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The Foundational Literacies for the MDA-140 practicum were drafted during a week-long multimedia workshop uniting faculty designated to teach the first year's classes in USC's Multimedia in the Core program, along with their teaching assistants and IML staff. The list was initiated on a wiki, and was revisited each day during the workshop until, on the final day, a final discussion and vote took place, with the group favoring five key literacies, along with a group of ten additional literacies.

The MDA-140 practicum introduces multimedia as a critical and creative tool that functions to enhance traditional forms of academic work. In courses that unite General Education courses with multimedia lab sessions, students learn basic skills in multimedia authoring and complete the course having acquired proficiency in several core, media-based literacies described below. The precise nature of the multimedia work undertaken in this class will vary depending on the specific needs and content of the course to which it is linked.

Digital Literacy
* Proficiency with basic tools of digital authoring
* Understanding of storage, backup, compression, file types, naming conventions, etc.

Network literacy
* Ability to use network-based software for sophisticated participation in online communities

Design literacy
* Ability to use appropriate design principles in service of critical goals
* Ability to control and articulate the relationship between form and content

Argumentation
* Ability to use multimedia to develop and express a persuasive thesis
* Effective use of evidence and complex thinking in constructing an argument

Research Literacy
* Ability to perform effective, critical online research
* Knowledge of academically appropriate protocols for selection, citation and attribution of electronic source materials
* Knowledge of fair use and copyright issues

Recommended Literacies for MDA 140

Presentation
* Ability to deploy strategies for effective presentation using multimedia
* Understand and use appropriate tools for the publication or dissemination of multimedia materials

Visual literacy
* Ability to convey information visually
* Understand and control systems of visual signification

Sonic literacy
* Ability to communicate effectively with sound
* Understand and work with various components of sound
Interpretation
* Ability to use multimedia to enhance a critical interpretation
* Ability to identify and articulate the cultural, historical and ideological contexts of a media object

Annotation
* Understand strategies for critical annotation of text, images and media

Collaboration
* Ability to work effectively in a group authoring environment
* Ability to design and lead a team project

Narrative literacy
* Knowledge of basic components and genres of narrative
* Ability to deploy elements of narrative in a critical context

Pedagogical literacy
* Understand strategies for creating an effective tool for teaching Interactivity
* Ability to communicate effectively in a non-linear, interactive format
* Ability to design an effective interactive interface or navigational structure

Code literacy
* Ability to understand the basics of how code operates
* Ability to write or use basic code