Institute for Multimedia Literacy

Founded in 1998 by the University of Southern California's Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts Elizabeth Daley in conversation with filmmaker George Lucas, is an organized research unit dedicated to developing educational programs and conducting research on the changing nature of literacy in a networked culture. The IML's educational programs promote effective and expressive communication and scholarly production through the use of multiple media applications and tools. The IML also supports faculty-directed research that seeks to transform the nature of scholarship within the disciplines.

Originally a program of the Annenberg Center for Communication, the IML began with a few dedicated faculty and several groups of students, exploring how to incorporate multimedia skills, authorship and critical analysis in courses that might not otherwise incorporate such avenues of expression. Since then, the IML has worked with numerous faculty and thousands of students, successfully integrating multimedia literacy into courses from across the academic spectrum, while also inspiring new forms of research and the teaching practices of participating faculty members. These efforts have served as vital arenas for the development of multimedia literacy, educational materials and scholarly inquiry.

By 2003, the IML was ready to found its first program, Honors in Multimedia Scholarship, a cross-campus, four-year undergraduate program with equal emphases on critical thinking and multimedia production; the program culminates in an Honors Thesis Project in the student's major.

In 2006, the IML, in collaboration with USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, created the Multimedia in the Core Program, which unites General Education courses with multimedia labs offering all USC students the opportunity to explore new forms of scholarly expression. The following year, the Multimedia Across the College Program was created; here, upper division courses are paired with multimedia instruction, allowing students to investigate media-based forms of scholarly research and production.

Other IML projects include a Second Life space called IML Island, K-12 initiatives with local schools, a screening series titled Blur + Sharpen and experiments in mobile media and networked scholarship.

The IML is dedicated to sustaining and developing models of teaching and scholarship based on the use and development of new multimedia technologies and applications. Explore the site's other pages to learn more about the Institute for Multimedia Literacy.