Department of Technical Communication and Interactive Design

Descriptions of courses offered by the Department of Technical Communication and Interactive Design are listed below. While every effort has been made to keep this list as current and up-to-date as possible, please consult your student handbook for the most current descriptions.


NOTE: Course credits given in the following format "0-0-0" translate to:
class hours - lab hours - total credits

Digital Writing and Media Arts (DWMA)

  • DWMA 2050 - Digital Collaboration

    • This course focuses on theories of collaboration and the use of digital tools to write, revise and design professional, collaborative materials in interactive work teams for digital spaces. It introduces students to the processes and practices of collaboration that help them participate as strong leaders and strategists on teams in personal, academic and professional settings. Students create experiential and on-line community engagement projects grounded in real-world contexts.
    • Prerequisites: ENGL 1102
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 2170 - Introduction to Digital Media and Culture

    • This course provides an introduction to the Digital Writing and Media Arts department by surveying contemporary digital media-aesthetics, technology, politics, economics-and related cultural formations for careers in technical communication, visual design, and creating content for interactive media. This approach provides an introduction to key concepts and critical methodologies that are essential to understanding digital media as both technological tools and cultural artifacts.
    • Prerequisites: ENGL 1102
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 3400 - Front-End Development I

    • This course introduces students to front-end web development with an emphasis on learning to code websites without relying on content management systems or templates. This course focuses primarily on HTML and CSS in addition to covering basic user interface design principles.
    • Prerequisites: ENGL 1101
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 3430 - Visual Design I for Content Creators

    • This course is an introduction for content developers and information designers to the fundamental elements and principles of visual design in digital environments and the application of these concepts to user interfaces and information graphics. Students study elementary color theory and typography in addition to an introduction to production techniques and current software applications.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 2170
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 3800 - Front-End Development II

    • This course allows students to build upon their knowledge of front-end development for websites and apps to produce complex, creative, and responsive designs. In addition to developing an advanced understanding of CSS and HTML, students are introduced to the concept of APIs and JavaScript, another front-end programming language.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 3400
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 4430 - Visual Design II for Content Creators

    • This course further examines the role of visual design for digital content creators and information designers. Students develop competency with visual design through completion of practical projects that use typography, photographs, illustrations, and information graphics. Projects focus on the interplay between text and image as it relates to various digital media.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 3430
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 4500 - Front-End Development III

    • In this project-based class, students continue their growth as front-end web developers through experiential learning. The focus of this class is to allow advanced students to pair aesthetic skills with an expanded knowledge and engagement with JavaScript.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 3800
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • DWMA 4800 - Project Portfolio

    • This course is the final senior course for all DWMA major programs. The course examines portfolios as professional tools and includes portfolio, communication and design theory and practices. Students develop professional portfolios of revised documents and artifacts from degree course projects, internship experiences, and/or work history. Students also complete a career unit in which they develop career documents and strategies tailored for their professional career options.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 3400, DWMA 3430, Senior Status; completion of 24 hours of courses in major(beyond Area F).
    • Credits: 3-0-3

Interactive Design (INDS)

  • INDS 3000 - Visual Design: Theory

    • This course introduces students to contemporary visual design theory with an emphasis on user-centered design in digital environments. The focus here is teaching designers-in-training theories of user-centered visual design as it relates to the creation of interactive designs. Students read and write about visual design theory in addition to producing creative visualizations of theory to help explain complex concepts.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 2170
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3100 - Visual Design: History

    • This course explores various historical approaches to visual design. Students learn about designers associated with various movements. This class is meant to expand the historical knowledge of students who see themselves as designers. Students read and write about techniques and approaches used by select designers before applying this new knowledge set to an interactive design project.
    • Prerequisites: INDS 3000
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3150 - Visual Design I

    • In this project-based class, students put the knowledge and skills learned in previous studio classes into practice through teacher-proposed projects related to digital visual design. This class focuses on creative projects based on teacher assessment. The focus of this class is to expand your knowledge of digital visual design through experiential learning.
    • Prerequisites: ART 2150 , ART 2550 ,and INDS 3000
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3230 - User Interface Design I

    • In this course students build upon their knowledge of design theory by focusing on user interface design. This class will cover important user interface design principles–visual design, learn-ability, visibility, error prevention, and efficiency–in addition to touching on the human capabilities that motivate them–perception, motor skills, color vision, attention, and human error.
    • Prerequisites: ART 2150 , ART 2550 , and INDS 3000
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3250 - Information Visualization: Theory

