Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Environmental Visual Communication Curriculum
Accepting Applications for May 2020
Vocational Learning Outcomes
- Evaluate global environmental issues, and articulate the relevance of such issues to various stakeholder groups and the general public.
- Interpret information and underlying meaning presented in the form and content of a visual image using knowledge of symbols and semantics of visual literacy.
- Create innovative photographs, video and multimedia that convey a compelling conservation message across a variety of platforms.
- Manage and disseminate image and video files, including facilitation of on-line presence utilizing knowledge of digital workflow techniques.
- Distill and translate essential messages from scientific and legal documents to public audiences and the donor base through the use of media outlets.
- Direct and influence marketing and branding strategy in conservation campaigns that bridge gaps between collaborators to strengthen alliances with scientists, NGOs, government agencies, and educational institutions.
- Analyze, select and negotiate the psychological factors that motivate people to take action on social issues within a real world experience.
- Implement integrated social media management plans that convey strategic messaging through the appraisal of social media platforms and the selection of optimal channels.
- Produce and disseminate effective deliverables to meet identified needs and to provide leadership in environmental visual communication.
Courses and Descriptions
Each student will embark on a real-world experience in a professional setting, while conducting research and carrying out the methodology of their Applied Project. Students will acquire insight, experience, and feedback while working on-site, in partnership with professional collaborators who will receive valuable communication services from the students. The outcomes of this placement will be analyzed by students during the Applied Project III - Deliverables and Presentation course delivered in Semester 2. Note: Applied Project II - Placement is carried out during the summer months of July and August at a pre-determined location off of the ROM campus; the ROM accepts 3 - 6 EVC students each year for a placement.
This course focuses on assisting students to identify, develop, and propose the Applied Project to be developed over the duration of the program. Each student is required to make a statement or ask a question that will be answered through the collection and production of original work during the summer experience in a professional working environment. Methods of inquiry will be discussed with case study examples to equip students with the knowledge and experience to implement their project during the summer. This Design and Methods course is a prerequisite for the Applied Project II - Placement course.
This introductory course walks students through the process of creating and running a successful campaign. The course is focused on case study critiques and examines strategies presented by a suite of guest lectures whose expertise in their respective industries enhances the learning experience. Models of motivation, analysis, and communication structure are the foundations of the course.
This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts and modes of communication, to apply them to various professional and organizational writing tasks and to understand their applicability across the EVC program. Concepts such as audience, context, and style are studied in key exemplars of nature writing, both historical and contemporary. The course provides students with opportunity to develop skills in modes of writing, such as persuasion, description and narration, and to practice forms of organizational writing, such as email, press releases and proposals. Composition and grammar will be covered according to class needs.
This course will introduce the basic principles and building blocks of visual language used in graphic design. Through the study of graphic design history and theory, as well as practicum-based assignments, students will be equipped with a visual communication toolbox they can use to enhance conservation efforts. Topics will include design elements, typography, image making and composition. Practicum-based assignments will teach students how to apply their new knowledge to real-world scenarios and provide a foundation for the visual language they will employ throughout the rest of the Environmental Visual Communication program.
Concern for the environmental issues we face as a society is growing. Empathetic people are realizing how their sympathy and compassion can have an effect on a more sustainable, and changing world. Visual communications and narrative have key roles to play in making complex issues relatable and understandable; what is needed is a set of communication practitioners that serve as translators and storytellers who are able to help each of us understand our role in affecting better outcomes for the future. This course advances the discourse initiated in semester 1 and prepares students for their summer Applied Project field. The intensive bootcamp covers a project's conceptualization, planning, production, and final execution for delivery.
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic skills required to build multimedia projects that make use of photography, videography, and audio. Students will develop knowledge of essential software and will begin practicing their sequencing and editing skills in hands-on tutorials. Practical tasks will be complemented by case study critiques that explore the effectiveness of multimedia. This course serves to lay foundations in learning for the Multimedia Methods II Course in Semester 2.
