Disciplinary Literacies


Itis a common problem for freshmen joining colleges and universities tostand at a crossroad, when it comes to selecting their majors. Thisis in most cases contributed by lack of sufficient informationconcerning a certain major. Although some students have partialinformation concerning the course that they consider as their major,it has emerged that a vast number of students do not have adequateinformation about their majors. It is always necessary for freshmento have adequate information concerning different courses offered bya university/college prior to them making their selection. The chiefaim of this paper is to inform freshmen joining Michigan StateUniversity (MSU) of the major I have considered to take in theuniversity, which would aid them in understanding the major. Besides,I would also help the freshmen in understanding how writing isutilized in creating and communicating knowledge in the field. Themajor under consideration is media and information.

Mediaand Information Major

Thiscourse offered at MSU, where after completion, one receives aBachelor of Arts award. The course prepares learners for jobs both inthe traditional media that is, cinema, radio and television as wellas in the newer media such as interactive, games and web media(www.reg.msu.edu).This is an indication that the course helps in preparing students tointeract with different media. I decided to take this major since Iwould like to work as a game designer the course is rich in offeringthis knowledge because it prepares learners in understanding theconvergence, blending, and hybridization of technologies anddisciplines, as well as the release of new and transformed mediaforms. Learners that consider taking this course need to be ready toembrace consistent engagement in research in case they are to engageas practitioners in the field. The chief purpose of practitionersengaging in consistent research is to make them adapt and benefitfrom the changing media landscape (www.reg.msu.edu).

Amajor in media and information specially prepares graduates indesigning high impact media through focusing on various aspects. Oneof the aspects entails understanding and exploiting the power ofmedia through interdisciplinary qualitative, artistic, andquantitative procedural approaches and theoretical ideas. Anotheraspect entails utilizing the design process in informing the creativeact and fueling innovation through existing and emerging mediatechnologies (www.reg.msu.edu).The use of media in addressing pressing issues in society anddeveloping other meaningful themes is another aspect focused on.Besides, another aspect is focusing on gaining fluency with thetechniques, practice, and tools used in the development of existingand mediated experiences. All these aspects and their focus on thecourse are critical for a practitioner that desire to work as a gamedesigner.

Icame to select this major after seeking information from differentsources. When I joined the MSU, I was confused on which major toselect in order to help in landing into the game designing career.However, with the assistance of information obtained from theuniversity’s website and one of the graduate students from theuniversity, I was in a position to successfully choose the major thatwould match with the career choice. While interviewing a graduatestudent that had already considered a major in media and information,I came to find out that the major was well designed for gamedesigning since the student had already gained all the requiredknowledge and skills in the field. On the other hand, theuniversity’s website also provided crucial information that led toconsidering the major. Apart from these information sources, booksjournals and internet can also offer some information concerning thecourse. For example, from the Fundamentalsof Game Development,requirements in game designing are provided (Chandler172). Such requirements can be gained by selecting a major in mediaand information as provided by the MSU’s website.

Requirements for Major in Media and Information

12 credits from all the following courses:

  • Bringing Media to Market

  • Understanding Media in Information Age

  • Topics on Media Impacts on Society

  • Introduction to Media and Information Technologies and Industries

At least 3 credits from

  • Human Communication

  • Methods of Communication Inquiry

  • Introduction to Organizational Communication

  • Literature and Society

  • Film and Society

  • Introduction to Creative Writing

  • Introduction to Popular Literary Genres

  • Introduction to Film

  • Plays as Film

  • Theoretical Play Analysis

  • Acting I

  • Music Theory for Non Music majors I &amp II

6 credits from all the following

  • The Digital Image

  • Creative Process in Media settings

  • Story Sound and Motion

3 credits from at least three of the following

  • Audio &amp Video in Media Settings I and II

  • Design in Media Settings

  • Photography in Media settings

  • Web Design Media Settings

  • Animation in Media Settings

  • Graphics and Illustration in Media Settings

  • Interactivity in Media settings

12 credits from one of the following Concentrations

  • TV, Cinema, and Radio

  • Interactive and Social Media

  • Media Management

12 credits from cognate courses

Theuse of Writing in Creating and Communicating Knowledge in the Field

Writingis an important aspect in the media and information major field sinceit is used in creating and communicating knowledge in the field. Oneof the ways how writing is used in the field entails communicatingideas to the audience. As a media and information major student, onemay be required to design a game. The game may have some writingsthat may help in communicating the ideas of the designer to theaudience. In such a case, writing emerges as an important aspect inthe field. Besides, the designing of every game must pass throughblue prints. This is an indication that writing is an importantfactor in the media and information field since it is used in thedevelopment of games. On the other hand, writing is also seen as animportant aspect in the media and information field because it isused in writing exams. Students have to show their understanding ofthe different concepts in the course through writing their exams.Although not all exams require writing, most of them will requirewriting in order to prove to the university that a student hasqualified for an award of degree. Without writing, it would bedifficult to prove that a student has been well taught and graspedthe concepts of the course. In addition, writing in the field iscritical since it is used in enhancing communication amid differentparties in the field. For instance, it can be used in promotingcommunication between students and lecturers, or amid students andadministration.

BecomingBetter Readers and Writers in the Discipline

Freshmenjoining the MSU can become better readers and writers in the mediaand information discipline through ensuring that they take notes ofany important information in the discipline. Through taking notes,students are likely to ensure whatever they read sticks to theirmemories. This would be critical in enhancing the writing abilitiesof the students in the discipline since they would have a betterunderstanding of the concepts in the discipline. Another way ofmaking the students better readers and writers in the disciplineentails applying of skimming method of reading. Through skimming, itis possible to read only the important sections that may offervaluable information on the discipline. Besides, skimming can help toget information more easily. Such information can be used inimproving one’s writing skills. It is also feasible to enhance thewriting skills of a student in the discipline through continuouspractice. Making practice in writing would help in making students inthe discipline better writers since as they practice, they wouldbuild on the skills.

Familiarizingwith Academic Texts

Academictexts are a critical part of the discipline since these academictexts help in providing valuable information that can be used in thediscipline. In order to familiarize with the academic texts that canbe used in the discipline, they can seek the help of MSU librarians.Librarians can guide the freshmen on how to locate a certain book orarticle in a library. Besides, in order to familiarize with theacademic texts, freshmen can ask the assistance of fellow studentsthat are ahead of them since they are knowledgeable in the field.

Oneof the books related to media and information (Game design direction)entails LevelUp! The Guide to Great Video Game Designby Scott Rogers. This book is critical to the media and information(game designdirection) since the author offers lucid and well thought examplesthat help in explaining the concepts in the field. This book can beused by beginners in providing insights into the field. The bookcould be used as a guideline for potential game designer because ofthe well-illustrated examples from an experienced game designer. Thebook supports the thesis since it explains what to expect as a gamedesigner (Rogers58). Besides, it supports the thesis because it offers a guide towriting in game designing. A journal relevant to the field isBehaviorBreakthroughsby Lowdermilk et al. This game is relevant to the field of media andinformation (game design direction) since it offers an insight tostudents majoring in the field for future application of theknowledge gained in the area of study (Lowdermilk et al 10). This isbecause the journal focuses on how future tutors reflect on a focusedgame that would be designed in teaching ABA techniques.

Onthe other hand, an interview that was crucial to offering informationabout the major under consideration involved a graduate student thathad taken the major. The student was asked to provide a reason forselecting the major and he pointed out that it was because he had aninterest of becoming a game designer, and he wanted to enter a jobmarket that was to have high demand in the future. The student alsopointed out that he was sure that different colleges have startedoffering a course in this field due to the future applications ofgame designing jobs (Interview).


Chandler,Heather M, and Rafael Chandler.&nbspFundamentalsof Game Development.Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.

Interviewwith a Student

Lowdermilk,John, Martinez, Deborah, Pecina, Julie and Beccera, Lisa. BehaviorBreakthroughs: Future Teachers Reflect on a Focused Game Designed toTeach ABA Techniques.Vol. 56 (3), 2012. Print.


Rogers,Scott.&nbspLevelUp!The Guide to Great Video Game Design.Chichester, West Sussex : Wiley, 2014. Print.