Program Learning Outcomes
The Communication Baccalaureate of the Department of Communication at Dixie State University is driven by specific learning outcomes, skills and competencies that the degree is designed to reach in both human and mediated communication. These include:

Theory - The  conceptual understanding of mediated communication theories from various traditions and practical understanding of media production, management and consumption.

Research - The ability to conduct academic research, explore conceptual issues in mediated communication, and make academic arguments with established research methods.

Content Creation - The skills to create and promote mediated messages in compliance with technical and aesthetic principles for a variety of purposes based on in-depth analysis of the audience and situation.

Critical Thinking - The ability to apply good reasoning, critical thinking, ethics and problem solving skills to critically evaluate media production and consumption.

Analysis - The ability to conduct professional research to evaluate efficacy of mediated messages integrating media analytics and metrics into qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Global Perspective - Demonstrate effective cross-cultural communication knowledge and skills in achieving a global perspective.

This course, Visual Communication, seeks to sustain these outcomes through the student learning objectives below.

Student Learning Objectives
Visual Communication is an introduction to visual communication as manifested in photography, television, motion pictures, the Internet, and other visual media. You will acquire a basic understanding of the physical and cognitive processes of visual communication, the elements of visual messages, and principles of visual organization that can affect perception. These principles include Gestalt, framing, vectors, motion, color, and typestyles.You will learn basic principles of composition, pictorial continuity, and editing that are used in visual media.

To these ends and through regular attendance and active participation you will be able to:
  • Explain the transactional communication concepts of context and noise relating to the perceptual process of visual communication design, 
  • categorize visual communication effects in affective, cognitive and psychomotor responses, 
  • assess the influence of typestyles on messages and develop your own font, 
  • identify primary forms of contrast in composition and layout design and execute applications in your own original media design, 
  • identify and execute compositional forces of framing, vectors, motion, in visual design applications of motion and still photography, 
  • explain and apply to your own original media design Gestalt principles, 
  • create and produce effectively designed media in your choice of domains including packaging, collateral, exhibit, converged media, identity, print, motion and still imaging, 
  • critique and evaluate visual communication design in all domains, 
  • collaborate with other student designers in producing a campaign. 

Item Pool
The Visceral Response - Post
Describe in design terms why a particular piece of art, a design, a sculpture, an expression creates that feeling of beauty inside you.

Contrast, Harmony and Balance - Analysis, Post
Discover contrast, balance and harmony by identifying principles discussed in class in an image of your choice. Identify the what you feel represents these principles and write a brief narrative defending your application. Post both the image and your analysis on your blog.

While these principles include highlights and shadow, size, texture, shape, color, position and orientation, don't rule out the psychological, cultural and social contexts that these images may depict.

Design Evaluation – Presentation, Post
Find representations of good and poor design in two-dimensional display layouts, web pages, or three dimensional packaging. Base your analysis on design principles discovered in the class lab and document the basis of your evaluation in an online blog. Present your findings to your peers using technical integration, no longer than five minutes. Post your presentation to your blog.

Compose Your Frame - Post
Using the principles discussed in Still Composition, compose an image that uses the influences of the rule of thirds, the diagonal rule, and vectors. Break down your composition in an analysis of these influences and their impact on the message of your image.

Mis-en-Scene - Group Presentation, Post
Select a scene from a film represented by a single frame or an embedded scene. Given the roles you've assumed in your group, break the scene down in terms of production design, identifying the artists involved in the credits for your selected film. For example, you'll see the work of a production designer, an art director, set designer, makeup, costume and wardrobe, locations, and special effects, in collaboration with a director of photography, key grip and key gaffer.

Design a Visual Communication Artifact – Skill Development, Post
Choose from one of the visual communication design domains (packaging, collateral, exhibit, converged media, identity, motion picture, or print) and create an artifact using the concepts and principles discussed in class and labs. The artifact should reflect a specific communication objective. Post your artifact and it design analysis to your blog.

Collaborate on Design - Skill Qualification, Post
As a group, create a campaign consisting of a least three artifacts from three of the domains. Design the campaign then confer on a distribution strategy incorporating coverage appropriate to the intended audience. Select from the visual communication design domains (packaging, collateral, exhibit, converged media, identity, motion picture, or print) and create your artifacts using the concepts and principles discussed in class and labs. Create a style guide to be used in the development of the campaign. The campaign should reflect a specific communication objective.

Assessments may be a combination of multiple choice, true/false fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. You will be accountable for and assessed on principles discussed in class and on the website.

Course Policies and Resources
As a core class for the Bachelor of Communication degree, you need to achieve a C+ or higher as the grade outcome of this class for it to count towards your degree requirements.

Missing Class
Show up. It's the first secret to achievement. Every semester students will let me know that they'll be missing class to go on a cruise, or for a wedding, or to go snowboarding, and I say, "Cool, have fun." You, or somebody else, have paid to be here. It's your stewardship and my expectation. To account for this, over the course of this semester I'll give those in attendance a secret word which they will email back to me before 5:00p that day to indicate they were there. I will do this five times during the semester on the days of lowest attendance. If at the end of the semester you have emailed five secret words, your grade remains in tact. If you've submitted only three secret words, your evaluation drops a whole letter grade. If you've sent none, you fail the course.

Plagiarism and Cheating
Plagiarism is the use of another source’s words, ideas or statistics without their permission and/or proper citation. Anyone who plagiarizes material in my class will receive a grade of zero on that assignment. Anyone found cheating on term assessments will fail the test, though I also reserve the right to assign you an “F” for the course and/or refer you to our chair for further sanctions. If you submit a falsified electronic document that I cannot open, you will fail the assignment. Please keep in mind that one can be expelled from the college for academic dishonesty.

Also see Academic dishonesty / Academic integrity policy.

Electronic Devices
Bring your technology to class, your tablets, laptops and smart phones, and use them in our discussions and presentations. But, please don't text, call or surf online for anything not having to do with the day's topic. Please put your phone on vibrate. Should your device make any ring or notification sound, interrupting class,  you owe me a completely stamped Cafe Rio meal card. Second infraction and you're buying everyone lunch at Cafe Rio. If I find you engaged in an online activity that is not related to class activity you will owe me a full Cafe Rio card for each infraction. Really.

Submission of Assignments
All work for this class will be submitted via Google Docs or uploaded to your blog. This ensures I can open your document and verify contents regardless of platform. No other format will be accepted. Format your submissions in the subject line with the course number, assignment, and your name. If I were submitting my design artifact for COMM3560, my subject line would read: COMM3560, Design Artifact, Young.

Written assignments will be word-processed and are due the date indicated on the course schedule on this web site. I don't accept late work nor do I accept technical excuses like a crashed computer or an email glitch. Assignments are due by the beginning of class. Work containing typographical and grammatical errors will be returned without evaluation. Proof your work. The college provides a free service for students desiring additional assistance with their writing assignments. The Writing Center is located in the Browning Building. Call Barbara Turnbow at 652-7743 for information.

Email Communication
Important class and college information will be sent to your D-mail account. All DSC students are automatically assigned a D-mail email account. Click and select D-mail for complete instructions. You will be held accountable for information sent to your D-mail, so please check it often.

I reserve the right to remove any student from this class and/or program based on documentable breech of citizenship such as sexual harassment, hostile environment, discrimination based on race, religion, gender and/or sexuality, as well as plagiarism, misrepresentation, and/or malicious gossip.

Withdrawal and Drop Deadlines
Please consult the semester schedule for withdrawal and reimbursement deadlines. You will be charged a $10 fee for dropping this class.

Late Work and Missing Tests
Should you miss an assessment due to medical reasons, you must provide documentation that states you were otherwise occupied at the time or in the general vicinity of class time. All excused absences must be presented right after the absence, and will be verified. I will determine what is excused. Any missed exams will only be made up with appropriate excused documentation.

Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a medical, psychological or a learning difference and requesting reasonable academic accommodations due to this disability, you must provide an official request of accommodation to your professor(s) from the Disability Resource Center within the first two weeks of the beginning of classes. Students are to contact the center on the main campus to follow through with, and receive assistance in the documentation process to determine the appropriate accommodations related to their disability.

You may call (435) 652-7516 for an appointment and further information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 per Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The office is located in the Student Services Center, Room #201 of the Edith Whitehead Building.

Library and Literacy Contacts
Dianne Hirning is the librarian over Communication resources. She is your resource and guide for research within this discipline. You can reach her at and by phone at 652-7720.

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Writing Center -
Testing Center -
Tutoring Center -