RTF innovates online learning

Now offering custom-designed, web-based classes

Flexible, research-based, student-driven, fun—these are all aspects of innovative web-based courses the Department of Radio-Television-Film is thrilled to host on topics ranging from film history to digital media production to the entertainment industries. As Dr. Caroline Frick, creator of RTF 306, notes, these custom online classes not only offer students flexibility by fitting into often complicated schedules but also “the opportunity to delve deeper into content that particularly excites them."

Who can register?

Enrollment is now open for Fall 2018. Introduction to World Cinema History (RTF 306) and Introduction to Media and Entertainment Industries (RTF 303C) will be offered exclusively to non-RTF majors. Introduction to Digital Media Production (RTF 344M) will be open to any student with 45 hours of coursework.

RTF 306: Introduction to World Cinema History, created by Dr. Caroline Frick

“Think of the simulations as fun, historical pick-your-own adventures.”
—Caroline Frick

Over one hundred years of film history in a semester! In this self-paced course for non-majors, students take a movie-inspired trip around the globe. With no face-to-face meetings, RTF 306 was designed by Frick based upon the latest research in online learning—rather than simply shifting an existing in-person course to a web platform. In addition to film viewings and readings, the course features two interactive simulation assignments focused on the films Baby Face (1933) and Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Imagine being in the minds of the creative teams making the movies! These unique simulation projects encourage students to engage with primary and secondary sources including specially curated archival content. “Think of the simulations,” Frick explains, “as fun, historical pick-your-own adventures” that also serve to cultivate valuable research skills.

Space is still available this summer in the web-based course, and both an online and in-person version will be offered in Fall, 2018.

RTF 329C: Introduction to Digital Media Production, created by Ben Bays

RTF 329C caters to students with any level of production experience and uses the same online tutorials and resources that industry professionals consult to learn about digital media production. Designed with a flexible format, students pick and choose 15 projects from a list of 50 options—and can do so in any order and within any timeframe. Some assignments ask students to learn a production software program; others require them to create projects they might encounter in professional settings. This flexibility, according to Bays, encourages students to identify short-term and long-term professional goals. “It acts as kind of an advising tool because I can name specific professions they might want to pursue, like a motion graphics designer or a visual effects artist.”

"Students will end up with a portfolio of creative work in animation, visual effects, CGI, and digital composition."
—Ben Bays

Although the course does not include any in-person meetings, teaching assistants regularly grade and provide feedback on assignments. For additional motivation, Bays has integrated an anonymous, interactive leaderboard. This fun, game-like environment, he explains, drives many students to hone their skills and improve the quality of their projects. Perhaps of most significance, "by taking the class," says Bays, "students will end up with a portfolio of creative work in animation, visual effects, CGI, and digital composition."

Now open to RTF majors and non-majors for the summer session.

RTF 303C: Introduction to Media and Entertainment Industries, created by Wenhong Chen

Beginning in Fall 2018, Dr. Wenhong Chen will instruct an online version of RTF 303C: Introduction to Media and Entertainment Industries exclusively for non-RTF majors. The course serves as the gateway to the new Media and Entertainment Industries minor and surveys the development of legacy and new media industries in light of globalization and technological advancements. Students are introduced to various case studies from around the globe, including films, TV programs, mobile apps, entrepreneurs, and media firms. By the end of the semester, students will gain a valuable understanding of different media industry sectors and acquire tools for evaluating the entrepreneurial challenges, opportunities, and risks emerging from the new media landscape.


Anne Major
Ph.D. Student, Radio-Television-Film