11661 - Theory and Techniques of New Media (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will:
- understand the theoretical implications and the major forms of historical evolution of digital media;
- know the contemporary media scenario, crossed by digitization and convergence phenomena, and the forms of online and mobile net communication at global and national level;
- interpret the constant connections and interactions between technologies, communicative potentials, cultural forms, social discourses and consumer practices;
-apply the theoretical, methodological and technical skills acquired to the analysis of individual content and digital services;
- adopt a stratified and complex look on everyday objects having a strong cultural, social, economic, and relational impact.

Course contents

The course aims to provide a historical and theoretical introduction to digital media and the impact of digitization and convergence processes on the entire media system, with implications from a technological, economic, creative, productive, distributive and audience point of view.

The first part of the course will introduce some key words, interpretive frameworks and basic concepts related to the Internet, the web, social and mobile communication and the redefinition of medial forms in the digital environment; topics such as re-mediation, database and network logic, cultural convergence, long queue theory, piracy, copyright and open access, virtual ethnography will be dealt with.

The second part of the course will deal with the changes affecting the production, distribution and consumption of audio-visual contents in the digital scenario, with special attention to the logic and rhetoric of non-linear and on demand platforms.

Readings/Bibliography

Non-attending students are required to prepare the following bibliography:
- Anthology of selected texts, prepared by the teacher and available after the beginning of the course.
- L. Paccagnella, A. Vellar, Vivere online, il Mulino, Bologna 2016.
- C. Tryon, Cultura on demand, minimum fax, Rome 2017.

Attending students, in addition to the notes of lessons and materials made available, must instead prepare the following limited bibliography:
- Anthology of selected texts, prepared by the teacher and available after the beginning of the course.
- C. Tryon, Cultura on demand, minimum fax, Rome 2017.

Teaching methods

Lectures with slides, audio-visual materials, web resources, shared materials with students. This course will also host digital media experts and professionals.

Assessment methods

This examination is in a written form and aims to evaluate whether students have achieved the learning outcomes and the knowledge of the topics treated during the lectures and in the bibliography. Attending students will have a reserved exam date with a specific test based on the course contents. For attending students, the examination will consist of a test with 23 closed-ended questions (1 point each) and 2 open questions (4 points each). For non-attending students, the examination will consist of a test with 31 closed-ended questions: a positive answer is given a point, while with a wrong answer it is subtracted 0.5 from the final mark. The final mark is the total sum.

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, the originality of the reflection as well as the familiarity with the tolls for analysing the digital media panorama. It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the discipline. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the discipline. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the subject.

Students who take the examination preparing the syllabus of the previous academic year are invited to contact the teacher to agree on the modalities.

The examination will be held in well-equipped computer classrooms: to rationalise their use, if students registered decide not to sit the examination, they are required to cancel their name from the exam list.

Teaching tools

Presentations, audio-visual material, links and resources available online.

For attending students, the study material of each lecture will be available on the course teaching platform.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Barra