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Course Assignments

Assignment 1 (10 points) (due week 4 of the semester): Learning Flash Builder is complex task and there is no single best path. However, during the next few weeks it is important for you to do the following:

  • Expand you awareness and understanding of Flash Builder and AS3 components. Adobe's Tour de Flex is a collection of approximately 300 components. During the next 3 weeks, spend time exploring and experimenting with different components. Post at least 10 samples of components to your website each week so you will have at least 30 sample files on display at your website. Note: Do not simply copy/ paste the code. Instead, you should copy the code to a new file and manipulate it in some way to take an element of ownership of the code. Experiment with different Properties/ Methods to create new displays or functionality.

Assignment 2 (10 points) (due week 6 of the semester): Learning Flash Builder is complex task and there is no single best path. However, during the next few weeks it is important for you to do the following:

  • You should spend a lot of time learning how to connect imported data to various Flash Builder components. Create an example file that illustrates each of the following important skills.
    1. Import data from xml and from a database database into Flash Builder. To connect to a database you will need to know the following:
    2. Connect imported data to an ArrayCollection
    3. Use an ArrayCollection to populate a datagrid
    4. Learn how to skin a datagrid with CSS
    5. Connect data with a Flash Builder chart using the Charting components
    6. Write mxml components as AS3 code.

Assignment 3 (10 points) (due week 10 of the semester): Develop a web photo gallery. Your gallery should display a series of image thumbnails which, when selected, display an enlarged version of the selected image. Include a brief text description of each image in a text field. Information about the images (e.g. file name, text description, etc.) should be stored in an xml file that is imported into the project. Post your gallery to your INSYS web space and send me an email containing a link to the project.

Final Project (40 points)

By week 10 of the semester you should submit an outline of what you intend to develop for your final project. Include a statement indicating the goal that you intend to achieve. You are free to explore any topic that you find interesting, but the following features should be included:

  • Store, retrieve, and update information in a database
  • Display information in a datagrid
  • Include at least one information chart/ graph
  • Use CSS to style the project
  • Make the project easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing.

Examples of appropriate projects include, but are not limited to:

  • A gradebook
  • An assessment system
  • A content/ user management system

Sample project: Build a username/ password login system. The functionality for the project would include:

  • An interface to allow logins by registered users
  • Administrator: Begin with a datagrid that displays a list of all registered users (from a database).
  • Add a button connecting to an interface to register new users: New users should have a username (typed by the administrator) and a password (generated by the system). Each new user receives an email containing their username and password. The functionality for this would be written in php.
  • Create an interface to accept login information from the user (i.e. username and password). Test the username/ password against the registered users in the database and allow/ refuse entry to the system

The exact nature of the product will be decided by negotiation between you and the course instructor.
Reaction papers: (20 points)
Write a blog entry for each of the chapters that you are assigned to read. In all you will write 4 reaction papers (worth 5 points each), due the session after which a reading has been assigned. Reactions should include two parts: First, you should summarize the chapter/ article in your own words. Second, you should address what the reading means to you as a multimedia designer.

Reaction papers should be no more than 500 words in length. Please indicate the length of your reaction paper at the end of the blog entry. When you have learned how to develop web pages, a link to your blog should be included on your course web site. Until that time, please bring your reaction papers with you to class.

Criteria for evaluating your assignments
Technology use: How well does the project use the affordances of the computer to achieve the project goal?
Aesthetics: To what extent does the project heighten the overall user experience?
Usability: To what extent does the project support accomplishing the project goals efficiently and effectively?
Utility: To what extent does the project include the functionality needed to achieve the project goals?