Course Title: Research visual communication history and theory

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2018

Course Code: COMM7341C

Course Title: Research visual communication history and theory

School: 320T Architecture & Urban Design

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C5359 - Diploma of Graphic Design

Course Contact: Alistair Briggs

Course Contact Phone: +61 9925 9446

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dale Nason

Nominal Hours: 55

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None required.

Course Description

While undertaking this course you will research visual communication history and theory and apply that research to your own professional practice. Visual communication professionals inform and enrich their practice through their understanding of history and theory. This study will provide context, inspiration and reference for your design solutions. History and theory may relate to a particular period of time, a particular aspect of visual communication, or be broader in nature.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAGRD501 Research visual communication history and theory


1 Select focus for research

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Select a focus for visual communication research based on specific needs and perspectives

1.2 Challenge own assumptions and preconceptions about the research process and potential information sources

1.3 Select relevant historical and contemporary sources for investigation


2 Conduct critical analysis

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and investigate issues and ideas in the development of visual communication

2.2 Evaluate ways in which meanings, messages and information are communicated in both a historical and contemporary content

2.3 Seek out and compare the critical views of others in chosen area of inquiry

2.4 Allow the process of analysis to take exploration of issues in new and potentially unintended directions


3 Present ideas about visual communication history and theory

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Develop substantiated opinions and ideas about visual communication history and theory

3.2 Make informed contributions to professional discussions of visual communication practice as a result of research

3.3 Present ideas in writing with clarity and accuracy


4 Develop own practice from research

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Determine potential for integration of research findings into own work

4.2 Relate visual communication history and theory to business practice considerations

4.3 Recognise connections and associations between history, theory and contemporary practice

4.4 Develop relevant ideas about how research impacts on own professional practice and its future direction

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio and computer laboratory using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.In class activities will include:

  • class exercises
  • tutorials
  • practical demonstrations
  • workshops
  • group discussion
  • review and revision
  • peer learning
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • workshopping of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback

Out of class activities may include:

  • independent research
  • independent project based work
  • studio practice
  • online tutorials and activities
  • review and revision

Teaching Schedule

This course, COMM7341C - Research visual communication history and theory - is delivered face-to-face in combination with COMM5974C - Make a Presentation. The combined timeline is presented here as a complete reference to the combined session delivery. The courses are clustered on Canvas under the title: HISTORY, THEORY & PRESENTATION.

Additionally note:
While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources. There will be a number of prescribed tasks and projects (see Assessment Tasks below).


Topics & ActivitiesFeedback & AssessmentLearning Elements
Learning Elements

Week 1

O'Week Timetable   
Week 2Assignment #1
Project Brief: delivered
  1 - 4 1
Week 3
Project Development: First ideas workshop  1 - 4 1
Week 4
Feedback: Critical discourse & concept generationFeedback 1 - 4 1
Week 5
Project Development:
Concept development and graphic design production.
Presentation development.
  1 - 4 1 - 2
Week 6
Assignment #1
Presentation: Poster design concept & rationale.
Assignment #1 Presentation

Peer Feedback
 1 - 4 1 - 2
Week 7
Project Development: Individual tuition & production  1 - 4 
Week 8

Assignment #1
Project Submission: Outcome due by end of day

Assignment #2
Project Brief: delivered & research task set.

Assignment #1

1 - 4  1
Week 9Assignment #1
Display of poster outcomes.
Review of presentation with critical feedback relevant to Assignment #2 presentation.

Assignment #2
Presentation development. Research task due.
Display & Critical Review

Research task due - feedback
1 - 4  1 - 3
Week 10Assignment #2
Presentation: Designer booklet subject & rationale
Assignment #2 Presentation

Peer Feedback
 1 - 4 1 - 3
BREAKNO SESSIONS - Break duration 2 weeks   
Week 11Project Development - individual tuition
  1 - 4 1 - 2
Week 12Project Development: Test print and mock-up Present Book Version #1 to small group review.Feedback 1 - 4 1 - 3
Week 13Project Development: Layout development, content finalization  1 - 4 1
Week 14Project Development: Print & Book construction towards final outcomes  1 - 4 1
Week 15Project Submission: Outcomes due by end of session. Photographic documentationAssignment #2 DUE 1 - 4 1 - 2
Week 16Project Presentation: Display of book outcomes and discussionDisplay & Review 1 - 4 1 - 3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Prescribed Texts

There are no compulsory prescribed texts in this course. This course has recommended books listed under ‘References’

You are advised to look at the Learning Hub at myRMIT site for ongoing updated information. A range of learning resources and references are provided throughout the year.

You will require a personal storage device and tools as outlined in tool kit list.

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library resources.

Amongst the library’s electronic resources is the ability to access for online tutorials and lessons. You may be given these tutorials (and other resources) to supplement your classroom learning. The University Library has extensive resources for Design students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment tasks will require you demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills through practical projects and/or exercises and written reports. The assessment tasks are:

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks (Projects) in this clustered unit provide opportunity to achieve competency in all required assessment criteria. Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both.

This course has 2 Graded Assignments, both of which must be completed/submitted.
Each comprises:
- a Presentation during development of the subject, concept & design rationale
- a Design outcome that satisfies all requirements of the Assignment

You are required to demonstrate all assessment criteria to a satisfactory standard to achieve competency.
When competency is determined, a graded outcome will be assessed.
Both Assessment Tasks are equally weighted (50%) in regards to the final graded outcome.

Project 1: Poster.
Poster design (with real-world competition entry where possible).
DUE: Week 8

Project 2: Booklet.
Present your research of a designer identity in the form of a book.
DUE: Week 15

Grades which apply to courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also use graded assessment are:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (stated above).

Other Information


The major aspect of your learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity for success.



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. 


Student Progress

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy



When submitting work for assessment you are required to complete a declaration of authorship. This must be done for every summative assessment task. This statement acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications. For non-digital submission use the printed form provided. For digital online submission please use e Submission process. Information regarding the eSubmission process


 Special Consideration Policy, Late Submission & Extensions

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level.

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Pick the following link for details on applying for Special consideration

Reasonable adjustment is available and may be applied through the Special Consideration process. Any student seeking an extension, should aim at doing so a minimum of 2 days before the deadline. Work submitted late and without an extension at any point will incur late penalties in accordance with university policy. If you require an extension you must complete an extension form with evidence supporting your application and hand this to your instructor. Further links  Application for extension of time


On Time Submission and Impact of Late Submission

On time submission is an important factor in your assessment. Employability skills are embedded in all courses and these include Planning & Organising and Self-management. For this reason, late work impacts on your overall grade for each assessment task.

The following adjustments for late submission will be made: Work submitted late will be assessed for competency only. Submissions are only permitted during the period that the competency is scheduled.


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity. Academic Integrity


Course Overview: Access Course Overview