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Our Innovative Curriculum

The MATC’s nine courses address subjects that are vital to digital media, journalism, design, and strategic communication. Courses build on one another as students progress through the program as a group, providing a solid foundation of both practical and theoretical skills needed to succeed in the changing communication landscape.

Course Descriptions

Writing for Digital Media - MEJO 711

Instructor: Andy Bechtel

Digital media combine and converge skill sets, tools and technologies. They also converge or blur the traditional roles of producer and consumer, publisher and reader, message sender and message receiver. These evolutionary convergences and the new demands they place on writers and content developers are the focus of this course. Of special concern are the changes these media force in terms of learning how to effectively communicate in and with them. Beyond exploring these convergences, this course also asks students to put that learning into practice and, in fact, to learn by doing.

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New Media and Society - MEJO 715

Instructor: Rhonda Gibson

This course will focus on the broad question of what communication professionals should understand about the ways that digital media are reshaping society. We will take a step back to examine how rapidly evolving media technologies affect us as individuals and groups in both our private and public lives.

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Research Methods and Applications - MEJO 716

Instructor: Anne Johnston

Knowledge of the logic, conduct and ethics of research is essential and empowering. Communication professionals have more research tools at their disposal than ever before, and they are under more pressure to measure and evaluate the impact of communication products and services.

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Information Visualization - MEJO 717

Instructor: Lisa Villamil

This course explores the overlap among several disciplines: cognitive science, graphic design, information visualization/architecture, and journalism. Based on readings from some of the main authors of each field, discussions of real world examples, and the design of several projects, the goal of the class is to provide students with the tools to succeed in this critical area of communication. Content covered includes visual communication; information design and visualization; rules of graphic design; cartographical and statistical representation; diagrams as journalistic tools; and ethics of visual communication.

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Media Law for the Digital Age - MEJO 718

Instructor: Cathy Packer

Just as the Internet has jolted the communication business, it has sent a shockwave through the field of communication law. Professional communicators and legal scholars are struggling to understand how “old” law applies to “new” technology, and to figure out what, if any, new law is needed. This is the subject of this course: traditional media law and its application to new communication technology.

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Leadership in Digital Media Economics - MEJO 719

Instructor: Mark Briggs

We are living through a period of immense economic disruption in the media industry. The creation of the Internet and all that it has wrought – interconnectivity, immediacy – set in motion the destruction of the business models that have supported traditional news organizations such as newspapers, broadcast television and radio for decades. By taking this course, students will learn how to evaluate the strengths and weakness of media and technology companies and analyze their potential for growth or decline.

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Strategic Communication - MEJO 720

Instructor: Kimberly Moore

Students will explore the world of strategic communication and how it is being transformed by digital technology. While organizations have always engaged in strategic communication to inform and influence stakeholders, the rich and exponentially cluttered information environment presents vast opportunities and mind-boggling challenges. From the global transnational media firm, to the state-wide environmental activist organization, to the local public school, today’s organizations are grappling to create and sustain stakeholder relationships through strategic, targeted, and integrated communication that supports organizational goals.

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Usability and Multimedia Design - MEJO 721

Instructor: Laura Ruel

This course will introduce students to five basic areas of excellent multimedia design and help students develop expertise in their application. This class is not about learning software. Some advanced design techniques will be covered, but a working knowledge of a graphic design, layout or animation program such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or Flash is necessary. (A selection of these programs will be introduced in MEJO 717: Information Visualization, a pre-requisite for MEJO 721.)

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Non-Traditional Thesis - MEJO 992


The non-traditional thesis project will emphasize both scholarly and practical application and will provide an opportunity to apply concepts and theories taught in the MATC curriculum. The project will be conducted with the full supervision and guidance of the student’s faculty adviser. Students will produce a detailed written report and will present findings to their committees and to a panel.

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Digital Data and Analytics - MEJO 713

Instructor: Joe Bob Hester

This course explores the fundamental concepts and principles that underlie techniques for extracting useful information and knowledge from digital data. The primary goal of the course is to help students view problems from a data perspective and understand how to systematically analyze such problems. This data-analytic thinking can then be applied in a variety of ways, from data journalism to customer relationship management to data-driven decision-making.

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