    • This course provides students with the theoretical foundations necessary to understand information visualization by focusing on how information is used to make sense of complex data. Students examine the social implications of visual information in the form of icons, page layouts, displays, diagrams, charts, and maps.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 2170
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3300 - Ethnography for Designers

    • This class engages in a qualitative analysis of the relationship between digital technologies and end users. In doing so, this course exposes designers-in-training to ethnographic approaches as a way to understand and empathize with end users, a core feature of user experience design. Students read anthropological texts and apply this knowledge to ethnographies related to understanding ends users.
    • Prerequisites: INDS 3000
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3350 - Information Visualization I

    • This course provides students with the foundations necessary to create effective information visualizations. In doing so, this class merges visual design with information design. Students work on visual design projects in addition to studying front-end programming by learning Processing as a tool to create effective visualizations.
    • Prerequisites: INDS 3250 , and (INDS 3150 or DWMA 3430 ), and DWMA 3800
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 3398 - Internship

    • This course is an opportunity for students to apply principles and techniques of interactive design in a specific organization. Learning is experiential and must supplement, not duplicate, learning in the classroom. The student is responsible for finding an internship, but the program helps in the effort. The student submits a written proposal describing the internship according to program guidelines. Each internship is monitored by the student’s advisor.
    • Prerequisites: 28 credit hours completed in Area F and Upper Division major requirements, approval of the Interactive Design Coordinator and Department Chair.
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 4150 - Visual Design II

    • In this project-based class, students continue their growth as visual designers by working on student-driven projects related to visual design. The focus of this class is to expand your knowledge of digital visual design through experiential learning.
    • Prerequisites: INDS 3150
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 4230 - User Interface Design II

    • This course builds upon student knowledge learned in User Interface Design I. Focusing more specifically on the human capabilities that motivate users–perception, motor skills, color vision, attention, and human error–the course explores user experience theories and principles as they relate to student design projects.
    • Prerequisites: INDS 3230
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 4400 - Directed Study

    • This course focuses on specific topics of an advanced nature not in the regular course offerings that relate to specific student needs.
    • Prerequisites:
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 4490 - Special Topics in Interactive Design

    • This course consists of selected special topics of interest to faculty and students.
    • Prerequisites:
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • INDS 4700 - Visual Design: Senior Project

    • The course is designed to allow students to create a semester-long senior project. Students may work on any type of digital design-oriented project toward the development of their portfolio. This course gives students the space and time to create exceptional work that synthesizes knowledge learned in previous classes.
    • Prerequisites: 21 credit hours in Upper Division major requirements and Upper Division electives.
    • Credits: 3-0-3

Technical Communication (TCOM)

  • TCOM 2002 - Productivity Tools and Technologies for Technical Communicators

    • This course introduces students to core productivity tools and technologies used in technical communication. The in-depth features of open source and commercial productivity tools are explored with the goal of creating complex documents that leverage and integrate technical affordances. The course examines on-line workspaces, project management tools, and workflow products common to technical communication through various projects.
    • Prerequisites: ENGL 1101
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 2010 - Technical Writing

    • The course is an introduction to organization, style, and mechanics of technical writing. It includes practice in writing such typical documents as technical descriptions, instructions, proposals, and recommendation reports. Emphasis is placed on incorporating rhetorical theory into planning, organizing, and writing reports; designing visual aids; and editing. Among other assignments, at least one complete technical report is required.
    • Prerequisites: ENGL 1102
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 2030 - Research in Technical Communication

    • The course is an introduction to research methods used by practitioners and scholars in technical communication. Students explore the relationship between theory and research and learn how to design and carry out empirical studies using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Emphasis is placed on the research methods used in workplace settings to design user-centered information products and to test their usefulness and usability.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2002 , STAT 1107 , and TCOM 2010
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3020 - Designing Effective Proposals

    • The course covers the theory and practice of writing proposals for business, industry, and non-profit organizations, with emphasis on in-house planning and external grant-seeking proposals. Course covers persuasion theory and strategies while leading students step-by-step through the proposal development process. Students develop skills in gathering and evaluating information, analyzing audiences, collaborating with peers and clients, building arguments, writing clearly and cogently, and designing visually effective documents.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010 and TCOM 2030
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3030 - Instructional Design

