Do you have questions about getting help with multimedia projects? We have answers!
What kinds of multimedia projects can the Writing & media Lab help me with?
We can help with many different kinds of multimedia projects from start to finish, including planning, outlining or storyboarding, and editing various projects:
- Video projects
- Audio projects
- Presentation skills (PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi)
- Graphic design projects (using PhotoShop, Illustrator, or InDesign)
- Web design (including blogs, wikis, or HTML editing in Dreamweaver)
In all of the work we do in the WML, we emphasize the effective use of communications skills and critical thinking to help you make your project the most impactful it can be!
How does a Consultant help with a multimedia project?
We take the same approach to multimedia that we take with writing: we want to help you learn how to work comfortably and competently with the multimedia software you're using. We never do the work for you, but instead, teach you how to succeed.
There are two main ways that a Consultant can help with your multimedia project.
If you're not sure how to get started on your project, you can make an appointment or just walk-in and work directly with a Consultant from the beginning of your project. The Consultant will help you decide what software and equipment you'll need and how to use it. The Consultant can also give you feedback on how to improve your project or brainstorm ideas to get started.
If you feel comfortable getting started on your own, you can work on your project independently in the WML until you find that you have a question or some across something you're not sure how to do. Then you can ask one of the Consultants on duty to help you out.
What software does the Writing & Media Lab have on the computers?
We have a long list of software available! While our computers are physically Apple computers, you can log in to either Windows or OS X depending on your project and preference. Some software is specific to either Windows or OS X.
Some of the programs you can use in the Writing & Media Lab include:
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access)
- Apple iWork & iLife (Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iDVD, GarageBand)
- Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop for image editing, Premiere Pro for video editing, Audition for audio editing, InDesign for document design, Illustrator for graphic design, Dreamweaver for web design, Fireworks for web graphics, Encore for DVD design)
- Audacity for audio editing
- Snapz Pro for screenshots and screen capture
- ArcGIS for mapping
- Camtasia for screen recording and video editing
If you don't see a program listed that you need, please ask us about it! This is not an exhaustive list, and we're always on the lookout for new programs to try.
Is the Writing & Media Lab just for getting help with school work?
While our primary mission is academic, we are always happy to help with non-academic and personal projects. If you're not sure if we can help, please ask!
Can I call and get a Consultant to help me over the phone?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer phone consultations. Consultants cannot spend more than three minutes assisting you on the phone. If the Consultant believes that you will require more assistance, or if the call extends past three minutes, the Consultant will invite you to come down to the Writing & Media Lab for one-on-one assistance.
Can I reserve a computer to work on my project?
Yes! Please reserve computers the same way you make an appointment. Computer reservations are for 2 hours at a time, and may not be made back-to-back. Please leave at least 2 hours between reservations so we can help as many students as possible.
If you need more than 2 hours, and no one else needs the computer, you may continue working so long as there are no other reservations.
I didn't reserve a computer. Is that ok?
As long as no one else has reserved the computer you need to use, you may log on and use it. If another student has a reservation for a piece of equipment that you are using, we may ask you to stop using it so we can honor the reservation. We will always do our best to inform you ahead of time of any pending reservations!
How should I save my work if I want to come back later?
The Writing & Media Lab computers have a hard drive labeled "Thawspace" that is a safe place to store projects while you're working on them in the WML. The Thawspace is specific to each computer, and is not shared on the network. If you start a project on Computer 1, then you will need to come back to Computer 1 to continue working.
You may also bring your own storage media, such as a USB drive or external hard drive. However, please consult with a WML Consultant before starting video editing projects on a USB drive or an external hard drive. There are some pros and cons that we can go over with you so you can make an informed decision about your project.
Can I leave my project running on a computer while I go to class?
Since the Writing & Media Lab is a computer lab, we ask that students save their work, close all programs, and log off of the computers when they must leave the lab for more than a few minutes. This will help make sure your project doesn't get lost, and that we can help as many students as possible with multimedia projects.
Special note: video projects often need to render or export before they can be burned to a DVD or uploaded to YouTube. This process can take some time, and all you can do is wait for the computer to finish. We ask that you stay with the computer during processes like this and plan ahead to spend an additional half an hour with your video project beyond when you think you will be done editing.
Can I stay after the Writing & Media Lab closes to work on my project?
Students who are not paid employees of the Writing & Media Lab are not allowed to work in the Writing & Media Lab beyond our advertised hours of operation. The WML Consultants are not allowed to make exceptions to this rule.
Please plan ahead for working on your project, and use our online appointment system to reserve equipment or schedule a consultation with a Consultant.
Can I Print fliers for my event or make multiple copies of a DVD or CD?
No, the Writing & Media Lab is not a production facility. Our printer is only for printing small quantities of paper. If you need to print in bulk, you can visit the Post & Print Express (P2X) in the Trone Student Center.
The printer is for Writing & Media Lab needs as well as for academic-related work, but not for multiple copies of fliers, handouts, downloaded e-books, printouts of website, etc.
If you need to make a DVD or CD, please bring your own recordable media. We are not able to provide blank DVDs or CDs to every student who comes to the Writing & Media Lab! We can help you burn up to 4 copies of your own DVD or CD that you have authored yourself.
What is the Writing & Media Lab's stance on Digital Copyright?