ATCM 3301_F18

Archive_Digital Content Design (Fall 2018)

ATEC 3301

This writing-intensive course blends theory and practice to increase the effectiveness of text prepared for digital media. Students will design, compose, and evaluate information to improve audiences’ utility and satisfaction. Topics include organization, logical development, structuring, and ethical presentation of information in a digital format.

ATEC students gain competency in four areas:

  • Art and design
  • Computer programming
  • Business and marketing
  • Writing and communication

Text Books

Handley, Ann. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. ISBN: 9781118905555 (ebook)

Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think. New Riders, 2014. ISBN: 9780321965516 (ebook)

Graded Assignments

Helpful Links


Week 1

8/20 (M) – Introduction

8/22 (W) – Media Industries

  • Green and Jenkins, “The Moral Economy of Web 2.0: Audience Research and Convergence Culture,” in Jennifer Holt and Alisa Perren (eds.), Media Industries: History, Theory and Method (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). (Part 1, Part 2)
  • Skim the “about” section: Who the #$% is Henry Jenkins

Week 2

8/27 (M) – Content Marketing

Reading Response 1:

How would you define digital content? What are some examples? How is it used, and who creates it?

8/29 (W) — Content Marketing

  • Handley, Chapter 10 of Everybody Writes (ebook)
  • “21 Ways Your Audience Affects Your Design”

Reading Response 2:

Share one example of content marketing from a company and discuss how it uses at least 5 of the 21 ways to appease its audience. (Uncertain if it’s content marketing?

9/3 (M) – NO CLASS (Labor Day)

9/5 (W) – Usability & Design

  • Krug, Chapter 1-5; and Chapter 9 in Don’t Make Me Think Revisited (ebook)

Reading Response 3:

Submit to your course participant page two websites you would consider yourself an ideal audience for. Briefly analyze the ways each website and its content are designed to meet your expectations and needs in terms of usability.


9/10 (M) – User Testing

User Testing Workshop

9/12 (W) – Content Creation

DUE: Audience/Usability Analysis (email to Dr. Rheams prior to class)

IN CLASS: Content Proposal and Marketing Strategy Overview


9/17 (M) – Content Topics and Ideas

In Class Writing:

List 5 blog post ideas. These can be topics you might write and/or those you would like to read (if you have chosen a blogging niche for your portfolio project, focus them in that category).

9/19 (W) – Persona Research

Reading Response 4:

Write a brief description of three marketing personas who would read your blog.


9/24 (M) – Strategy

In Class Writing:

Identify keywords and SEO parameters: What are three keywords or phrases that your blog’s persona might search for?

9/26(W) – Editorial/ Peer Teams

IN CLASS: Form peer editing groups.

DUE: Content Proposal and Marketing Strategy and Marketing Persona worksheet; posted to eLearning.


10/1 (M) – Short-Form Content: Quizzes and Curated Content

Reading Response 5:

Find a quiz and analyze it in relation to the site’s presumed marketing strategy. One paragraph (100 words) posted to eLearning.

10/3 (W) – Short-Form Content: News and Info Sharing


10/8 (M) – Workshop

DUE: Short-Form Content Piece (first version); post to WordPress, link from course participant page.

IN CLASS: Peer review workshop

10/10 (W) – Visual Content: Infographics, Research & Data, Content Visualizations, and Maps

IN CLASS: Plan an Infographic


10/15 (M) – Visual Content: Memes, Gifs, Comics, Cartoons, & Illustrations

Reading Response 6:

Link to one example of Gif or Meme marketing; what is its relation to the site’s marketing strategy; is it successful (100 words)?

10/17 (W) – Workshop

DUE: Visual Content Piece (first version); post to WordPress, link from course participant page.

IN CLASS: Peer Review


10/22 (M) – Long-Form Content: Reviews, Listicles, Curated Links, Op-Eds, and Feature Articles

10/24 (W) – Long-Form Content: Advice, How-To Guide, FAQs, and Interview

In class writing:

Link one example of a long-form content piece that informs your project; explain how.


10/29 (M) – Workshop

DUE: Long-Form Content piece (first version); post to WordPress, link from course participant page.

IN CLASS: Peer Review

10/31 (W) – Audio/Audio-Visual Content: Podcasts and Music


11/5 (M) – Audio /Visual Content: Video

  • Burgess and Green, “The Entrepreneurial Vlogger: Participatory Culture Beyond the Professional-Amateur Divide,” in Snickars and Vonderau (eds.), The YouTube Reader(Stockholm, Sweden: National Library of Sweden, 2009): 89-107.
  • “How to Use YouTube as an Effective Marketing Tool”

In Class Writing:

Link and analyze one example of YT being used as a marketing tool.

11/7 (W) – Workshop

DUE: Audio/Audio-Visual Content piece; post to WordPress, link from course participant page.

IN CLASS: Peer Review


11/12 (M) – No Class

W (11/14) – Social Media Tie-In

In Class Writing

Sample Marketing Retrospective



M (11/26) -Workshop

DUE: Blog of your choosing (first version); posted to WordPress, link from course participant page.

IN CLASS: Peer Review

11/28 (W) – Workshop

IN CLASS: Usability Testing


12/3 (M)

DUE: Revision plan and self-reflective essay; posted to eLearning.

12/5 (W)

IN CLASS: Open Lab

WEEK 17 (Finals Week)

12/10 (M)

DUE: Finalize blog including final versions of content pieces by noon.