    • The course introduces and applies systematic instructional design and instructor-led training. Students study a major model of instructional design and apply it to develop and refine a unit of instruction. Students prepare and deliver a training lesson, participate in team instructional design activities, and evaluate the training developed and presented by other students.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 3430
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3045 - Fundamentals of Information Design

    • The course introduces students to the principles and best practices of effective information design for both print and electronic media. Students apply rhetorical and gestalt principles to an analysis of information products. Students also redesign products to reflect good principles of information design, and they report on the rationale for these redesigns, showing the ways in which design principles have been effectively applied.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3070 - User Assistance

    • This course explores the concepts and strategies necessary for designing effective user assistance in its many forms. The course emphasizes effective task-oriented design while introducing important industry trends like topic-based authoring, single sourcing, project planning, structured authoring, and DITA basics.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3130 - Technical Communication: Theory, Ethics, and Practice

    • This course examines a range of theories that have shaped technical communication thought and practice in the twenty-first century. This course also focuses on ethical issues in technical communication through case studies and other readings. The course exposes students to the evolving body of knowledge, including key theorists and practitioners that help form the foundation of the technical communication profession.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2002 , TCOM 2010 , and TCOM 2030
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3145 - Designing Social Media Infrastructure

    • This course prepares technical communicators to assess and develop governance/oversight procedures, policies, employee training, monitoring and measurement protocols, risk and compliance guidelines, and audit processes for social media. Students select a company and conduct a semester-long case study where they develop critical infrastructure documents for social media.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2030
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3245 - SEO and Analytics for Technical Communicators

    • The course introduces students to the concepts, practices, and implementation of SEO for digital assets (websites, images, files). Working with an existing website, students enhance existing code to leverage SEO and deploy both analytics and webmaster tools to measure and refine SEO tactics and strategies for maximum SERP presence. The course also covers fundamentals of best practices for Section 508 (ADA) compliance with online documents and website coding.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010 and DWMA 3400
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 3398 - Internship

    • This course is an opportunity for students to apply principles and techniques of technical communication in a specific organization. Learning is experiential and must supplement, not duplicate, learning in the classroom. The student is responsible for finding an internship, but this program helps in the effort. The student submits a written proposal describing the internship according to program guidelines. Each internship is monitored by the student’s advisor.
    • Prerequisites: Junior standing with a 3.0 or better GPA in upper-division courses in major
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4000 - Technical Editing

    • This course examines the responsibilities of an editor including the methods and skills needed to edit various types of technical and scientific products (print and digital) with an emphasis on comprehensive editing. The course also teaches students how to prepare content that clearly and effectively communicates technical information to a wide range of end users. This course prepares students for writing and editing careers in technical communication.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4045 - Multi-Media for Technical Communicators

    • This course is a study of the foundations of multi-media including theory, planning, scripting, storyboarding, and production for technical communicators. Projects in the class include developing multimedia-based process/mechanical descriptions, instructions and interactive graphics for product end users and customers. Students submit research work on the theory of multi-media.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2010
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4050 - Instructional Video for Technical Communicators

    • This course addresses the theory and practice of developing “how-to” videos for product end users and customers. Fundamentals of instructional design, including audience analysis, goal analysis, formative and summative evaluation, are applied. Contemporary video technologies are used to generate products that instruct and inform end users/customers. Evaluation of technologies, content transfer, aesthetics and cultural considerations are addressed. Students assess commercially prepared videos and plan for incorporating them in training.
    • Prerequisites: DWMA 2170
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4120 - Usability Testing

    • This course introduces students to UX (User Experience) and usability testing. Included in the course is a review of the relevant research and practical applications of usability testing. Students learn how to develop strategies for planning, conducting, and analyzing a test. In teams, students perform tests using online testing tools, low-fidelity in-person methods, and formal usability lab settings. A final testing report with qualitative and quantitative results is required.
    • Prerequisites: TCOM 2002 , TCOM 2010 , and TCOM 2030
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4400 - Directed Study

    • This course addresses specific student needs for a specific technical communication topic not covered in the technical communication curriculum.
    • Prerequisites: To be determined by the faculty member teaching the course
    • Credits: 3-0-3
  • TCOM 4490 - Special Topics in Technical Communication

    • This course is used by faculty to offer topics that are relevant to the study of technical communication not currently in the technical communication curriculum.
    • Prerequisites: Approval of the Technical Communication Coordinator and The DWMA Department Chair
    • Credits: 3-0-3