Digital Media 2

ATLS 3020 - Spring 2015

Course Overview


ATLS 3020: Digital Media 2
Spring 2015
Mon/Wed 3:00-4:50 ATLAS 104


Brittany Ann Kos
Office: ATLAS 324
Office Hours: Tue & Wed 5-7


The field of digital media continues to be propelled forward by technological advances, making it essential for artists, designers, and media producers to understand the fundamentals of programming in order to fully participate. This course introduces basic programming concepts and methodologies that will be applied to the creation and manipulation of information, images, animation, and sound.

The class will feature a combination of lectures, demonstrations, and open lab sessions. Students will complete a number of projects geared towards gaining a broad proficiency in developing digital media applications, culminating with a team project. Selected research, tutorials, and related readings will be expected to contribute to class discussions and projects.


At the end of this course, students will have the knowledge and experience needed to create cutting edge interactive web applications. Students will gain these skills by meeting the following objectives:

  • Understanding web architecture including client/server architecture and the Document Object Model
  • Basic programming proficiency and its relevance in the field of digital media
  • Ability to create interactive web sites using both client and server side technologies

Topical Outline

We will be exploring many of the areas that make up interactive web applications. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced HTML5 and CSS3
  • Responsive web design
  • Programming concepts
  • Javascript, jQuery
  • PHP

Class Expectations

Texts and Materials

There are two required books available at the CU bookstore or online.

  • JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development, Jon Duckett, 2014, Wiley – Amazon Link
  • PHP for the Web: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition), Larry Ullman, 2011, Peachpit Press – Amazon Link
    PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide, Larry Ullman, 4th edition 2012, Peachpit Press – Amazon Link

A portable storage device such as a USB Jump Drive is required. You are given 1MB of server space, but you still need to backup your work. Lost or corrupted work is not an acceptable excuse for late work.


Attendance and class participation are important components of the course. This is a fast-paced course with new topics covered every class and each new concept building on top of previous ones. By missing class or not keeping up with the assignments, you will very quickly find yourself lost. You are encouraged to complete the assigned reading, ask questions, share your thoughts, and work with fellow students.

Please talk or email me before class for any known absences to be excused. If notified before class, situations that count as excused absences include severe illness, death in the family (or close friends), religious observances (see below), or school related absences. Any problems related to an alarm clock or getting up in general will NOT be excused. You are responsible for all material and announcements made in class.

Class Website

All class information, assignments, and readings are available on the class web site at It is your responsibility to check the site regularly and complete all reading and assignments listed.


ATLS-2000 Meaning of Information Technology and ATLS-3010 Digital Media 1 are required prerequisites. No previous programming is necessary for this course, although a familiarity with computers, the Web, HTML5, CSS3 and file structure is recommended. If you're not comfortable with HTML5 or CSS3 you should review them using reference material (book or web site), please come talk to me if you'd like some recommendations.

Lab Procedures

Please abide by our lab policies to keep these spaces as nice as possible for as long as possible.

  • No food is allowed inside the labs
  • No drinks are allowed inside the labs
  • Please treat all equipment with care and respect
  • If you see someone abusing the equipment, let an instructor know
  • If you see someone removing or tampering with the equipment (including keyboards and mice) let an instructor know
  • Do not prop open the doors. The labs are secured through BuffOne card access and propping open the doors creates a security risk



Grading in this course is based on the following components:

Attendance and Participation 5%
Quizzes 5%
Portal 5%
Labs 35%
Projects 30%
Team Project 20%

As this course is often a student's first experience programming, it can be challenging for some. If you find yourself struggling, please let me know as soon as possible as waiting will only compound the problem.

Grading Criteria

Grades for each project will be emailed to your CU email address unless you send me an email requesting otherwise. The grading standard used in this class is as follows:

  • A: superior/excellent work – far beyond minimal requirements
  • B: good/better than average work – went beyond minimal requirements
  • C: average/competent work – met minimal requirements
  • D: below average work – did not meet minimal requirements
  • F: unsatisfactory/failing work

Grading Rubric

Lab grades are based on their completeness (meets the assignment's requirements), timeliness (turned in on time), and technical proficiency (works correctly).

Project grades are based on their creativity, concept, aesthetics, and technical sophistication.

Late or missed assignments

All assignments are due on your portal at the start of class on their due date. Please make sure they are clearly linked so they are easy for me to find. For every 24-hour period that an assignment is late, it will be dropped one grade (A to A- to B+ etc.). In case of an emergency, students must notify me before the class if you will miss an assignment deadline and special arrangements can be discussed.

Assignment Expectations

Code Plagiarism

I encourage students to work together on assignments, but I expect the work turned in to be each student's own. So work together, talk, brainstorm, trouble shoot, but make sure that the assignments you turn in were created by you. The web is a great resource, and searching for help, answers, and inspiration is very useful, so take advantage of it. You can adapt ideas and concepts you find online to be part of your projects, but your projects must be written entirely by you, and you should be able to explain all of the code you use in a project. If your project uses code snippets found from other sources they should not exceed 20% of your project's code and you should be able to explain how that code works. Turning in a project that doesn't meet this guideline will result in an F. If you are using code snippets, or coding concepts, from other sources you must cite the sources in the comments section. Copying programs directly out of a book, web site, or from another person without properly citing them is considered plagiarism and will be dealt with in accordance with the CU Honor Code (see below). Please check with me if you are unclear on the line between adaptation and plagiarism. Also, reusing projects from another class or commercial work is not acceptable for projects in this course unless you get previous approval from me.

Intellectual Honesty

All work is assumed to be your own and produced exclusively for this course. Work done for one course, even if revised, is not to be submitted in another without the instructor's prior approval. Borrowing of ideas or language from other sources (including published material, other student papers, the Internet or other electronic resources, etc.) must be carefully documented. Cases of suspected plagiarism will be referred to the University, and the student if convicted will receive a grade of F in the course in addition to sanctions assigned by the University. Carelessness in documenting sources, even if not technically plagiarism, will be penalized as I deem appropriate. If you are uncertain about how or whether to document sources, please check with me.

Computing Devices Policy

Laptops and mobile computing devices can be a great asset to learning, but they can also be a source of distraction and actually impair the learning environment. Within ATLAS courses, laptops and mobile computing devices should only be used for class related activities. Checking E-mail, social media sites, working on assignments or projects for other courses, Instant Messaging, gaming and web-surfing are examples of unacceptable classroom behaviors. Additionally, the use of a cell-phones or texting devices is prohibited during class. If you are found to be engaging in these activities during course time, Instructors reserve the right to ask you to leave the classroom. The instructor computer in ATLS 113 has Apple Remote Desktop installed on it and I may use this software during the semester to have access to students' computers.


Religious Observances

Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and fairly deal with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Please contact me before class regarding any absences or conflicts due to religious observances. See full details at

Disability Services

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to your professor a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner (for exam accommodations provide your letter at least one week prior to the exam) so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or by e-mail at If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, see Temporary Injuries under Quick Links at Disability Services website ( and discuss your needs with your professor.

Honor Code

All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (; 303-735-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at and at

Discrimination and Harassment

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working, and living environment. The University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in admission and access to, and treatment and employment in, its educational programs and activities. (Regent Law, Article 10, amended 11/8/2001). CU-Boulder will not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment based upon Protected Classes or related retaliation against or by any employee or student. For purposes of this CU-Boulder policy, "Protected Classes" refers to race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or veteran status. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at

Behavioral Standards

Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. See policies at and at