Course Title: Print, Technology and Change

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Print, Technology and Change

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: John Magnik

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9462

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course traces the milestones in technical development from pre-writing and pre-printing societies through to the 21st century, and examines the relationships between technical innovation and social and cultural change. The differential development of modern printing and the way in which it has shaped social, political and cultural aspects of Eastern and Western societies is examined. Possible future technologies and their potential impact on societies, cultures and the environment in Western and developing economies will be explored. The course aims to foster an understanding of how the current and future industry relates to past developments, and through consideration of historical, international and intercultural perspectives, to engender reflection on the nature of technology and its impacts.
This course is part of the Associate Degree in Graphic Technology, which articulates into the Bachelor of Business (Graphic Technology).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Capabilities developed in this course include, but are not limited to:
• Conceptual capabilities
- Ability to understand the core concept of change and the relationships between technology, society and business
- Ability to interpret the significance of change and analyse its underlying dynamics (ie why change occurs)
- Ability to identify the essential features of each major technological step in the development of printing and the evolution of the current industry
- Ability to understand the basic principles behind major technologies throughout the history of printing
- Ability to understand the key features of new and emerging technologies in the printing and broader communications industries (eg internet etc)
• Contextual capabilities
- Ability to comprehend the practical connections between technology, society and business
- Familiarity with the broad historical narrative of printing and related communications industries
- Appreciation of European and Asian contributions to these developments
• Integrative capabilities
- Ability to link the historical, social and business perspectives on change
• Adaptive capabilities
- Ability to negotiate and adapt to the contemporary forces of change in the graphic technologies industries
• Interpersonal communication
- Ability to communicate effectively a broad knowledge of the industry
- Ability to articulate clearly, simply and effectively current developments in the broader context of the development of the industry

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:
• Identify the key developments in the history of printing and explain the impact of the major changes on both the evolution of the graphic technology industry and on society more broadly.
• Compare and contrast European and Asian perspectives on the development of printing.
• Explain and interpret the process and role of change in the graphic technology industry.
• Examine and evaluate the social, cultural and environmental consequences of printing for both Western and developing economies.
• Examine and evaluate the business and market consequences of printing.
• Research and reflect upon the impact of new and emergent technologies on the development of the graphic technology industry and in the broader context of society.

Overview of Learning Activities

The aim of the learning activities in this course is to provide the opportunity to reflect broadly and philosophically about the impact of technology on society, while simultaneously gaining an understanding of the ongoing development of the graphic technology industry. To this end, material from a wide range of sources and disciplines including the dramatic arts, literature, and the electronic media will be used to stimulate thinking and discussion. The learning activities will be highly interactive including for example interactions with guest speakers, seminars, analysis of readings, group discussions, presentations, video and other media presentations and research. Students may also be required to seek out industry personnel to interview in order to engage with a range of perspectives on the process of change in the industry.
The perspective gained through the learning in this course is designed to provide a broad philosophical, historical and sociological context for learning in the more sharply industry-focused courses in the program. The opportunities for creative responses to the material presented are designed to provide a counterpoint to some of the more formal lecture styles in other courses in the program, thus catering to a range of learning styles.

Overview of Learning Resources

Prescribed text
There is no prescribed text for this course however, reading material is given in early Topic Guides and further reading will be developed as the semester progresses via lecturer and student.

A schedule of references will be issued to students at the beginning of the semester. This may include further recommended texts, journals, and websites.

Overview of Assessment

The specifics of the milestone developments of the graphic technology industry can be assessed by short answer test which will provide feedback on the students’ grounding in the historical knowledge. The interpretive aspects of the impact of technology and change lend themselves to opportunities for a more creative response. As their major assessment task, students would be required to put together a portfolio developed progressively throughout the course. This may consist of ‘media objects’ (eg newspaper articles, animations, posters, a short dramatic production, etc.) on a chosen theme, together with a reflective or interpretive commentary. This assessment piece would need to be negotiated with the lecturer to ensure that the chosen medium is capable of demonstrating achievement of the required capabilities. A team-based class presentation would complete assessment for the course.