Course Info:

Course Title & Number: Interactive Design for Developing World: IMM-470-03

Professor: Mark Thompson
Office Address: AIMM 312
Email Address:
Office Hours: Fridays, 9:30am-12:30pm or by appointment

Class Meets: Mondays, 9:30am-12:20pm
Room: AIM 222

Course Description:

Course Poster

For many in the United States and the developed world, Interactive Multimedia implies broadband and rich media. While this is true for some, broadband is still out of reach for many in the U.S. and most in the developing world. This class examines the distribution of broadband and device capabilities, locally and globally, and introduces a range of alternative technologies for designing interactive systems based on these capabilities. Working as a design studio, students will examine a target audience and prototype interactive projects using technologies appropriate for that audience’s needs and capabilities.

Course Materials:

Alternative Messaging Platforms

Supplementary Course Materials

Design Process

Policy, News & Research

ICT Stats


Partner Organizations


Suggested Books (Optional)

Course Requirements:

  • Design Notebook
  • User Personas, Flow Diagrams & Scripts
  • Vision Document
  • Functional Prototype
  • Class Participation

Course Purpose & Learning Goals:

The purpose of this class is to expand the range of multimedia choices available to students for communicating with audiences, based on their bandwidth and communication capabilities, emphasizing voice & narrowband alternatives.

Using the Twilio API, Audacity, Freedom Fone, Frontline SMS and Ushahidi, students will develop prototypes using a range of multimedia components including:

  • SMS messaging
  • Interactive Voice Response systems (IVRs)
  • Geolocation & Interactive Maps
  • Open Data & 3rd Party APIs

We’ll also review case studies of needs & solutions in Healthcare, Emergency Response, Food & Agriculture, Conservation, Education, and Human & Civil Rights.

Course Schedule:

Jan 26 – Intros & Syllabus

Feb 2 – Twilio SMS

Feb 9 – Twilio Voice Menus

Feb 16 – Twilio Voice Recordings

Feb 23 – Twilio Polls

Mar 2 – Maps & Location Data

Mar 9 – Data & APIs

Mar 16 – Spring Break

Mar 23 – FrontlineSMS

Mar 30 – Vision Documents due, Ushahidi

Apr 6 – Partner Organization Concept Presentations, Freedom Fone

Apr 13 – Open Discussion

Apr 20 – Open Discussion

Apr 27 – Open Discussion

May 4 – Last Regular Class Session

May 14 – Final Presentations


Grades with be determined according to the following formula:

  • 25% Final demonstration
  • 25% Vision document
  • 20% User Personas & Scripts
  • 20% Design notebook
  • 10% Class Participation

Note: Details of how each of the above will be scored will be provided at the time of assignment.

TCNJ Policies:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *