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Communication Environments

2014 unit code: MDA40004 (formerly HAM426)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours3 Hours per Week
PrerequisitesNil - except for postgraduate Multimedia students who must successfully complete HAM405 The Media in Australia before studying HAM426.

Aims and objectives

This unit deals with what is often relegated to a secondary place - the systematic consideration of the end users in this burgeoning new communications environment. The subject focuses on the need to understand user perspectives rather than technology perspectives, or on the complexities of the demand side of the equation rather than the supply side.

Teaching methods

Lectures and tutorials.


Class presentation 20-35%
Major Essay 40-60%
Tutorial Participation 15-30%.


Communication Environments explores the ways we use and engage with communication and media technologies through a number of specific areas of research. The subject will provide insight into a range of topics, such as:
‐ The changing Australian and global communications environment
‐ The user experience
‐ Methodologies for understanding user practices and preferences
‐ New media literacies; adapting to media and communication environments
‐ International broadband experiences
‐ Audio‐visual cultures – or how we watch
‐ Online publics and new media citizenship
‐ Social media environments
‐ Crisis and disaster – complex media and communication environments
‐ Mobile and locative media: cultures, uses and practices
‐ The ecology of ecommerce and social media for small business
‐ Children and youth online
‐ Affordability and the digital divide
‐ Indigenous communications

Through review of current knowledge, critical analysis and targeted activities you will explore these spheres of our ever changing communication environments. A research task exploring a specific topic will also enable you to tailor your learning to an area that aligns
with professional or career interests.

Reading materials

Course notes provided online.