The EVC Photographic Methods I course will introduce the operation of the Digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR) camera. Students will explore fundamental technical skills, allowing them to begin photographing environmental scenes and subjects more confidently. Use of exposure (ISO, aperture, shutter), lighting, key functions, and accessories will be highlighted through hands-on training. Conceptual themes, including perspective, composition, storytelling, and visual design will be explored, leading students to develop their creative eye. Professional digital workflow software (Adobe Lightroom) will be used to organize, edit, and produce digital files. All topics will be reinforced during assignments in the field and in classroom critique scenarios. Emphasis will be placed on the creation of single images, which stand alone as creative pieces that tell compelling stories about environmental subjects.
This unique course, established through a partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum, combines a seminar series delivered by the ROM's team of expert collections and research staff with working sessions led by the ROM's engagement team. Curators, scientists, and research associates from the disciplines of botany, paleontology, mammalogy, ornithology, and archaeology, among others, will introduce the collections and research they oversee. Staff from the Engagement Division will help students as they make contributions to exhibits, programs, publications, video productions, and online experiences. Students will benefit from this applied experience with staff at a major natural history and world culture museum.
Term 1: 8 weeks (May 4 - June 26; Term 2: 8 weeks (June 29 - August 21)
This course will provide students with an opportunity to finalize the design, production, and implementation of their Applied Project initiated in Semester 1. Students will focus on the development of a series of visual communication deliverables (i.e. content and strategy), leading to a final showcase to a public audience. Emphasis will be placed on the exchange of information and messaging, as students share insight gained from their Applied Project experience.
The Campaign Strategies II course aims to use marketing strategy and visual communication deliverables - produced by a team of students - to enhance and advance environmental messaging during the production and delivery of the annual EVC campaign and showcase. EVC faculty and advisors, and a diverse range of professionals who serve as coaches, support the campaign through inception to final delivery to a public audience. This course is supported by guest lectures from industry professionals.
As the continuation of Communication for Environmental Professionals I, this course explores additional applications of communication theory to traditional organizational and professional forms of writing, as well as to emerging digital environments. Emphasis is placed on linking with and supporting the written requirements of other EVC courses. Students will be expected to assume a greater role in the course through defining subject matter according to their Applied Project and industry interests, and through editing and reviewing the work of their peers.
This course will expand on the visual communication toolbox students began to assemble during Design I. Building on the topics covered in the first semester, students will explore typography and composition in greater depth in the context of multi-page documents, communication systems and visual identity design. Creative workshop exercises will introduce ideation methodologies and reinforce the application of the design process, which students will then be able to employ to complete projects as part of the creative workforce.
Using the foundations acquired in Multimedia Methods I, students will continue to create innovative components that include photography, videography, and audio, in order to build a multimedia project that conveys a compelling environmental message across a variety of platforms. This course is designed to expand the skills and tools needed to take multimedia storytelling to another level. Students will work on projects that produce a series of deliverables for public viewing.
How can we use visual communication and emotional narratives to inspire audiences to take action? In this course, students answer this question through the development of multimedia creative projects that are produced and presented to the public at the annual EVC campaign and showcase.
The EVC Photographic Methods II course takes students to the next level of professional photographic practice. Advanced techniques are introduced ? including but not limited to time lapse, HDR, panorama, advanced flash, low-light photography, and Adobe Lightroom editing processes - leading to expanded creative and technical outlets. Students will familiarize themselves with additional tools and accessory equipment, to enhance their end products. Projects will be undertaken as individuals and in groups that build upon accumulated knowledge from the program. Emphasis will be placed on storyboarding platforms (project management) and editing practices that allow students to build their own narratives and visual voices, to deliver complete photo essays and stories.
This course is a continuation of ROM Curatorial I and was established through a unique partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum. The course combines a seminar series delivered by the ROM's team of expert collections and research staff with working sessions led by the ROM's engagement team. Curators, scientists, and research associates from the disciplines of botany, paleontology, mammalogy, ornithology, and archaeology, among others, will introduce the collections and research they oversee. Staff from the Engagement Division will help students as they make contributions to exhibits, programs, publications, video productions, and online experiences. Students will benefit from this applied experience with staff at a major natural history and world culture museum.