Ed's podcasts

RSS feeds and podcasts created by Ed Nickel
are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at cot.gbcnv.edu.
Creative Commons License

GRC 383: How to start
Welcome, Expectations, Procedures,
and some general class notes

To automatically receive new feeds and podcasts you can copy this link: http://cot.gbcnv.edu/~ed/class/grc383/grc383.xml to your RSS reader and/or your iTunes/mp3 software. If you prefer getting the new feeds and podcasts manually you can read these files directly as you are reading this one. Please note, iTunes is available free from Apple and can be used on your PC or Mac even if you do not have an iPod.


A. Welcome:

Hello, I'm Ed Nickel, your instructor, and I welcome you to GRC 383 Advanced Multimedia Design: Video & Audio. This is the first in a series of RSS feeds and podcasts that I plan to create for you to use this semester. The occasional podcasts will be about 5-15 minutes in length to help explain obscure concepts, add material not available in the text and, to cover frequently asked questions about the material being covered. You can copy this link: http://cot.gbcnv.edu/~ed/class/grc383/grc383.xml to your RSS reader and/or your mp3 player, or you can read these files directly as you are reading this one, or download the mp3 files which constitute the podcast from the class web site by clicking the rss feed icon, RSS icon, in your web browser interface from the class syllabus. In this podcast/feed I will cover a few general basics about the class but in the future I will concentrate on specific concepts relevant to particular lessons.

B. Expectations:

  • During this semester, we will cover much of the text, in addition you:
  • will need to complete the labs which are worth about 40% of your grade to familiarize yourself with using some of the more common multimedia editing concepts and tools;
  • will get 20% of your grade based on your discussion posts in Web Campus (To get full points you must post at least one original discussion and one response to other classmates' posts each week. Your posts should relate to some aspect of the material we are covering during each lesson or some related graphic communications issue. You are expected to use appropriate college level communications in your posts, including content, grammar, spelling, and respect for your readers.) ;
  • will need to complete the quizzes which are worth about 20% of your grade with each quiz covering only the material since the prior quiz and being objective with some true/false and some multiple choice questions;
  • will create a mutltimedia project which is worth about 20% of your grade;
  • should review the class syllabus for additional details about class processes, procedures, and other assignments.

You can get excellent ideas for posts about geographic information systems from the text, a number of websites, as well as many other sources. I have added links to some of these resources in the online syllabus and I will provide more via these RSS feeds as the semester progresses. Please feel free to email me via Web Campus with your questions, comments, or ideas about these podcasts and RSS feeds.

C: Web Campus Procedures:

This class is organized primarily through the "Learning Modules." When you click on the "Learning Modules" button on the left sidebar menu or from the front page for the class, you will see a list of the currently available lessons by week. Click on the week whose materials you wish to cover and you will get the first item for that week. In the case of week 1 you will start with this page. Generally, the lessons will follow the outline shown here, although not all will include every item.

General Weekly Lesson Structure
Step Item
1 Reading Assignments: before you go any further, read the assigned sections from the textbook and any handouts, otherwise the remaining material may not make sense.
2 Written Commentary: a text version of my comments and thoughts concerning each week's material which will often include links to additional material available on the web.
3 Audio Commentary: an mp3/podcast version of the written commentary above which you can download onto an iPod or other mp3 player to review at your convenience, however no web links are possible.

Discussion Section: here is where you post your thoughts and comments on the current lesson and related topics. I will often pose some possible discussion points in my commentaries for each lesson, however, you are also welcome to choose other relevant topics for your discussion posts. Three general categories to consider for your posts include: a question concerning the current lesson about which you want to learn more, a topic on which you disagree with either me or the author or, a related topic in which you have some expertise that you would like to contribute for class consideration. See the syllabus for more information on the discussions and their grading weight.

To give you the specific criteria I am looking for in your discussion posts, each student should at a minimum create an original discussion post and respond to at least one other comment post each week.

Furthermore, when grading these discussion posts I am looking for three things:

  • advanced college level writing skills, e.g. grammar, spelling, & clarity of thought;
  • relevance to the current lesson, either material from the text, my commentaries, or some other authoritative source; and
  • each student's understanding and insight into the topic of discussion, i.e. something more substantial than "That's a good point" or "I agree," such as, why its a good point or why you agree or disagree. As you can see from these criteria, I want each student's posts to add to our overall understanding of the material being discussed.
5 Assignments: during this class there will be a several assignments that allow you to get some hands on experience using multimedia software. You may use the GBC open computer labs, the GBC Remote Access Lab computers, or, your own computer if you have at least the Adobe Premiere and other required software to complete these assignments. If you plan to use the Remote Access Lab please let me know during week one so I can reserve a VM for your use which you can easily log on to from almost any computer with a broadband Internet connection. See the syllabus for more information on these assignments and their grading weight.


D: Lab Assignments How-to:

You have several options to perform the labs required for successful completion of this class. If you are near a GBC center you may use our computer lab facilities, you may use your own computer, or you may log on to one of our Remote Access lab computers. With both of the first two options you must be able to create a "zip file" of your lab folder in order to submit it via the WebCampus Assignment drop box. You can download the open source 7-Zip software from http://www.7-zip.org/ for free. However, please be aware of the very specific requirements for each of these options as shown below.

  • If using a GBC Center computer lab: Although this is the easiest method to access the Adobe software as it is already installed for your use, along with 7zip to compress the files and folders to turn in via the WebCampus very few GBC lab computers have this software. Contact me to see if a center near you has the appropriate software.
  • If using your own computer: Please be sure you have Adobe Premiere CS3 or newer.
  • If using a GBC COT Dept "Remote Access" computer: You must have a high speed Internet connection with at least DSL minimum speed (dial-up will not work) then request a remote access code from your instructor via the WebCampus email. Be aware: you do not need a powerful computer to do this but you do need "high speed Internet" NOT dialup and you must have Windows XP or newer to access the remote computer lab. Before trying to log on to the remote access lab please watch this short video that shows how it is done. If you choose this method, please contact your instructor via the WebCampus email for the required access codes and further instructions as soon as possible.

    Please note: You can use these remote access virtual machines from an Apple Mac by downloading the free RDC software from Microsoft for the Mac. (In fact, I have even done this from my iPad using the Jump Desktop app available from the Apple App Store for $14.99, although I admit that Adobe Premiere is no fun from such a small screen.) These connection utilities allow a Mac or an iPad to remotely use Windows computers and software.

Please feel free to email me via WebCampus with your questions, comments, or ideas about the GRC 383 podcasts. This is all for now until the first lesson, when we will delve into the multimedia project management.

Click for my home page, for my syllabi index, or for my office hours.