Department of Communication Studies

Interactive Digital Studies Program is Finalist for Prometheus Award

The University of Northern Iowa's new interdisciplinary Interactive Digital Studies program is a finalist for the 2013 Technology Association of Iowa Prometheus Awards. The IDS program's nomination is in the category of Innovation in Teaching. The program was profiled in a March 12, 2013 story in Event

The interdisciplinary IDS program is a creative partnership among eight departments—Communication Studies, Languages and Literatures, Music, Computer Science, Graphic Technologies, Curriculum & Instruction's Instructional Technology program, Sociology, and Marketing—across four colleges. The IDS major and minor enable digitally-focused students to find each other and collaborate on advanced level, applied learning projects (including community outreach initiatives), promote a deeper theoretical, cultural, and practical understanding of the digital world, and enable graduates to transform interdisciplinary knowledge of digital technology into specific best practices. The program is based in Communication Studies.

The IDS program is unique, the only one of its kind in the state of Iowa.

The program was developed over several years, and responds to the demands of the burgeoning digital industry in the Cedar Valley and the state.  Locally, these companies create the community support for student internships and future employment (especially considering the significant number of UNI graduates who settle in Iowa). Some of these companies include: Mudd, Hellman, ME&V, Spinutech, Phantom EFX, Far Reach Technologies, Team Technologies, WebCentric, Cohesion Productions, and Visual Logic. Many of these companies expressed an ongoing need for the kind of qualified graduates the Interactive Digital Studies (IDS) program would produce. There are also are growing digital industries throughout Iowa.

Photo: An IDS workshop, Sept. 26, 2012: Guest Erik Pöntiskoski, in a live video feed from Aalto University in Finland, discusses his new web television program, which IDS students will analyze.