Course Syllabus

Community College of Philadelphia

Spring 2017

ENGL 124: Introduction to Mass Media Design (ONL)


Professor Stephanie Scordia


Office: BR-21A

Office phone: 215-751-8490

Office hours: MWF 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and T/R 1-2:30 p.m.



“It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”


— Paula Scher, American graphic designer


Course Overview

Welcome to English 124: Intro to Mass Media! Chances are that if you are taking this course you are interested in pursuing a career in the media. As you undoubtedly know by now, mass media includes a wide range of fields, from print and broadcast journalism to public relations and marketing to advertising and publishing. Regardless of the specific type of media that interests you, graphic design plays a fundamental role in effective communication. This course will offer an introduction to basic design principles and provide you with a chance to design and publish print and digital media. We will analyze examples of print and digital media in order to learn the basics of media design. We will discuss examples of media design and analyze what techniques the designers employed in terms of their effectiveness in reaching their intended audience. You will complete two design projects (one group project and one individual project) to produce your own print and digital media using Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. At the end of this course, each of you will leave with a basic foundation in visual design, practical experience with the Adobe Creative Suite, and a digital portfolio of your work.


Course Description

English 124: Introduction to Mass Media Design instructs students how to deliver information in various print and digital forms. Through a variety of hands-on, individual and group assignments, students will learn to design and publish newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. Students will also be shown how to use the web to deliver print, photographic images, audio and video. By the end of this course, students will possess the skills necessary to create their own basic print and online publications or to assist in the design of more complex publications.  Prerequisites: ENGL 107, PHOT 151 (may be taken concurrently).


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the terms necessary to discuss publication layout and design.
  2. Apply a basic knowledge of various types of software to create print and online publications.
  3. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of newspaper and magazine layout and design.
  4. Create online publications that include photos, audio, video, and text.


Required Materials

Thinking With Type by Ellen Lupton

Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole

Access to MyCCP

Access to/and thorough knowledge of CANVAS

Access to the Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud

Web cam and microphone (standard on most laptops)



Exercises 20%

Project 1 10%

Project 2 20%

Project 3 20%

Quizzes 20%

Discussion Board 10%

TOTAL 100%


Final grades will be calculated according to the following point scale: 

100-90 = A

  89-80 = B

  79-70 = C

  69-60 = D

    59-0 = F


Attendance Policy

College policy states that if a student misses the equivalent of two weeks of class, s/he may be dropped from the course. In an online class, that can be tricky to measure, so, in this class, we will use the Discussion Boards as a measure of attendance. If you miss or fail to complete more than four (4) Discussion Boards, you will be dropped from the class for unsatisfactory attendance. Please let me know if you have any questions about this policy.


Late Work

As a general rule, I don’t accept late work. Only under extreme circumstances do I make exceptions to this rule. Time management is an essential skill for success as a college student and in the professional world. In most cases, bring unprepared for class (including not having work to hand when it is due) is unacceptable. In short, unless you have a very good reason for not having your work when it’s due, do not ask me if I will accept late work. (NOTE: Technical difficulties such as broken or lost flash drives, printer problems, or computer viruses are not acceptable excuses for late work.) Please see me if you have any questions about this policy.



Special Accommodations

Students who believe they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss their accommodation form and specific needs as soon as possible, but preferably within the first week of class. If you need to request reasonable accommodations, but do not have an accommodation form, please contact the Center on Disability in room BG-39 or by calling 215-751-8050.


Response Time

As your teacher, from Monday-Friday, I strive to respond to all Canvas messages/e-mails within 24 hours. After 7 p.m., I do not check e-mail, so if you e-mail or Canvas message me after 7 p.m., I won’t see it until the next day. As a general rule, you should not expect responses from me over the weekend. If you have questions about an assignment, contact me during the week. You are, of course, free to complete your work at any time, but it is not realistic to expect me to be available to respond to questions 24/7. Please allow one week for work to be graded. If you have any questions about this policy, please ask.  


CANVAS Support

If you run into issues with CANVAS, please contact CCP’s IT Department at 215-496-6000. Their hours are: Monday–Thursday from 8 a.m. –6:30 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 8 a.m.–2 p.m. You can also e-mail IT at Finally, you can also use the CANVAS student help guides available online 24/7 at


Classroom Guidelines

  • Upon entering our virtual classroom, remove possible distractions in your study space.
  • Please treat everyone in this class with respect always, at all times.
  • If you have questions, ask me. I am here to help as much as I can.


Class Schedule

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.


Week 1: Jan. 13/14

Introduction Discussion Board

Review syllabus

What is graphic design?

Be prepared for class discussion on Part 1: Letter in Thinking with Type (TWT)

Review Word Project


Week 2: Jan. 20/22

Quiz #1 on Part 1: Letter in Thinking with Type (TWT)

Design as resistance: Adbusters, Design Anarchy, and The Design of Dissent

Be prepared for class discussion on Part 2: Text in Thinking with Type (TWT)

Work on Word Project


Week 3: Jan. 27/29

Be prepared for class discussion on Part 3: Grid in Thinking with Type (TWT)

Quiz #2 on Part 2: Text (TWT)

Review Text Project

Word Project due at end of class (upload PDF to Canvas)

Be prepared for class discussion on pages 6-39 in Graphic Design: The New Basics (GD)

Work on Text Project


Week 4: Feb. 3/5

Quiz #3 on pages 6-39 in Graphic Design: The New Basics (GD)

Be prepared for class discussion on pages 40-83 in GD

Text Project due at end of class (upload PDF to Canvas)


Week 5: Feb. 10/12

Be prepared for class discussion on pages 84-145 in GD

Review Poster/Hierarchy Project


Week 6: Feb. 17/19

Quiz #4 on pages 40-145 in GD

Work on Poster/Hierarchy Project


Week 7: Feb. 24/26

Be prepared for class discussion on pages 146-183 in GD

Work on Poster/Hierarchy Project

Be prepared for class discussion on pages 184-243 in GD

Work on Poster/Hierarchy Project


<<<Week of March 2nd—SPRING BREAK>>>


Week 8: March 10/12

Quiz #5 (last one!) on pages 184-243 in GD

Work on Poster/Hierarchy Project

Poster/Hierarchy Project due at end of class (upload PDF to Canvas)

Review Business Card Project 


Week 9: March 17/19

Work on Business Card Project


Week 10: March 24/26

Work on Business Card Project/Project due at end of class (upload PDF to Canvas)

Review Blog Project


Week 11: March 31-April 2

Work on Blog Project


Week 12: April 7/9

Work on Blog Project


Week 13: April 14/16

Blog presentations


Week 15: April 24-30

FINALS WEEK—Portfolio due at time of Final Exam.

Course Summary:

Date Details