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Embracing the digital world: Elon begins M.A. in Interactive Media

April 1, 2010
Inaugural iMedia class

Inaugural iMedia class

Elon University launched its one-year, full-time Interactive Media master’s program Aug. 3, 2009 and welcomed 35 students into the inaugural class. Another 36 decide to make the journey this summer, as the second cohort of students took the hallways of Powell to gain their master’s degrees. The iMedia program is designed to prepare students to take full advantage of the shifting and constantly expanding online media market. Students have learned to think strategically across media platforms, plan and create interactive media content consisting of text, images, sounds, video and graphics, and manage information for interactive news, entertainment and persuasive communications. They take classes on the second floor of Powell, and the program is under the direction of Professor David Copeland.

“This graduate program is designed to be at the vanguard of ever-changing media,” said School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons. “As citizens and consumers, we increasingly want to interact with our media content, whether it’s news, persuasion or entertainment. The graduate program will prepare Interactive Media students to be both creators and content strategists.”

In May, students finished their final, culminating projects that they put on display during an Interactive Media Showcase. During Winter Term, students traveled to London, Costa Rica or Panama and produced works for the public good:

iMedia student Paul Wagner talks about why he enrolled in the iMedia program.

iMedia student Linda Misiura talks about why she enrolled in the iMedia program.

Copeland said the second year of the program has undergone a few modifications, including shifting some electives to required classes, adding more instructors for the Digital Media Workshop and locking down the Winter Term fly-in experiences to Panama and Costa Rica more quickly.

“One of the great things about having a program that concludes in a year and has new students the next is the fact that you can immediately assess all elements of the program and make changes accordingly,” Copeland said. “Of course, because of the intense nature of the 10-month program, we’re constantly talking and seeing where changes might need to be made.”

Changes won’t be made to the kind of education the students will receive, though. They’ll continue to become quick experts in the field of multimedia and interactive storytelling, which will make them more marketable to employers when they graduate. And that has students psyched for the 10 months that lay ahead.

Bradley Mu’s excitement piqued last year, when he began sitting in on classes, as he prepared to make the shift from the magazine industry to post-graduate education.

“I felt like magazines are a slowly dying industry,” said Mu, a 2006 graduate in international studies from the University of North Carolina. “It’s all shifting online, and to go to this program would help me to write my own ticket. I feel like what I do with this degree is going to be creative and collaborative. I don’t know if I’ve ever been excited as much about anything in my life. It’s good to have a direction.”

Read more about the iMedia program:

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