Course Syllabus

Welcome to Ad Copy and Layout!

I'll be honest: I find syllabi to be a bit formal so this is just a preface before we get into everything below. You'll learn most about this course by exploring your surroundings (aka your course environment). You'll find that in this course that while you really start to hone your skills, my focus is as much on the YOU part as it is the SKILLS. You'll find multiple ways in which you'll be able to choose the path in which you want to take. I give a lot of choice because I believe we all have both different starting places and goals and I promise there is a learning path for everyone (if you wish to challenge this... let me know so I can build you that path you would like!) You'll also notice that we won't be taking formal tests or writing essays. Rather, we'll use blogs to journal and anthologize much of work and use communication tools (such as Twitter) to break out of the formal learning environment. This course is very DOING-based meaning as that the students that are successful are the ones who do work, grow as both a learner and practitioner, continue to improve their work, and do it in a timely fashion. Work is due every week so BE PREPARED to work on this course just like you would a face-to-face course. And, with that, please welcome to the stage... YOUR SYLLABUS!


Course Information

Semester: Fall 2016

Instructor: Adam Croom

Office: Old Science Hall Room 224


Twitter: @acroom

Phone: (405) 325-2960

Office Hours: scheduled by appointment


Learning Management System: Canvas,

Course meeting time and location: Online, asynchronous

Course prerequisites: 1013, 2033, 3033 or permission

Course delivery: Online

Course Description

Principles and their application in advertising design and copywriting. Stress on the analysis of appropriate appeals and the development of advertising concepts to convey these through the various media. Emphasis on practice in making rough layouts and writing finished copy.

Course Goals

  • To understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information
  • To critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness
  • To apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work
  • Think critically, creatively and independently
  • To understand and effectively apply creative strategy to solve advertising problems
  • To understand the value and application of creative briefs in the advertising industry
  • To gain a deeper understanding of the creative side of the advertising industry
  • To learn how to apply a strategic message across multiple types of media
  • To develop your pitch skills
  • To recognize and understand specific design and layout principles
  • To constructively evaluate your own work as well as the work of your peers
  • To learn about emerging technology in advertising and how to take advantage of it to execute a creative strategy.
  • To gain the skills required to craft your digital presence as a professional

Course Outcomes

  • Launch and maintain a blog as well as comment on the blogs of their peers.
  • Build a foundational knowledge of the landscape of visual communication technologies

Course Toolbox

  • Blog - As mentioned earlier, one of your assignments will be building and maintaining a personal blog with the platform of your choice. There’s more information about how to technically set this up in Week 1.
  • Course Website - If you are reading this, you’re on the course website! Hooray. Here is where you’ll find the majority of course content. Each week has a corresponding module which will tell you what you are expected to do that week. That may include watching videos, reading material, working on a project, a Google Hangout, etc.
  • Course Hub - These are where you’ll be able to see all the different blog posts from all your peers. This will be helpful in seeing what everyone else is up to. You’ll be asked periodically throughout the semester to comment on various posts from other students.
  • Software - This course heavily relies on two specific programs for most of the design work you will be doing: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. These apps (plus tons of other nice products from Adobe) are currently available for $19.99 as a product called Creative Cloud Complete. My suggestion is that use this service for the semester. While that is not cheap, it’s small price to pay have resume line items such as “Adobe Photoshop.” That said, I understand that may be out of reach for some. For those close to campus, one option is to utilize the computers in the Gaylord computer labs as they have fully up-to-date versions of both these programs (Note: If you are going to use the computer lab, remember that the computer wipes your files every time you log out. Make sure you always carry a flash drive or external hard drive with you!). For others who don’t have the luxury of visiting campus and still don’t want to splurge on  Adobe Photoshop, graphic design concepts are completely transferable to other (sometimes free) applications. There are even some great options now that are web or tablet based. I’ve created a page for free alternatives to both of these programs. You can use these, but please proceed with caution knowing that my knowledge is significantly limited to what these programs offer.
  • Twitter - this course will require you to use Twitter throughout the semester. Learn more about the Daily Headline here.

