimodal presentation of final work.

WDC 614 Grant and Proposal Writing
This course covers the complete process of grant and proposal writing and the contexts and strategies of the philanthropic environment. Students will learn how to research funding opportunities, identify and plan successful projects, devise achievable goals and budgets, write proposals for public and private foundations, follow up on both successes and rejections, and incorporate digital technologies. This course satisfies an elective for the evaluation and assessment methods graduate certificate.

WDC 616 Emerging Media
Existing digital media evolve rapidly, and new media are constantly emerging. This course explores current and emerging media, as well as broader trends, paying particular attention to the specific contexts from which they were developed and to patterns and pathways of change. Students briefly explore the evolution of writing as a technology as a basis for examining current and future trends in digital communication.

WDC 618 Technologies of Social Change
Students will learn to analyze the impact of digital technology on the formation and effectiveness of social movements and on social change. Focusing on both historical and current events, this course examines the roles of rhetoric and technology in collective action whether in the form of social movements or as embodied and enacted by individuals. We will also study the role of digital communication in promoting behavioral change, such as in the fields of public health or politics.

WDC 620 Writing and Digital Communication II: Developing Content for Social Media
In this course students explore social media technologies and their impact on writing, communication, identity construction, and culture. The course also examines rhetorical conventions associated with social media and digital citizenship. Students will learn to develop social media strategies using analytics and apply those strategies using a variety of platforms, as well as to anticipate, lead, and adapt to change in social media. The course teaches oral presentation skills and provides opportunities for students to present their work.

WDC 622 Digital Storytelling
Drawing on narrative theory, journalism, and film production, students learn to identify, create, and curate different kinds of stories using selected productivity tools. The course also examines the legal and ethical issues pertaining to digital storytelling.

WDC 624 Transmedia
This course explores transmedia storytelling as a form of communicating ideas across a range of digital delivery platforms. Students learn to produce single stories that can be translated for diverse audiences and for multiple purposes, including entertainment, marketing, and social change. Students identify and analyze the ways in which the stories or narratives acquire a new aesthetic and social significance as they migrate to different media.

WDC 630 Visual Thinking, Digital Design
Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development.

WDC 640 Critical Communication
How do communications theories and research apply to or evolve in a digital world? This course examines the multifaceted role of communication in the formation of social bonds, identities, and communities in digital spaces. The course draws on insights from rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, performance studies, public memory studies, critical cultural studies, film studies, and audience analysis (demographics and psychographics) to understand how communication works in digital environments.

WDC 690 Directed Research
The directed research course is open to students enrolled in the master of arts program who have demonstrated a level of mastery that prepares them for research. In this course a student and a faculty instructor work together to determine the topic, direction, and requirements of the research and an independent final project.

WDC 695 Topics in Writing and Digital Communication
Special Topics allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of writing and digital communication. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor.