Media Sandbox Curriculum

A series of classes with a creative curriculum were crafted as a way to get students with different media interests and majors working and learning together as soon as they set foot on campus. Mixing students from the moment they arrive on campus has created powerful friendships that last beyond their time here at MSU and generated countless synergetic storytelling opportunities.

Faculty and artists-in-residence provide guidance and thoughtful instruction to students to help form them into professional creators through a creative curriculum. We teach the latest tools, encourage self-expression, explore creative ways to solve complex problems, introduce expressive storytelling and presentation techniques and show you how to make your ideas into reality!

Eight Sandbox Pillars of Instruction

Inclusive of professional standards, ethics & behaviors

  • BUSINESS OF MEDIA COMMUNICATION: Understand the structures, processes and functions of industry
  • COLLABORATION: Work with others to achieve something that benefits all
  • CREATIVITY: Generate new ideas and effective solutions by breaking through the barrier of predictable thinking
  • MEDIA TOOLS: Employ devices and software to generate media
  • PRESENTATION: Display work creatively and effectively
  • PROCESS: Understanding the theory and meaning behind communication principles
  • SELF-EXPRESSION: Express one’s unique style and point of view
  • STORYTELLING: Design strong and engaging narratives using imagery, words and sound

The Classes

100-level, 3-credit classes:

  • CAS 110: Creative Thinking: Explores the theory and practice for utilizing creative and critical thinking skills to generate unique ideas to solve complex problems and generate unique media content.
    —Principle software: None
  • CAS 111: Design and Layout: Explores the fundamentals of design practices and creative thinking, such as elements and principles of design, form, content and meaning, composition, color theory, typography, and the grid. Apply skills to solve creative challenges by working on projects using Adobe applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
    —Principle software: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • CAS 112: Story, Sound and Motion: Explores the central role of storytelling, sound and editing in media communication. (NOTE, not available to majors outside of the college)
    —Principle software: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere
  • CAS 116: Media Sketching and Graphics: Explores how to draw both real-world and imagined imagery for media projects using traditional and digital methods.
    —Principle software: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • CAS 117: Games and Interactivity: Explores the development of responsive media and iterative design from physical games to modern interactive software. In this introductory class, students will get hands on experience with designing games, making websites, and creating applications/videogames. You will learn the process of user testing and iterative design by making non-digital games, get an introduction to coding with C#, and learn to make and edit websites with HTML.
    —Principle software: None (free copy of game engine Unity students download onto laptops)

200-level, 1-credit classes:

  • CAS 201: Audio And Video In Media Settings I: Intensive introduction to single camera location videography, non-linear editing, and professional video and audio techniques, technologies, standards, aesthetics, and procedures.
    —Principle software: Adobe Premiere
  • CAS 202: Audio And Video In Media Settings II: Advanced professional video/audio techniques, technologies, standards, aesthetics and procedures.
    —Principle software: Adobe Premiere
  • CAS 203: Media Design: Explores essential techniques and design principles for creating single page and multiple page layouts. Typography and the elements of design will also be introduced.
    —Principle software: Adobe InDesign
  • CAS 204: Web Design: Professional web authoring techniques including technology standards, aesthetics and production using HTML and CSS. The course is a blend of design principles and development skills through course material and hands-on activities.
    —Principle software: Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Photoshop
  • CAS 205: Photography in Media Settings: How to enhance, modify, and retouch digital images. There will be an introduction about cameras and lenses, however the class is not a photography class. In CAS 205, we will focus primarily on how to manipulate existing images.
    —Principle software: Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop
  • CAS 206: Graphics and Illustration: How to create vector artwork, digital illustrations and graphics for media projects.
    —Principle software: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • CAS 207: Media Animation: Fundamentals of animation including principles, technology and design techniques for stand-alone and web-based applications in media settings.
    —Principle software: TBA
  • CAS 208: Media Interactivity: User interface and programming techniques for interactive design.
    —Principle software: TBA

The Adobe Creative Cloud is a site that gives users access to a collection of software developed by Adobe for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography and cloud services for a fee. There are student discounts available.