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Digital Communication and Information Minor


In 2007, I was one of the 24 faculty members from universities across the country that established the “Cut Score”, or the passing grade, for the Educational Testing Services’ (ETS) ICT Literacy assessment exam.  In 2009, I was invited once more to ETS to work in the new iteration of their iSkills exam. In this occasion, my participation entailed operationalizing elements of ICT Literacy to increase the validity and reliability of the exam’s measurements. In 2008, I served on the ICT Digital Literacy Leadership Roundtable organized by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), where I provided advice on a Digital Literacy Curriculum for the State and the corresponding statewide public policy. 


As a result of this work with ETS and CETF, I became very interested in developing an ICT Literacy for Higher Education Curriculum that could be used in universities across our system. In 2011, after a multi-year effort, the Senate and President of Sacramento State approved a proposal for a Digital Communication and Information Minor consisting of 6 upper-division courses.  


ComS101    Information Management and Privacy

ComS106    Digital Media Creation, An Introduction

ComS117    Multimedia Communication 

ComS140    Online Collaboration 

ComS190    Human Communication on the Internet 

ComS191    New media and Society 



COMS 101. Information Management and Privacy. 

Students develop skills to use information proficiently in digital environments. In order to cope with information overload, students learn how to define and limit informational needs, how to access and evaluate information critically, and how to analyze and integrate information purposefully. The course teaches students evolving strategies and techniques for maintaining personal information spaces and security.


COMS 106. Digital Media Creation - An Introduction. 

Students learn multimedia authoring through the manipulation of digital media downloaded legally from online repositories. Students learn how to digitally edit pixel-based images, vector images, audio, video and 3D models, while learning the principles that govern all digital media. The course uses Open Source and specialized software. 


COMS 117. Multimedia Communication. 

Students create and integrate information and digital media with the purpose of informing or persuading an audience. By identifying communication needs, students learn to prepare multimedia presentational aids and standalone multimedia presentations for distribution in online environments. This course features topics in visual communication, story-boarding, presentation and delivery. (Prereq: ComS101 and ComS106)


COMS 140. Online Collaboration. 

Students learn to communicate in virtual environments in real-time and asynchronously. Students survey current technologies for collaboration, explore psychological and cultural aspects of individuals working and communicating in teams across computer networks, and identify strategies to foster cooperatives in distributed work. (Prereq: ComS101 and ComS106)


COMS 190. Human Communication on the Internet. 

Provides an in-depth study of communication models that summarize and explain the interaction of humans in electronic environments, especially the Internet. Students locate, organize, analyze, an synthesize the latest research in online communication and make connection between theoretical models and their own experiences. (Prereq: ComS101 and ComS106)


COMS 191. New Media and Society. 

The course examines contemporary social, cultural, political and economic topics regarding the adoption of digital media and the Internet. Students understand their role as citizens of a global knowledge-based society and the ethical dimensions brought by the new computer-enabled media environment. (Prereq: ComS101 and ComS106)

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