Grade Mix

This course is out of 100 points. You'll earn points throughout the semester for completing work, which makes it pretty straight forward! 90 points is a A, 80 points is a B, and so forth and so forth.

Week 1 and 2 - 10 points

Week 3 and 4 - 10 points

Week 5 and 6 - 10 points

Week 7 and 8 - 10 points

Week 9 and 10 - 10 points

Week 11 - 12 - 10 points

Week 13 - 14 - 10 points

Week 15 - 16 - 20 points

Twitter Daily Headlines - 10 total points

Teaching Philosophy

As an instructor, I am highly student–centered. My aim in education is to support individual growth and self-actualization rather than to focus on content through an educational environment that is built on autonomy, trust, cooperation, participation, and self-directed learning. Social learning is my favored form of education while experimentation and discovery methods are also encouraged. I believe that instructors are a facilitator, assistant, and partner in the learning process. I also believe that learning is a personal activity that involves intrinsic motivation and that self-evaluation is the only meaningful test of whether learning has taken place.

Course Policies

Make-up Policy / Late Assignments

No work will be accepted passed the due date. It is expected that you complete the week's worth of work consistently every week. You'll find that all assignments have a due date the respective Thursday at 11:59pm. My suggestion is not wait until Thursday to begin to work as this is not nearly enough time. While no late work is accepted, you'll find a TON of opportunities to earn extra credit. These are purposely here as safety nets for you, so take advantage of them!


As an online student you are going to interact with students who have diverse opinions, beliefs, and backgrounds. If you want to work effectively with your classmates you need to be civil and avoid inappropriate behavior. Incivility not only violates university conduct policies, but can permanently damage your future interactions with students and your instructor. Work to develop your virtual emotional intelligence and you’ll discover that you become less reactive to class conditions and discussions, and more proactively involved in the learning process because you are successfully collaborating with others.

University Policies

Academic Integrity

Cheating is strictly prohibited, because it devalues the degree you are working hard to get. It is your responsibility to protect your educational investment by knowing and following the rules. For specific definitions on what constitutes cheating, review the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity.  

To be successful in this class, all work on exams and quizzes must be yours and yours alone.  You may not receive outside help. On examinations and quizzes you will never be permitted to use your notes, textbooks, calculators, or any other study aids. Should you see someone else engaging in this behavior, I encourage you to report it to myself or directly to the Office of Academic Integrity Programs. That student is devaluing not only their degree, but yours, too. Be aware that it is my professional obligation to report academic misconduct, which I will not hesitate to do. Sanctions for academic misconduct can include expulsion from the University and an F in this course, so don’t cheat. It’s simply not worth it.

Diversity Statement

The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication is a nationally accredited program and therefore strives to adhere to a set of standards designed to prepare JMC majors to excel within their chosen professions.  These standards include a mandate to provide curriculum that “fosters understanding of issues and perspectives that are inclusive in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.”

Religious Observance

It is the policy of the University to excuse the absences of students that result from religious observances and to reschedule examinations and additional required classwork that may fall on religious holidays, without penalty.

Disability Accommodations

Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent the full demonstration of his or her abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.

Student Code of Conduct

The University of Oklahoma Student Code includes rules that address the responsibilities and conduct required of Norman Campus students, student groups, organizations, and University-approved or operated living units. The Academic Misconduct Code, sexual harassment policy, and other student-related policies and procedures are also included in the publication. Copies of the Code may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Oklahoma Memorial Union, or the University of Oklahoma Student Association, 181 Oklahoma Memorial Union. The Student Code is also accessible on the Internet at


Title IX Resources and Reporting Requirement

For any concerns regarding gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, the University offers a variety of resources. To learn more or to report an incident, please contact the Sexual Misconduct Office. Also, please be advised that a professor/GA/TA is required to report instances of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination to the Sexual Misconduct Office.

Adjustments for Pregnancy/Childbirth Related Issues

Should you need modifications or adjustments to your course requirements because of documented pregnancy-related or childbirth-related issues, please contact your professor or the Disability Resource Center.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due