Class gets new focus for iMedia14

By Laura Smith

We’ve been working our way to our degrees in interactive media for just over two months now. There’s been a lot of reading, a lot of writing…and a LOT of coding. While Professor Brian Walsh continues to amaze us with navigation bars, fixed-width layouts and smooth scrolling in Interactive Writing (HTML and CSS), there’s a new face and new focus to the Producing Interactive Media class. In the past, Producing has focused on creating animations and vector graphics in Flash, a program slowly being kicked out by modern browsers and Javascript libraries. Professor William Moner is new to iMedia (and Elon) and has taken over the class, teaching us the challenging but will-be-so-worth-it-one-day Javascript language.

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“This course is vital to iMedia students because the web has finally embraced Javascript as the behavioral scripting language of the web,” he said. “Exported projects from Flash are often packed with unnecessary code and features that a designer doesn’t intend to use, and can lead to inefficient experiences on mobile devices.”

Moner first taught a Javascript class in 2007 and has seen the evolution of the language change and progress.

“I like Javascript coding because the language grows with the web, and I am absolutely amazed at the level of interaction that has emerged with the adoption of HTML 5, CSS 3, and Javascript libraries like jQuery that gracefully handle a number of the aforementioned reasons to add Javascript to pages,” he said.

So why did iMedia decide to make the class solely focused on JavaScript? Faculty wanted the curriculum to be as up to date as possible, according to Maggie Mullikin, Coordinator of Graduate Outreach & Special Programs. Since Flash is going away and being replaced with JavaScript, this only made sense.

While the class will certainly help us with creating awesome websites, it does not come without some challenges.

“Javascript was extremely challenging at first,” said Erika Metzger. “I had never done anything like Javascript before so it took a lot of extra effort outside of class and homework to understand the concepts. But now, Javascript is starting to click and I’m excited to see what kind of things I can make.”

Moner’s suggestion?

“Practice, practice, practice,” he said. “Write small, simple programs that report results to the built-in console. From there, build a small functional program. Really dig into the underlying logic of an experience —Then, try to challenge yourself to move items across the screen or create a simple calculator. Follow tutorials, and as boring as it may sound, read through code.”


2 thoughts on “Class gets new focus for iMedia14

  1. Pingback: Faculty Spotlight: Professor William Moner | Eye on iMedia

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