NMI Portfolio

New Media Certificate Summary

I started this journey to develop some skills I believe will be important and practical for years to come. I do not necessarily plan on going into any media-related field. Instead, I plan to continue teaching while doing a little research on the side. The research part is why I took these classes. It bothers me that there is so much good, interesting, and important research shoved away in academic journals that most people don’t have access to. Even if they did, those articles aren’t written for everyone, and they’re certainly not an enjoyable, afternoon skim. With the skills I learned and will continue to work on, I can make research (at least my research) more accessible and more digestible for people who are interested in it. What follows is my journey through the New Media Certificate- Graduate Track.

I started with new media production which gave me a solid foundation for the rest of the certificate. At the most basic level, I purchased my own domain and know how to manage it. That’s more than I could say before. Now I can provide content for everyone to see. Not only did I get a domain name, I learned how to customize it and make it my own. Sure, anyone could type some things into a WordPress theme, but I can look at the actual code to see what I want to change. I can even make those changes after I find them most of the time!

As I mentioned before, something that is important to me is making information accessible to everyone. Another skill I have learned is how to edit HTML and update CSS to make a website more accessible and responsive. Using a screen reader? My organization will make the pages easy to follow. Viewing my page on a phone? No worries. My page will adapt to that. Overall, I am learning how to share important information with those who want it.

I moved on to the design class. This was the class I was most looking forward to, but I knew it would be challenging. I have never considered myself as creative, having an eye for design, or being good at art. This class taught me that I can still create an effective and sophisticated design without necessarily having a “creative gene.” One of the more valuable aspects of this class was practicing working for a client, and collaborating with a team from start to finish on a project.

In UX strategies, I continued to work on client-relation skills as well as my prototyping skills. I practiced non-academic qualitative research for the first time which challenged me in a new way. I turned away from a researcher-centered approach to a user-centered approach. This has actually helped in the way I approach academic research as well. In this class, I got to incorporate my skills from other classes like accessibility considerations and communicating with clients, but I also learned how to use quantitative research as an important evaluation tool. A small assignment with a big impact was writing up a case study for the final project.

Those three classes led me to capstone and SLAM where all these skills really came together. I remembered what it was like working on a group project (which is a whole different set of skills) and I worked with a real client. When I reflect on both the capstone class and the certificate as a whole, I am so happy with what I am taking away from this experience. I have gained tangible skills like coding and design, and I improved my interviewing and professional communication skills. I feel confident in my ability to produce my own websites or other digital deliverables. If I can’t do it already, I was provided excellent resources in each class to figure it out. Because of this certificate, I have broadened the scope of potential careers outside of teaching.