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Network Literacies

2014 unit code: MDA60012 (formerly HAM435)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours3 Hours per Week

Related course(s)

An elective unit of study in the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Arts (Media and Communications)

Aims and objectives

Through the course of the semester, students should be able to critically discuss and assess emerging theories relating to networked writing practices; be able to demonstrate an understanding of basic HTML and Web 2.0 software; be able to demonstrate an understanding of what it means to develop a rhetoric of networked literacy; and be able to demonstrate that understanding through application.

Teaching methods

Lectures and studio based tutorials


Minor Assignment 30%, Major Project 55%, Participation 15%

Generic skills outcomes

  • Developed independent research skills.
  • Enhanced ability to develop and formulate a coherent argument.
  • Developed analytical and conceptual skills.
  • Enhanced problem solving skills.
  • Extended ability to communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • Become familiar with the use of online technologies.
  • Become familiar with web authoring and image and sound manipulation software.
  • Become familiar with the use of e-mail, discussion boards and listservs.


This subject critically examines current theory relating to networked writing practices and, in particular, hypertext. Does the embodiment of electronic writing in the form of stand alone hypertext applications or in the form of the World Wide Web (through Hypertext Markup Up Language - HTML) change our relationship as readers to the written word? Does electronic writing, as Mark Poster argues, represent a third stage in the mode of information in which "the self is decentred, dispersed, and multiplied in continuous instability?"

Alongside these questions, students will be introduced to the basics of HTML and asked to consider the experience of writing in an online, electronic environment (namely, the WWW). What are the rules (if any) which govern this new writing space and to what extent has a rhetoric of electronic writing been developed? Students will be encouraged to rethink the concept of writing in a networked writing environment.
Students will develop writing skills designed for the digital environment, using authoring and graphics packages. Software used includes Dreamweaver, Audition, Paintshop Pro, Animation Shop, Flash and Fireworks.

Reading materials

Tofts, D. & Gye, L. Illogic of Sense: The Gregory L. Ulmer Remix, (Boulder: Alt-X Press, 2007).
Ulmer, G., Heuretics: The Logic of Invention, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1994