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GRC 301
Graphic Communication
Management Essentials

Revised: August, 2013
Credits: 1
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
E-mail: due to increased spam my email address will be provided the first day of class
Class Web Page:
Textbook: There is no textbook for this class, readings and assignments will be provided in class or via WebCampus.


Course Description: This course is designed for non-graphics majors and covers essential concepts in graphic communications required for a manager of digital technology systems. Students will start work on individual portfolios of their achievements during this degree program. (Prerequisite: a GBC AAS in COT with either CADD/GIS, Information Specialist, Network Specialist, Office Technology, or Web Specialist Emphasis; or equivalent degree from another community college)

Welcome to GRC 301, Graphic Communication Management Essentials. This course provides essential information for digital information technology management students with a strong information technology background but who do not have much background in multimedia. A GBC AAS in COT with either CADD/GIS, Information Specialist, Network Specialist, Office Technology, or Web Specialist Emphasis; or equivalent degree from another college is the prerequisite for this class. Various media and the tools to produce them will be introduced in each lesson with some time allotted for the evaluation of each. You will need additional time each week outside of scheduled class time to complete readings and assignments. Some of the computers available in the GBC High Tech Center have the software used in class for your use outside of class. If you have the necessary hardware and software, doing your assignments at home is acceptable.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This class may be taught in a live classroom setting, online via WebCampus, or as a hybrid class. You are expected to participate in weekly discussions, exercises, as well as various quizzes, projects, and other class activities. The schedule of readings and assignments is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally, as handouts in class, or via the WebCampus lesson modules.

I can be reached at the phone number listed above or you can make an appointment to see me during office hours or at other times. My office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site.


The primary objective of this class is to provide students who already have a strong information technology background with a working knowledge of multimedia terminology, concepts, and principles. Students who successfully complete this class should be conversant in multimedia formats, techniques and content. The more important topics to be covered in this class include:

  • media which can be employed in a multimedia project
  • the terminology of multimedia
  • techniques used in the multimedia creation process
  • evaluation of multimedia examples
The successful student in this class will be able to:
  1. comprehend and apply proper ethical and legal principles to the acquisition of content, e.g. copyright, subject clearances, etc.;
  2. appraise the effectiveness of various media under differing circumstances;
  3. analyze & use various media techniques for a specific application.
Learner Outcome Assessments
Assessment Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3
Final Project 2, 3


GRADING POLICY: This is a pass/fail class a P=70-100%, F=69% or less or W=Official Withdrawal by the official withdrawal date. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 30% on class participation and discussion, 30% on the hands-on exercises, and 40% on your mini project. All assignments are due at the beginning of the next class.

EXAM & QUIZ PROCEDURES: All exams and quizzes will be objective, e.g. true/false, multiple choice, fill-in the blank, etc, and will be conducted using GBC's web based learning system.

ATTENDANCE POLICY: The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. One (1) unexcused absences can result in a failing grade, in an on-line class an absence is one week when you do not participate in class or contact the instructor.

OTHER POLICIES: The student rights & responsibilities policy stated in the current GBC Catalog apply to this class. If you need special accommodations please contact GBC's ADA Officer at 775-753-2271 as soon as possible. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and can result in a failing grade. This syllabus is not a contract and is subject to reasonable changes as the class proceeds.


In order to keep up with the live or posted web discussions, you should read and understand each week's topics as they are covered. To successfully complete this class you are required to complete a mini-project consisting of your choice of audio, graphic, or video production. Regardless of which you choose, you must demonstrate your understanding of the graphics communications concepts covered in this class through this assignment. The mini-project will be due the last week of this class.

From time to time I may create podcasts (downloadable mp3 files) on topics which lend themselves to audio delivery. These will be audio explanations and other commentary related to specific lessons. As I create these podcasts you can find them by either clicking on this link: podcasts or "subscribing" to the RSS feed for this syllabus. You will be able to download them for free onto your computer, to any mp3 player, or add this URL to iTunes or similar podcast receiving software.

Topics & readings by lesson:
Lesson 1: Digital audio & sound reproduction
Lesson 2: Graphic design & applications
Lesson 3: Digital video files & applications
Lesson 4: Typography
Lesson 5: Mini-Project


Criteria for the project:

You must create a graphic/multimedia project. Your project should demonstrate proper techniques and include appropriate elements as discussed in class for the kind of media you select. You need to include a brief statement noting the project's function, intended audience, etc. Do not violate any intellectual property laws: copyright, patent, or trademark laws, in the creation of your project.

Choose one of the following options to create your project:

  • Use Audacity* to create an audio project of 2-3 minutes in length. This project can be either spoken or music, must demonstrate appropriate use of audio effects, and should be edited to remove unwanted sounds. Audio projects should be submitted in wav or mp3 formats.
  • Use Adobe Photoshop*, Adobe Illustrator*, and/or GIMP* to create a graphic project with a minimum of 4 images that a form coherent whole and should include appropriate titles/text to clarify the project. Graphic projects should be submitted in jpg or gif formats.
  • Use Adobe Premiere* or Windows Movie Maker* to create a video 2 - 3 minutes in length with appropriate scene transitions, narrative, titles, and/or text to clarify the project. Video projects should be submitted in wmv or mov formats.
  • You may use other software, such as Camtasia which I use to create the video tutorials for this and other classes, if you have it available and have checked with me before embarking on a project using software not included in the previous 3 bullets.

*Most (but not all) of the Adobe software is available in various GBC computer labs. Windows Movie Maker is available as part of Windows XP and Vista and can be downloaded free from Microsoft for newer versions of Windows. Audacity is an open source software audio recording and editing package with many features similar to Cakewalk's Sonar which can be downloaded for free from, this is only a 2.1MB download. GIMP is an open source software package similar to Adobe Photoshop which can be downloaded for free from but please be aware this is a 14.8MB download. If you do not have high speed Internet for download's and would like this software, email your snail mail address to me as soon as possible and I will send you CD of open source software including Audacity, GIMP, OOo v2.3, and probably some others.

Creative Commons License
Original content on this website created by Ed Nickel
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
United States License
based on a work at
Some classes include rss-podcast

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